Occasionally Microsoft comes out with some really interesting stuff. The Break Up, and the accompanying blog show that at least parts of Microsoft are thinking right. But while the video is fine and all that, perhaps more interesting is the fact that the blog uses WordPress.com rather than Microsoft’s own platforms, video is hosted by a third party service and the blogger writes a strange mix of independent and official.
How believable is such a site? Is it really more convincing that the official sites or are people wise to underground marketing now?
Video has been one of the big success stories over the last couple of years – YouTube, Google Video and other services have exploded in popularity, fuelled by widespread access to broadband and social networking websites allowing video to spread virally. Most of the videos are good entertainment – most music videos and many TV clips can be found online pretty easily (much to Viacom’s annoyance) and YouTube has lead to instant stars like Bo Burnham and Lonelygirl15.
Gradually, without much attention or the glamour of celebrity, videos about all sorts of topics have started to appear on the internet. When I was looking for a new mobile phone recently, I did all the usual trooping around shops only to find they didn’t have the phones I was interested in and the staff less than helpful. But searching around the internet I found loads of hands-on demonstrations from impartial reviewers who weren’t interested in trying to sell me anything, just in showing off what the products can (and can’t) do. In the end I went for the Vodafone version of the phones shown in this unboxing video.
That’s all great, but it doesn’t help with my job – but there are videos online that do! From training courses to interviews and conference keynotes, you can find loads of technology news and information on the internet, usually for free. These aren’t just amateur productions, you’ll find leading experts doing the talking!
If you’re into debugging Ajax interactions between browser and server (and be honest, who isn’t?!) then the essential tool is Firebug and author Joe Hewitt explains some of it’s features at the YUI Theatre.
I could go on for pages and pages of interesting stuff I’ve watched, most of which I wouldn’t have had a chance of seeing five years ago, but I want to give you the chance to find it for yourselves! And if web development or software engineering or API design isn’t your thing, I’m sure there’s some thing out there that is! Happy viewing!