Thursday, April 14, 2011

Virtual milling yields presentations out of the cloud!

Automatically generated presentations, offered by several companies, will soon flood the internet, especially the so-called social platforms!

We - as the industrious ants - deliver the content: photos, videos, audio files and text can be uploaded to the companies servers and are processed somewhere "in the cloud" in the internet to yield professionally looking presentations.

While this technology will mainly be interesting for advertising business (searching the internet platforms for free photos and videos and "creating" theme-specific hundreds to thousands of videos automatically over night!), those who have taken themselves some party or holiday photos can easily generate those professionally looking presentations and put them online.

Some basic services are offered free of charge. With these free of charge offers they try to suck you into their system. "Anfixen", make you dependant upon ..., as we in Germany say.

But - guess what - if you want quality, more control over the "creative" process, and videos longer than one minute, you have to pay! O.k., if you like your friends (or the rest of the world), you will be willing to spend 3-5 dollars to use the system and generate and down- or upload a high quality (HQ) or high definition (HD) presentation in full length. Not too bad, if you do it only 3-4 times per year, or?

One of these companies offering "virtual photo and video milling" is Stupeflix, which is boosted by YouTube.
I tried the cost-free version (this is why Stupeflix is shown all the time on the video), played around a bit with some of my Samos photos and added some text, resulting in a 1.12 minute long video with 270p resolution.

One thing is sure: it will be raining presentations like cats and dogs from these "clouds" in the near future.
At first glance they look impressive! The way of showing the content will be (or will become) more fascinating/important than the content itself! It looks sexy, that's why they ask you to pay for it! Sex sells! ;-)

But after you've seen a couple of these automatically produced "cloud products", all processed in the same manner, it might happen that you will be bored to death.

A pretty sad example for such a boring type of automatically generated presentation are imo the TripAdvisorTripWow presentations, which flood YouTube in these days (approx. 18.500 "videos" as per today!). I would rename them "TripYawn"!
A recent example dealing with the island of Samos you can find here!
The problem, as I see it, is: even if your photos/videos are good, the way they are going to be presented by these "virtual mills", the machine generated "milling" processes involved, will destroy individuality and end up in uniformity.
Process dominates content!

Are you ready to invest some content and a little money to become an honorable member of the Society for Virtual Milling (SFVM)? Bring along with you some time, when clouds are dark because servers are overloaded.
Or like today, April 21st, 2011, Stupeflix is down already for hours because cloud servers at Amazon are experiencing big problems! (Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) outage)
See here, here and here
April 25, 2011
Amazon EC2 outage: summary and lessons learned