Convergence is evil

I’ll be frank: I really don’t care for  “Vodcasts,” or whatever it is that podcasts with a visual component are usually classified as. Regardless of whether my mobile phone supports video (and in fact I think it does, I’ve just never explored the possibility), for me they exist in a wholly different sphere. A podcast is something you can listen to, however intently, and gleam some interesting information from on your way to work (or a lovely mirepoix). Video demands infinitely more attention; in fact, I’m not comfortable watching video on my phone, because I don’t want to stare into my lap for the duration of my commute while my neighbors pretend not to be watching over my shoulder. Not wanting to deny Web 2.0 its due, I try to click on the majority of YouTube videos that friends send my way, but these are, invariably, time-wasters during which I really can’t or shouldn’t be otherwise engaged, and this runs completely contrary to my interest in podcasts.

That said, Anali Perry, vodcaster extraordinaire, is a hero.

In addition to saving the world, she’s the Assistant Collections and Scholarly Communications librarian at Arizona State University, from which she hosts the Library Minute video series regularly posted to their library’s blog, and which I cordially invite you to view after the jump.

Yes, they all have that hilariously quaint “local news broadcast” feel to them. Yes, these are linked from the front page of the library’s website. Yes, they do podcasts too, for example this nice little interview transcript from the recent Open Access Week goings-on.

Admittedly, the valuable piece here is probably the blog itself, if not for which The Library Minute wouldn’t have much of an audience outside of the still-marginalized pool of YouTube subscribers. Of course, I’m not sure why this should be, other than because Apple hasn’t established a neat, elegant, two-click delivery mechanism for minute-long free content as such. I can’t shake the feeling myself that these would be better broadcast at intervals around campus than made to round out some impossibly personable web library communique; they’re so well-produced, and yet such an odd duck.

It really makes one wonder at the extent to which Web 2.0 content has been codified already, and whether walls have gone up in the past five or so years such that these playful little commercials find themselves without a niche to squeeze into (as that’s really what they are, the fact that they advertise a free service notwithstanding). I can’t claim to know very much about the demographic of Arizona State University, but my first question remains: who watches these?

My second question: who wouldn’t?


1 Comment »

  1. Jennie said

    Thanks for the feedback on our Library Channel productions. We are enjoying producing the Library Minute, which is a culmination of work from an entire team of people. We have indeed widened our audience beyond just those viewing from our web site. We have integrated them into the main university You Tube channel (, and many of our librarians are using them in their classroom instruction and orientations. These in-class uses are significant in that students are learning useful things about the libraries in an entertaining fashion – and have demonstrated recall of the information. So they are effective too.

    We plan to do a more thorough assessment of our audience and get feedback on this series this semester. However we do have one anecdote that made me think these are getting some students’ attention: our student intern who works with us on the Library Minute video series told one of his film program colleagues that he was working with the library on video productions. The colleague asked him for examples, and was told the Library Minute. The student immediately responded, “oh yeah, with Anali Perry?”. This student wasn’t a library user, but was aware of our series anyway.

    – Jennie Duvernay, Marketing and Outreach – and Library Channel Producer, ASU Libraries

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