March 03, 2007

Online video search tool

Today I tried out a new video search tool called blinx. (Ugh. How much do you think they paid for that awful name, eh? Too much, no doubt.) It's not a video hosting site like youtube, it just points to videos posted on other sites. There's a nifty feature called The Wall which displays your next search results as row after row of thumbnail videos. Nice eye candy.

Here's what I found:

Beeetamax. I searched on "obsolete technology" and found an ITN news piece on the new dvd format wars, complete with archival footage of the last round of video format wars.

Billion dollar industry. Then I searched on "family history" and found a news piece from Fon du Lac, Wisconsin about researching and preserving family history, especially the stories: "People want to know more than the names of their relatives, they want to know about their lives." You'll meet a teenager who interviewed his grandparents and says "...the most rewarding thing is just being able to me that much closer to them."

They point to libraries and historical societies as sources for family history information, and mention a laundry list of helpful records, including: obituaries, local newspapers, city directories, yearbooks, historical photographs, census information. They even interview a librarian, yay!

I wish I knew how that story ended up on the news in the first place. I figured it had to be a Creative Memories consultant who pitched it, but there's no mention of that MLM biz. And none of the interviewees seem like they're the press-release-writing type. Maybe or Family Tree? Both of those products are mentioned. Are they owned by the same company by any chance?

What I really love is the conclusion: "Nothing is more valuable than speaking with those who can share their memories." To which I would add: Or writing down your own memories. It's rediculously easy. Check out Denis LeDoux's Photo Scribe for a simple and painless way to capture the stories behind your photos (even if you hate to write).

FYI, Dick Eastman questions whether genealogy is really as popular as stories like this one claim.

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