Thursday, June 30, 2011

Caption Action 2 Takes On Facebook!

A new fight has been launched to get Facebook to update its video player to add closed captioning support. Why now? The answer is, because Facebook is clearly positioning itself to become a major player in the original web video content arena.

This past week alone, two high-profile web series have been announced for Facebook: Aim High, and Teen Wolf.

Aim High is a professionally-produced web series about a spy in a high school. One of the producers is Dolphin Entertainment, and according to their website, they have a solid track record producing content for Nickelodeon, Family Channel, Cartoon Network, etc. Their site says they specialize in children and young adults' programming. Aim High, which features an actor from the Twilight films, Jackson Rathbone, has been getting a lot of publicity, as it is distributed by Warner Brothers on Facebook starting August 1:

Entertainment Weekly, Examiner.com, Just Jared Jr., BSCKids, Sugarscape are media sources that have already published preview articles. More will come the closer we get to August 1.

Teen Wolf is actually ALREADY on Facebook. Teen Wolf is a companion web series to the new MTV show Teen Wolf. You have to go to the AT&T Facebook page, and "like" it to be able to see the video. Link too long to post here, but you can get to it via the link in the Hollywood Reporter article, MTV's 'Teen Wolf' Web Series Premieres Today.


Since the target is Facebook, it makes sense to have Facebook pages about this! Last night Caption Action 2 posted on Twitter asking for someone to create a Facebook page calling for Facebook to add closed captioning. Two people responded, and now we have both a Facebook group, and a Facebook page, so people can choose whichever they prefer.

Facebook group: Facebook must add closed captions!! ( people must request to join the group)

Facebook page: FB must support closed captioning
(uses FB in title because of apparent Facebook restrictions in the use of the word Facebook in a page title. Anyone can join by simply "liking" the page.)

Both the group and page creators are active supporters of closed captioning. Caption Action 2 would like to see the group and/or page grow to 30,000 members. Why 30,000? We figure we need at least that many to get the attention of Facebook - and the attention of reporters and bloggers in the media.

Caption Action 2's goal is to avoid the need for a class action lawsuit. We already have class action lawsuits against Netflix and CNN.com; we don't need a third. There have been comments from hearing people about the two existing class action lawsuits, and the majority are negative. A class action lawsuit against Facebook should be our last resort to get Facebook's attention.

Finally, there are two ways to communicate our desires directly to Facebook:

Facebook's "make suggestions" page for videos

Facebook's own page. You can't post messages there, but you can post comments in response to Facebook's postings.

Please spread the word about this new fight. We have to send the message that the deaf and hard of hearing community will not tolerate automatically being left out. If Facebook is going to become a major platform for original video entertainment, we have to demand that Facebook update its video player to support closed captioning.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

blip.tv's Player Now Has Closed Captioning!

In a previous post when we slammed blip.tv, we said that their player didn't have CC. blip.tv contacted Caption Action 2 and told us that the reason they had relaunched with no captions is because they had some technical issues that could not be resolved in time for the relaunch. They were forced to revert back to an older player. blip.tv promised to update their video player within a month. Today, blip.tv kept its promise and launched the new, updated video player with closed captioning support!



To see the video above, go to http://blip.tv/red-vs-blue/red-vs-blue-season-9-episode-2-5296839. The captions are similar in appearance to subtitles.

According to blip.tv, producers have to upload a special file (.srt or Timed Text XML) as part of the upload process if they want to include closed captions, and if they do, when you click on cc the captions go live. Only a small percentage of shows do this now, but some of the biggest shows, including Red vs. Blue, do.

Why is this such a big deal? blip.tv is one of the biggest hosts of original web series programming. When they relaunched last month, they got a lot of media attention because they were the first web series host to try to make it easier for people to find the best web series. Their relaunch included a continually refreshed redesign that showcases selected web series hand-picked by blip.tv editors.

blip.tv is also popular with web series producers because of the flexibility of its distribution network. In addition to being on blip.tv, web series are also distributed to multiple partner sites, including YouTube, AOL Video, Facebook, and iTunes.

If blip.tv can do it, why not Koldcast.tv? Crackle.com? MyDamnChannel.com? Atom.com? Babelgum.com? Vimeo?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Caption Action 2: June 2011 Newsletter

This is the Caption Action 2 newsletter for June 2011.

Two New Additions

May was a disappointing month. There was only one new addition to the list of closed captioned web series: Anyone But Me. The description: "Anyone But Me is an award winning, critically acclaimed drama about a new generation of gay, straight, and ethnically diverse teens struggling with identity and modern relationships."

However, we expect several more to be added in the coming months. Caption Action 2 has contacted more than 200 web series producers to date, and out of those, more than 60 have responded positively. Some are working on adding captions now.

Read more:

http://apps.facebook.com/causes/posts/778156