This little bit of news came from - check them out for some interesting anthro-related news. The integration of technology into all things related to science, research, community development, and so forth is inevitable really, and allows us to reach a wider audience, and communicate with our global neighbors...

SciVee: YouTube for Science!

From Slashdot, is news of new upcoming science 2.0 hotness called SciVee. Think
of it as YouTube for Science. It comes by way of a partnership between the
National Science Foundation, Public Library of Science and the San Diego
Supercomputing Center.

This is such an awesome idea, and I hope it will
revolutionize the way we communicate science.

Why is it such a good
idea? Well, in the past, I’ve uploaded science videos, such as footage of
chimpanzees doing what chimps do, to accompany reviews of research papers
directly to YouTube. When I uploaded the video I underestimated the impact
actually seeing a chimpanzee in the unique behavior that was documented in the
research paper. It now has over 80,000 views and two comments shy of breaking

Having this sort of multimedia available helps people digest the
otherwise dense content much more easily,

“Scientists can upload their
research papers, accompanied by a video where they describe the work in the form
of a short lecture, accompanied by a presentation. The formulaic, technical
style of scientific writing, the heavy jargonization and the need for careful
elaboration often renders reading papers a laborious effort. SciVee’s creators
hope that that the appeal of a video or audio explanation of paper will make it
easier for others to more quickly grasp the concepts of a paper and make it more
digestible both to colleagues and to the general public.”

Personally, I
learn material much better when it comes from the mouth of one the authors of a
paper. Most often, no one knows the content of a paper better than the people
who wrote it, so to have an author explain their research in normal lingo is a
phenomenal concept. I don’t know why anyone hasn’t jumped on an idea like this

But SciVee has some flaws that I see will hinder its growth. It
is yet another social network to sign up for and yet another one to keep track
of. I recently withdrew from over a dozen networks because they weren’t growing
fast enough for me to be a part of.

Why founders of SciVee couldn’t fold
this sort of service into an already established technology like YouTube, I
don’t know. YouTube already has a massive userbase. A community of that size
could not only expose videos and generate more discussion, but more people can
be potentially educated, as opposed to a small, not-yet-cohesive community.

Furthermore, SciVee videos are currently kinda sorta proprietary in that
I currently have no easy way to embed videos into blogs, and that will greatly
determine how much I/we will use this service. Once SciVee understands the
importance of blogs in communicating and distributing research, that may change…
but for now, it is lacking a big feature that helped make YouTube, Google Video,
etc. the big multimedia powerhouses they are now.

But I totally welcome
this sort of innovation, especially as someone interested in the intersection of
technology and anthropology. I hope some of the big names in anthropology start
embracing new technology like this to distribute their research, thoughts,
ideas. We’ll see if they do.
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