Google has introduced Google Video, which promises to be helpful to bloggers who write about TV (not to mention the legion of TV fans who want to keep track of their favorite shows). I’ve done this a few times in the past year. I wrote one post about Law and Order in which a doctor played by Marlee Matlin maintained a blog which was used as evidence in her trial. I hadn’t seen blogs referred to in this way on episodic TV & thought it was an interesting cultural phenomenon. I’ve also blogged about West Wing, one of my favorite TV shows (no episode yet has involved blogs unfortunately) and Six Feet Under. I’ve also wanted to blog about TV ads of which so many are so inane or just downright insulting either to one’s intelligence, morals or ethnic identity.
When I blog about a TV episode I usually have some online resources, notably the program’s website. But it is sometimes hard to find appropriate graphics to accompany the post. With commercials one faces a tougher dilemma. There is no online record of a commercial (if someone knows of an online site which critiques media advertising I’d love to hear about it) and so it is next to impossible to find a graphic or video representation of the ad. Hence, it’s next to impossible to describe the commercial to your reader making your criticism moot (that hasn’t stopped me from trying–see this critique of Qwest’s Spirit of Service ad campaign). From what I understand, the Google Video feature wouldn’t satisfy my needs since it’s based on searching closed caption text. But I’d like to tell the product developers that it’d be great if there was some way to make commercials searchable as well.
I’ve done a few cursory searches on the beta site and I must say that the search engine is nowhere near as robust and accurate as Google’s web search engine. But given it’s in beta mode, we have to give them a chance to improve its capabilities.