Commentary

Let's ReVIEW: Every Whoopi Morsel On Demand

Want to see every instance of Joy Behar taking a verbal nine-iron to Tiger Woods' sorry cheating ass? Can't get enough of Whoopi's funny stories? The new VIEWer's Choice feature for the daily women's talk show The View is taking video search to a new level of granularity. When tech dweebs like some of us think about search, we conform nicely to Google's regimen of keywords and phrases. We think ahead about how a search engine might think about a given set of pages and adjust our queries accordingly. But most earthlings do much different media searches in their heads. My partner, a dedicated View-er, indexes these daytime chat and advice shows by topic, personality and the "who's-that-doctor-guy-with-all-the-herbal-remedies-you-know-who-I-mean" sort of organization. Well, I don't, really, who that doctor is, but this how she references the shows she sees on TV. There is no search engine for that very human way of storing information.

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The VIEWer's Choice

The VIEWer's Choice site is not a full-out solution for finding that "herbal guy," but if you plug in "Dr. Oz" or "Dr. Weil" at this search box you do at least get all fot he good pop doctors that have been showing up on the show, all parsed into nicely thumbnailed and blurbed snippets for you to peruse. The back end is powered by Gotuit Media, which has a metadata and video search system that seems to do a good job of assembling lcips into handy chronological order and also organizes a number of video pieces into pre-fab topic playlists. Tag lists pop up in the view for each clip shows so the user can explore sub-topics as well. In a nice touch the clip search can also be used to find full episodes. Once you find the clip you remember, you can drop right into a full episode view as well.

Which is not to say all is well here. I am not sure why a simple "diets" or "herbs" brings up nothing, but "Iron Man" gets me Gwyneth Paltrow talking about why she is in these blockbusters. The engine seems to be smart in select areas and clueless is others.

While this interface is a bit busy with various tabs for "Latest clips" and "Best of The View" etc., generally it is a good stab at making a video archive available to ordinary TV viewers who would come to it with ordinary needs, topic categories, and presumptions about what they will get.

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