John Chambers, the CEO of Cisco, has said (PDF) that “video is the next voice.” Unfortunately, just like other voice-focused communications, video content is hard to find, not accessible to all and hard to repackage. But transcription can add value to to both content providers and content users in at least three ways:
- Increase the chances your content will be found. Full, or even partial, text is more searchable than tags and titles alone. “I’ve found that on several of our clients’ blogs, the transcript often outperforms its corresponding podcast,” says Janelle Kozyra, the Director of Editorial and Senior Managing Editor for Gregory FCA.
- Make your content more accessible. People who can’t hear the video, or those who don’t want to search through it, will find transcripts useful. Ted Cocheu, the founder and CEO of Altus (an enterprise provider of video search and management tools) said recently, “New technology is enabling enterprises to easily combine PowerPoint presentations with audio/video into a dynamic format that is searchable down to the point of interest or keyword. . . . As a result, users can have instant access to the information they need.”
- Make repurposing your content easier. Once you have a transcript, it’s a short step to a tweet, a blog post or a slide deck.
Creating these transcripts is becoming easier, and there are alternatives.
- Professional transcriptionists. These professionals provide high quality and full control of the process. But this may be overkill for some audio and video.
- Crowdsourcing. Ryan Lawler has covered the development of SpeakerText, a firm that supports the crowdsourcing of transcripts. The Kahn Academy crowdsources transcription and translation through Universal Subtitles.
- Automatic captioning. YouTube uses Google’s voice-to-text technology to create autocaptions.
This is a call to both content creators and users to support transcription. Content creators: Please use a service that adds transcripts to your audio and video content. Users: Help where you can by contributing to the crowdsourcing efforts.
How have you benefited through audio or video transcription in your web work?