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Youtube Goes 16:9

November 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Youtube or Google just recently and quietly for the most part released their new widescreen video player  The update came out without any front page news and it came out fast.  First there was the old school square box player that everyone is accustomed to and in the next hour, the widescreen player shows up.  It just appeared out of no where without any explanation, even though you don’t really need the explanation as to why.  They pretty much made the viewing box wider.  It is better for the human eye to watch things in widescreen becasue that is what we see naturally and things are less distorted that way.

The implementation of the new wide screen is very nice and thought out well.  The viewing box is about 30% bigger, or longer.  The size of the new player is perfect because it actually does not affect the rest of the page.  The screen is not too big for the user as it does not take up the whole entire page and it spaces the comment area more so the comments are easier to view.  Looking at the new player could get the user confused as many people are already used to the square box but after a few seconds, the whole confusion dies down and people will adapt quickly to it.  Most people these days now have widescreen televisions, so it does not take a while for the user to adapt to the new settings.  The new video player, has kindly spaced out the commenting system and the comments do now look more appealing to read.  They do not looked bunched up together and only taking up one small column of the layout.  Instead the comments now take up about half the page underneath the video player.  The only other thing that people will look through in Youtube after they watch the video are the comments, which are pretty important…for people to call other people n00bs and just to make fun of in general.  There was no major change to Youtube’s layout with the release of the new video player so people can adapt slowly towards the new player.  Good thing there was no major layout change or else there would be another ‘Marc Zomberg’ fiasco on our hands which would piss A LOT of people off including me.  Well not the actual layout change but the people who get pissed off about the change and start posting up video responses or join groups on Facebook to get the old layout back.

Anyways, the layout is pretty good and more spacious.  It actually somehow seems more viewable and more aesthetically pleasing compared to the old video player.  Unfortunately, due to the fact that many people who post up videos do not have access to video cameras that record in widescreen mode and as well as video editing tools that will convert 4:3 to 16:9 (even though that could get very messy).  Dam you Window’s Movie Maker, DAM YOU!  As a result, the user will see the awful dead space that occurs when you view a 4:3 video resolution in a 16:9 resolution, it looks awful and the dead space can be distracting.  It is a new step for Google though as they will be changing things up a bit in the industry.  Youtube has become the norm for video watching these days that pretty much whatever Youtube will do, other video hosting sites will do the same.  It will be no surprise that other video sites will copy Youtube and modify their players to naturally go widescreen to make things look better. In a few months, every single video player on the internet will have 16:9 capabilities (even though a couple of them already had it before Youtube).  Video editing programs will now all have widescreen resolution features.  Actually they already do, but the ones for free..no they don’t, but they soon will.  Then people will be able to post up videos of themselves ranting about in 16:9 and we get to see more of how dirty their house is.

Why They Won’t Go Back to the Old Facebook – Zomberg Style

September 23, 2008 2 comments

So anyone, still join that Marc Zomberg group yet? There’s almost a million members!

I got notice from Thomas who commented on my previous Marc Zomberg post that the Marc Zomberg group is now close to a million members. What is really interesting to me though is the fact that the group’s creator Jakob Peterson is now part of the San Francisco network instead of the London network. Could it be? He moved to Silicon Valley and is now working for Facebook? I still say no.

So I was wondering if Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook will ever revert back to the old layout. With how things are going, I’m pretty sure they won’t go back. Let’s go back in time and see why:

1. Remember the time when they permanently switched to the new Facebook?
That was around the beginning of September. I did not really care as I was already used to the new Facebook. I have to ask again, so has anyone else joined that Marc Zomberg group yet?

Has anyone ever heard of the saying, ‘Change is good’ or any sort of variation of it? I’m pretty sure we all have. What I really hate about people complaining about the new Facebook is the fact that they complain and they don’t do anything, they do not even send feedback to the people at Facebook. So from that, there is less of a chance they will change back to the old layout.

There is also the fact that if Zuckerberg actually looks at the groups that want him to change back to the old Facebook, I’m pretty sure that 10 million won’t do the job. There are OVER 100 million ACTIVE users on Facebook. If Mark were ever to consider changing back to the old layout how many people would be needed to get him to change his mind? I’m pretty sure over 50 million people would have to sign a petition or join a group or something. So I’m sorry Zomberg, I know you have probably the most group members on this subject but even if you do reach 10 million, you only represent a tenth of Facebook’s users. Do you actually think Zuckerberg will go back to the old layout to please a tenth of his users? What about the other 90%?

There are also the hacks that are being spread around letting users go back to the old Facebook. The company has patched a couple of them up, but now a lot of people still have the old layout. I don’t know if Facebook keeps stats on who managed to get back to the old layout or not but this really sucks for those who have tried and can not go back to the old layout (like me). With the people changing back to the old layout, they don’t have to complain anymore. As a result, probably about 20% (I just made up a random figure) of Facebook’s users have the old layout back. Probably over half of these people will stop complaining about the new Facebook thus probably over ten percent of Facebook’s users will be unaccounted for in trying to go back to the old Facebook. As a result, these hacks can be counter-productive and will give skewed statistics on who really wants to go back to the old Facebook or who still wants to keep the new layout.

2. Do you remember the time when Facebook introduced the news-feed feature?

There was so much outrage and controversy over this new feature Facebook introduced in September of 2006. Many people felt like that their privacy was being invaded. It would be easier for ‘creepers’ to lurk around their friends’ pages and see what they wrote and their new pictures they posted up. Obviously attached with the new feature was the privacy options which not a lot of people actually have used to an extent that kept their personal life private. Sure there are people that have chosen a couple of privacy options like choosing to not have any of their wall posts or pictures they posted up presented on the news-feed but that is pretty much it. After two years now, there are still people who have not chosen to set their news-feed options to not present any of their posts.
I remember all the controversy and the heated debates and how users hated the news-feed invading their privacy. If it was a real danger to anyone or a real annoyance then Facebook would have taken the news-feed off the website. Sure there have been modifications to make it safer to be on the website and make it easier to modify the feed, but its still there.
It has been two years now and everyone who uses Facebook is alright with the news-feed, many don’t even mind it. All that controversy and revolt from its users has just died away with time and now its a norm to have the news-feed with you.
Plus, everyone in general through human nature are attention whores and some can be narcissistic. If you turn all the options for the feed off, then everyone will forget you and no one will talk to you and post up on your wall. You will have a lonely existence and be an outcast, is that what you want? Its pretty embarrassing to have Facebook and not have anyone post on your wall don’t you think? So yes, the news-feed is an invasion of your privacy but then again, we all are attention whores and if we turn everything off on the news-feed, well we don’t get any attention at all and there goes our sorry miserable lives.

3. Do you remember the time when Facebook changed their layout?

I remember back in late 2006 or early 2007 maybe January of 2007 but Facebook actually modified their layout. Does anyone remember this? I remember with the older layout that you can access your pictures, your events, your posts, and your updates all at top of the user interface and then all of a sudden Facebook changed this layout to what we now call the ‘old’ Facebook. I was not used to this new layout, all the photos, applications, posts, and etc can only be accessed on this little box on the left side while all your settings and advanced features were put on top of the GUI (I really can’t remember what the old Facebook looked like, so this description might be inaccurate.)
Just like now, so many groups popped up asking/demanding/threatening Facebook to change back to the old layout. What is really funny is that over time, I saw a lot of my friends leave these groups and soon no one really cared about the older layout anymore. Everyone became used to the old Facebook over time and Zuckerberg never had to revert back to the older layout.

4. Do you remember the time when everyone just forgot about it?

I bet you by the end of this year 2008, those who still have the new layout will be fine with it and have finally adapted to the user interface. By the middle of 2009 these ‘go back to the old Facebook’ groups will be no more because people don’t care about the layout as they have now become accustomed to it. It is just like the news-feed and it is just like when they changed the older layout to the ‘old’ layout. Everyone will forget about this by then and not care.

When They introduce a completely new layout in a couple of years (I’m thinking 2010/2011), another user revolt will occur and all these groups will pop up asking Facebook to go back to the this current layout. Ironic. Don’t you think?

5. Do you remember the time where everyone said that Facebook is so addictive?

A lot of people are addicted to Facebook. If they don’t like Facebook anymore, then they should move to another social networking site. But who really wants to make a new account on a strange new social networking site and rebuild their profile to the status that its Facebook counterpart had? Facebook is just too good to let go. The layout is phenomenal well the old one, the interface is nice to use. People don’t have to click all these random links to get to where they want, and the colour scheme is amazing(ly safe). There are so many other social networking sites like Facebook, but Facebook has set the bar and it will be really hard for any other site to remotely even compare to it. Well there is Twitter but I’m pretty sure most high school/college students won’t have a use for that site…yet. So the idea of leaving Facebook all together will be really hard as one will be left out of the loop while they make a new account on a different social website and not have anyone to talk to on that site.

So these are my five reasons why they won’t go back to the old Facebook. So what I suggest for you to do, is to find a new social website you like and become a wolf, and not a sheep. Or you could actually do something and give some feed back to Mr. Zuckerberg on what you really think about the new layout.