What if Google created video content?

Media commentator David Dunkley Gyimah finds our from visiting their HQ

What if Google created video content?

Now there’s a thought.

The corridor meets you at a place stored in your mind when you used to watch Thunderbirds. It bends around, continues for nearly a minute; the expectation is that International Rescue heart throb Scott Tracy will emerge any moment now.

For a couple of moments I’m twelve again. Then the room opens up in to a yawning chasm. You could park a 747 in here, well almost.

Behind braced doors, separating various sections I see a cacophony of screens fizzling. Thunderbirds are go…

I shot video of this once in a lifetime visit and am probably one of a handful of citizens allowed to do so in the UK. Northwood HQ (N.W London) is the nerve centre of the UK’s defence of the realm. That was more than 20 years ago.

Yesterday, in Central London, Google’s 21st century workplace, the similarities were obvious. Both Northwood and Google share a common theme: to protect their assets.

However, no public recordings at Google are allowed; the message is explicit when signing in. I have since come across the Terhaps, if I had asked my host? Nay mind, there are more pertinent issues I’m here for.

The welcome sign-in also says no discussing details of any conversation within Google. Nothing to fear here, my host a past boss from my broadcast news days is the consummate pro.

In any case there’s the matter of my own ethics and a strong adherence to — for which I have been a member for more than 20 years — so I trust myself. If I tweeted most of what I did; I’d have myself to blame.

So my visit to Google, rather than a revelation of our conversation, I can tell you what I said to my host in his sleekly designed Thunderbirds’ office. Imagine listening in on phone conversation on a train, which isn’t on speaker phone.

One area of speculation that can be universally laid to rest is that Google will not be taking on the broadcasters, but continue to provide platforms to aid distribution.

I’m here interested in Google’s play into academia and its R&D. Google has de facto helped upend traditional and contemporary media critical theory to support a range of new practices.

For instance, what’s the theory behind vlogging from the likes of and the new army of vloggers captivating audiences?

What is the workflow that enables 21st programming to benefit from the range of digi tools in Google’s world? Where can computational ( journalism) programming go?

For the latter, I showed my host something I coded in Flash six years ago. Called a it evolved from an interview granted to me by Peter Horrocks, head of news at the BBC. But rather than conduct the interview myself, I asked a range of bloggers around the world to ask a question.

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Horrocks would later comment warmly on the approach. Today in data journalism (HTML5/CSS/Java), there’s a new way I would create this.

I spoke to my host about my and how the new world order required universities and academia to collaborate to new provisional theories. Lyotard’s the end of the grand narrative no longer suffices as a means to say there are no universals.

Television remains a powerful medium. The evidence of its demise can’t be wholly substantiated, so long as it continues to innovate. But there is a sense that television is still not conversant with the digital ecology.

So, how can we use new tools to tackle themes that continue to elude a wide acknowledge shared understanding e.g Poverty? We exchanged ideas on workflow. On this note, quite coincidentally I found myself talking to Liz from the Centre for Investigating Reporting (CIR) later that afternoon.

The CIR is planning a hackathon event in two weeks which looks at global warming and any innovatory approach that may address its seriousness. I’m hoping to be a part of it.

We spoke at Google for an hour — a longish time for any exec and I was grateful. There’s work to be done and some requests I’m fulfilling on that will help towards some of the thinking and discussion framing projects.

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Jeff Jarvis wrote, what would Google do? Whilst about the ubiquity of the Net, so much so that it will disappear, and Googlers will continue to dominate the digital industry

It’s probably worth investing a little more time into understanding the digital terrain and how universities of the future will shape up alongside this new knowledge bank.

David does various things. He recently presented at Apple Store.

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Written by

Top Writer & Creative Technologist, Int. Award Winner. Cinemajournalist. Cardiff Uni @jomec. PhD (Dublin). Visiting Prof UBC, Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled.

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