MA project: Show/hide function

I decided this week to take the code back to basics; stripping it back to just the video sources.

The previous code successfully placed the videos on top of each other, and had made a connection to the viewers webcam – but what about a show/hide function? This is something I’m keen to explore as part of the video, where the videos begin hidden from view and are made available throughout the primary video.

I haven’t yet found a function to allow the secondary videos to appear after a set time, and so I’ve had a quick look at an alternative method: buttons.

In order to make this make sense aesthetically, I’ve put the videos into a HTML table. The primary video is on a colspan, while the others are in a single row across three columns. Within those cells, are a button tag, and the video div.

It didn’t take long to create a function that would show/hide a div from the click of a button, and translating it for use in this table was easy. By repeating the code, with slight variants to the id names, the code worked for all three additional videos.

For the benefit of this example, I’ve continued to use the existing demo videos from the UK general election coverage from Birmingham Eastside, and used background colour fill (red/blue) for video 3 and video 4. The example in my previous blog post used red as the colour background for the webcam function, although that function was removed from the javascript in this particular copy of the code.

With a layout that is easier to test, I’ll now continue with finding a function which allows the videos, or buttons to appear after a set time. If it is the case that I can only make the buttons appear, then it would be appropriate for the videos to be hidden by default – opposite to the current state where they are shown by default.

While the code continues to develop, I have kept up with efforts in arranging interviews. While some academics I had hoped to speak to have had to decline, and others postponed, I have managed to secure an interview with a representative from a privacy rights group. His interview will be only days after a former spy-chief, and so follow-up questions could become quite interesting. Of course, I’ll need to arrange more, and so I haven’t stopped reaching out to other relevant individuals for comment.

I have also made progress on the video script; with an additional storyline for the additional content – should it be possible to make them appear at different times during the primary video playback.

One thing that I have learned so far, is that producing a coded video experience takes time – a point that will count towards my thesis question of whether such format is appropriate for news (where news has a so-called ‘use-by date’ and has a requirement of timely production). Even if the coded experience can’t be completed in time, or doesn’t function as I plan for it to, I am still going to put the content into a second version using online service Thinglink.

From previous use of the service, I know that Thinglink can provide a similar, but limited, experience to the one I hope to create. The second timeline would be useful, if not for my coded format, but for the Thinglink experience as well.

I hope that by producing the two products, I can compare the aesthetically pleasant Thinglink experience to the specifically formatted coded experience – with functionality and production time amongst the points of comparison.

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