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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Collaborative Gmail Video

The Gmail team wants YOU to create a promotion video for them. Sounds lame? Well, actually the idea behind this is really neat, I think: you’ll print out a PDF of the red Gmail envelope showing the “M”, and then record a funny/ cool/ creative way in which this envelope is passed from the left to right. You then upload the result to YouTube, submit it with the Gmail team, and if they like it your clip ends up being stitched together with the clips of many others into a longer, semi-coherent video.

(And why the passing from left to right? The Gmail blog explains that “you can see this as a symbol of how email connects people from all over, making the world feel a bit smaller. Or you could think of it as a metaphor for mail exchange servers, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), and all of the technical steps involved in getting a Gmail message around the world from one inbox to another.”)

[Thanks Jared Cherup!]

YouTube Apparently Unblocked Again in Thailand

Xeni Jardin reports that Google-owned YouTube is once again accessible in Thailand. (Update: Several people are disputing this in the comments, please also see the update below. Some explanations come to mind: the unblocking was only partial/ restricted to some ISPs or a single ISP; or it’s still being rolled out; or it’s currently being rolled back, and was an “error.”) It had been shut down in April this year.

“Various sites are reporting that part of the reason for the ’unblocking’ is that YouTube offered to help the government block access to specific video clips considered offensive to the nation’s monarch, Bhumibol Adulyadej. This way, the logic goes, Thailand’s internet censors would not be compelled to block the entire YouTube domain,” Xeni adds.

I asked YouTube press support for a comment on this issue back in April, but they didn’t provide one. YouTube’s press support is managed by Allison & Partners, who promise you “the reach of a global leader paired with the responsiveness of a boutique agency.”

In other news, Xiaowan in the forum writes that China is tightening control over web forums and blog comments. Can anyone else who runs a Chinese forum or blog confirm this?

Update: Matthew in the comments says, “I live in Thailand (Pattaya to be exact) but I still can’t connect to YouTube.” [Thanks Matthew!]


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