In 2018 I had been running video clocks in my office for a couple years. I found that I interacted with them in different ways; going from just referencing the time, to escaping into the movieness, to enjoying the purely visual experience. One thing I learned was how much I like variety and how important variety can be for these clocks to sustain interest. The quality or interest value of the individual minutes also affect whether clocks have sustaining value. I was really sick of some minutes that were bad ideas or poorly done. And yet others, I continued to enjoy despite having watched them over and over again. Watching these clocks, I was impressed by how limited I was in what I could create compared to what was possible.
On one hand I wanted to share these clocks with a broader audience. To reach people with weird brains like mine, who might find them interesting and stimulating. On the other, I felt I was a long way from having enough material for a really good sustaining clock, with variety and quality.
I struggled with finding the best way to make these clocks available to others. A well-developed clock takes up a huge amount of disk space and needs to be periodically replenished to stay interesting. In addition, the Access database that I run my clocks on wouldn’t run on a Mac let along any tablet or phone.
I came to a couple realizations.
First: The best way to make video clocks available to the largest number of people is to have them run from a website over the internet. That way any computer or tablet can be used as a clock.
Second: The best way to get enough material to sustain a variety of video clocks is to have other creative people contribute to a library of video clock files. And there are plenty of creative people.
My first step was to get a website up and running that would run video clocks. After some distractions, I managed to get this done around the end of 2019. This is TheVideoClock.com. The website streams videos that are stored at Vimeo, an online video streaming site. The website’s design allows me to add and remove clock playlists as well as alter what minutes play in each playlist. This means that as I create new minute videos I can add them to existing clock playlists so they keep changing over time. Over the course of 2020 I grew the website, adding many new minutes and exploring new ideas for approaching video clock minutes. This has been a lot of fun and it fit in well with the stay-at-home life of the pandemic.
The next steps would be to promote the website to find out how much interest there is in video clocks and if there are others who would like to contribute videos. Ultimately, if there was enough interest, it would be great to have a website that allowed users to add their own videos and create their own playlists. Well, we shall see… Right now, I’m enjoying adding minutes to the library of videos. Exploring new ways to show the time with videos.