SBC Project

     I’ve been running video clocks in my office for a couple years now. I find I interact 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 have learned is 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 am really sick of some minutes that were bad ideas or poorly done. And yet others I continue to enjoy despite having watched them over and over again. Watching these clocks, I am impressed by how limited I am in what I can create compared to what is possible.
     On one hand I want to share these with a broader audience. To reach the people with weird brains like mine, who might find them interesting and stimulating. On the other, I feel I’m a long way from having enough material for a really good sustaining clock, with variety and quality.
     I have 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 won’t run on a Mac let along any tablet or phone.

In the first part of 2018 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.

From these realizations came the idea of the “SBC Project” for me. A structure to help me organize a stepped plan to pursue and promote the idea of screen-based clocks. Also, a plan or roadmap to share with anyone else might want to become involved. I expect this to be an evolving plan of course. But here’s my conception right now.

The SBC Project
Phase one: Setup a demonstration website that can play video clocks for viewers.
Phase two: Develop the website so anyone can contribute video clock files and anyone else can access these files to create their own clock playlists to play.

Phase One: Demonstration Website
I have started the process of getting the website up and running. At first it will be based on the files I have created. Viewers will be able to run pre-defined playlists that I create. Hopefully the website will be able to capture likes and dislikes and there will be a vehicle for feedback. Once it is functional, I plan to accept submissions of files from others and incorporate them in the playlists. I will be using this phase to try to generate interest in video clocks and to get an idea of how much interest there is for these clocks. Since phase two will require significant funds, the more interest I can generate with the demonstration website the more hope there is to move on to the next phase. Having a good supply of varied and interesting minutes will help. So, I hope to attract contributors in this phase.

Phase Two: Independent User Functionality
The second phase will be to develop the ability of contributors to add files on their own and for viewers to create their own clock playlists. Also, at this point, other useful functionality will be added. (Pause, replay, view single minute, view credits, etc.) This will transform the website into a sort of blending of Spotify and YouTube. A lot of complexity here and a lot to be figured out. I hope to elaborate more specifically on the functionality as this progresses.

My goal is for this to be a creative platform that is free for all to use. I am not interested in turning this into a money-making enterprise and I do not want it to be spoiled with advertising. How I’m able to get this funded will determine how successful I am. I expect I will be looking into grants to start. I have no idea what sort of organization would fund something like this.

Obviously, this is a plea for help. If this is going to get anywhere, I’m going to need contributors. Contributors of videos most importantly. Contributors of money at some point. I could also use technical help but that’s harder to define.

As things progress I will provide specifications for submitting video clock files.


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