building 431 Further thoughts about Building43 (previously known as: Want to watch Building43 videos offline?)Last Friday Zee commented on the launch of Building43.

This post started out to briefly explain how to watch Building43 interviews offline. However, whilst preparing the article, I couldn’t resist including some of the thoughts that crossed my mind while exploring the site. Hence the title.

Over the weekend I’ve managed to go through almost all of Building43′s content: The manifesto reads fantastic but the site might have a long way to go to live up to it. So far it merely is yet another blog with neat FriendFeed integration, that, to my knowlege, relies on a private feature of the FriendFeed API. For the community features I’ve expected the Building43 team to bring us something incredibly new but as a basic aggregation of Twitter and FriendFeed capabilities.

Integrating real-time feeds from elsewhere is fine. It’s just not delivering any sense of “community” to me. And whilst loosely mashing content feeds might be state-of-the-web 2010, I think it emotionally ties users more to the source services, than to make them feel at home as part of a great new Building43 community.

As for the videos, I’ve been a huge fan of Robert’s various evangelism journeys since he helped shaping Channel9, Microsoft’s often underrated video blogging site. It might be just me, but after watching the much embedded “Facebook gets down to business” video, I was left disappointed.

Mark Zuckerberg does a good job in re-positioning Facebook. But hey, isn’t Building43 about helping my father, who is a Mazda car dealer, understand how to leverage the latest social media tools and technologies? Zuckerberg did not. At least not for my father.

Anyhow, with that out of the way, what I particularly liked about Channel9 was the option to download videos to my computer.

I’m a frequent traveler and love to watch longer running shows offline. I could not find an obvious downloading option on the Building43 site itself and didn’t want to go for third party tools to grab low quality Flash video, so I asked Robert about it.

As it turns out, there are in fact a couple of options for a hassle-free  download of Building43 videos.

  • blip.tv offers direct download links. You’ve got to click on an episode’s permalink, select the format and scroll down to the end of any comments, where you’ll find the download link. blip.tv provides you with the high-quality source files.
  • Building43 videos are also available as an iTunes video podcast subscription.
  • For those of you running Miro, there’s a Miro subscription, too.

Don’t get me wrong.

Alhough I’m not yet enthusiastic about Building43, I am very much looking forward to seeing how the site evolves. I have the greatest respect for what Robert Scoble has done and continues to do for the internet.

It’s just that I’d love to see Building43 really helping to get the message across and not becoming another shout-out platform for Silicon Valley celebrities.