Update 10/7/06: Rumors of Google purchasing You Tube surfaced Friday in the Wall Street Journal, adding more curiosity to the story posted below. It makes me even more ambivalent about whether academic goals can be achieved on Google without guaranteed customizing.
Berkeley is the first school to have its own page on Google video, but I wonder why they chose that venue instead of the free iTunes U hosting format, such as the setup for Stanford. One reason might be that Google Video is web-based, and iTunes U requires the separate application iTunes, meaning that you are viewing videos on iTunes instad of in a web browser.
One problem I see with Google Video, though, is that when you choose a video, there is always a sidebar showing other videos that you can play, and even though the Berkeley page starts out looking customized, you do find questionable video thumbnails in that sidebar. So while you or your college community might have begun with academic intentions, watching a lecture on the science of global warming, your eye wanders over to “Another Hot Chick Dancing,” or “Paris Hilton’s New Music Video” (the thumbnails are often obscene without even viewing the video).
I’m not sure that’s the kind of global warming Berkeley intends.
Needless to say, I’m a little ambivalent about Google Video as an academic choice.