Online Video Dictionary – Review of Wordia Video Dictionary

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wordiaWordia n. Pronunciation: ˈwərdia-ə,hī-

1) A website dedicated to allowing users to create videos to be used as definitions of words. Self-proclaimed ‘democratic visual dictionary.’ Owned by awesome television; half television production company, half software company, led by television development producer Edward Baker.

What is it?

Alright, for the better definition of Wordia I’ll sum it up in one sentence. It’s a place to upload videos you’ve created to demonstrate a particular definition of a word.

Egotistical? Probably.

Entertaining? Definitely.

Wordia gives its users focus where YouTube completely lacks it. By giving a loose framework for the content of the uploaded videos, Wordia may have found a niche no one else knew existed

Whether you agree or disagree as to the value of the site and the definitions provided, you can’t deny that it’s an innovative concept. It’s like those writing exercise books for those of us who experience writer’s block (luckily I’m quite immune to this). You have been given a direction, an idea or, in this case, a word which you must then use to generate some creative content. Some of the content is quite funny, for example the (now deleted?) video that defined ‘shit’ as:

an interjection, taboo an exclamation expressing anger, disgust, etc.

The video contained a subject who was two knuckles deep in his nose digging for gold when he realized the camera was on and said “shit, is this thing recording?” It seems that the ‘democracy’ favors censorship over free speech though as this video is no longer available.

Another humorous entry, which is rather popular, is Banana, which was apparently filmed at the Edinburgh Festival (it’s a music festival) which ended with a rather humorous twist. The humorous twist at the end could be seen by some as vulgar, yet this video is still available. Don’t even bother with many other ‘four-letter words’ as they are simply not to be found. It seems of their 76,000 headwords not all of them will be allowed video content, even though they have full on definitions.

Much of the content appears to be self-generated in that many of the Word of the Day entries have the same background and have been professionally developed by Awesome TV Ltd. from the look of things. Again, not very democratic now is it? Maybe even borderline narcissistic and self-promotional.

What’s the use?

Well I can’t really see one. I mean the site is along the same lines as (and powered by) YouTube. It’s just a community setup to share videos about something. As I said at times they are entertaining, but if they are going to censor our words that some people might find offensive then I can’t really agree with their so-called democracy.

This isn’t a place to promote your business. It’s not a place to drop viral videos and it’s nothing more than a virtual showcase for your desperate need to be seen and heard. Yes, the website is well developed and easy to use. But the question I guess is do you need to use it?

Please don’t misinterpret my words. I am not bashing the site. In fact I spent a good hour or so already perusing words and have even contemplated making a few of my own. But there’s no point to doing so other than self-aggrandizement and the entertainment of others. Of course making people laugh is good work and so if you’re in that line of work then I suggest you check it out and bring a smile to the faces of a select few.

Will this ever be taken as a definitive resource in regards to finding the definitions of words? It’s highly unlikely even though they have teamed up with Harper Collins, The National Literacy Trust and The Open University. An idea just struck me while I was writing this in fact. The site truly seems to be self-promotional in that much of the content has been generated by the company with many of the users being labeled ‘presenters.’ Some other words now come to mind about Wordia, some of which might never see the light of day on their site.

Regardless, I give them credit for the creativity and the innovative use of video on the web. They have certainly taken the dictionary out of its stable and reliable past and set it upon the shaky and unpredictable landscape of the future. I just hope it won’t crumble under the weight and take the English language with it.


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