Im my cursory Google research, I found there are very few digital exhibits that use video technology at all, let alone use it successfully. The following comparison between two websites on the history of film demonstrates the challenge of integrating video in an online exhibit.

The first site I found was a digital exhibit titled Women in Film hosted by the National Women’s History Museum. I assumed because of the subject matter that this exhibit would rely heavily on video clips. Instead, the exhibit is composed entirely of text and images of movie posters, film stills, and actress headshots. Women in Film attempts to integrate video in their narrative a few times, but it did not work on my computer.

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When I clicked the “Missing Plug-In” link, I was taken to a site that tried to charge me $9.99 to play WMV files.

This “Missing Plug-In” notification exposes a central problem with using video in digital exhibits. Images and text will display the same on just about any interface (phone, tablet, computer) or through any web browser (Chrome, FireFox, Safari). Yet the same cannot be said for video technology. Videos require plug-ins; plug-ins can require updates.

Digital exhibits are much more successful when they present videos hosted on outside sources like Vimeo and YouTube. The 3-D Film Archive, for example, uploads vintage movie trailers and film clips to their YouTube channel and embeds these videos on their website. This tactic gets around the problem of plug-in requirements. YouTube videos are also more familiar to users and therefore more user-friendly. Lastly, and this may just be personal preference, but YouTube videos just look better and more streamlined when embedded in webpages:

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