Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Transcribing your VLogs, but only with your consent

Jay Krieger reflects on his observations regarding the debate on captioning or transcribing vlogs. This topic seem to have hit a nerve for some members of the Deaf Community. Jay discusses his own experiences of captioning and transcribing. He does not think it will be widely accepted by the vloggers, simply because the process involved somewhat burdens the vloggers. It also affects vloggers' natural thought processes and sometimes corrupts the ASL message itself.

However, Jay introduces Ben Vess (www.geocities.com/vlogtranscripts) and how his transcribing service could benefit you (and others). You may want to simply consent to a transcript developed by Ben and his group and have it kept on a separate website. The important thing he pointed out is that Ben exhibits respect for the ASL language and especially the vloggers' personal choices.


Anonymous said...


I HATE it. It is like Ben is invading us, vloggers. Look at thousand of hearings have their own vlogs but no cc. It is so unfair. Ben, please kindly back off. We dont want red, yellow and green dots at all. It is not a good idea. Leave us alone, COMPLETELY ALONE. Anyone on my side?

Jay, please stop worrying about cc. I have hearing children. I interpreted what Deaf Ninja was all about to them. My children watched over and over and watched me interpreting in plain and simple ASL. They got it and love it. They laughed first time when they watched. When they first watched it, they didnt have any clue but they love it. They still watch it and they act like that man. OH DEAR!!! Pls stop it. Stop worrying too much. UGH!

UGH, Ben, please dont do that to us. Leave us alone. Just finished shedding some tears.

Mother of two hearing children who enjoyed Deaf Ninja without cc.

Anonymous said...

Jay and Ben,

It is like you say the BIG F-word to us, deafie. That is an insult to us. I am totally moritifed by your idea. HATE it!


Jay said...

I am sorry if my vLog post upsetted you. I thought I meant well.

I believe everything in life should be given a chance. I also believe that if something does not work, it will simply die off.

If no vloggers want to take advantage of this, the service would fade away. We have this freedom of choice, that should never be taken away or forced upon us.

The Internet is free for all, all should feel free.

Yes, believe me, this post would be my last one on the subject as I am ready to ramble on about anything and everything else.

Michele said...

I saw your transcript written by Ben Vess on your vlog on the other day, it was EXTREMELY TOO LONG! It kinda of ruined your vlog's appearance. I'm not sure how this will work out -- we need to feel the pulse among the deaf community, some will go for it and others won't. I think if a transcript is made, it makes a deaf person feel like he/she "failed" in English, that is my interpretation of why many deaf people are so aghast against it.

browneyedgirl65 said...

I'm agog. Hearies are the last people I'm thinking of.

I'm thinking of deaf folk who don't sign. I'm thinking of deaf folk who sign in BSL or something other than ASL.
I'm thinking of the deafblind.

Seems to me some people are thinking just of themselves.

Penny said...


I think you presented your arguement well. Carl mentioned similiar to your discussion here earlier today. I was thinking about this all afternoon and made a comment on Carl's blog. I hope you will have chance to read it so I will not have to copy/paste here. Remember this is your vlog and blog and you are entitled 100% what you want to discuss or what not to discuss. No one can tell you to back off. If anyone do not appreciate your vlog, idea or anything then therefore they need to back off and not you!!! Keep on vlogging! :-)

drmzz said...

I read in the past that some readers challenged us deaf vloggers to lead by example in terms of captioning or alt. means of access. We think we did just that.

I'm OK that this access is *optional* and not required. I think this is the best compromise we can come up with and is only an experiment.

Anonymous said...

Jay --

You're very genius! I've really enjoyed your perspective vlogs. I concur with you about the burden when you post the internet. There is no question about that. Overall, transcribing issue is not very easy thing to do.....with the consent. If you want to have the transcript in your vlog, it is going to be a heavy burden. That is because you want to make sure if your transcript to be satisfied and not to get misunderstanding. Lots of work to do if you want to transcript in your vlogs.....

I know you, Jay. You're wonderful.

White Ghost

Paul said...

Drmzz, I think you're right. :-/

I fully agree that it should be 'optional' for the vloggers to caption their vlogs. I also see nothing wrong with a reader making a request, there's a difference between a request and an insistence.

I've never came across a reader who made demands in relation to my blog/vlog. Mostly, just feedbacks and friendly requests.

I just don't see why we need to generate so much drama. I can understand how some people may feel like they're being "insulted" in a sense when it come to their literacy skills. However, I don't think this is the case. What I'm seeing here is a person who's trying to provide an access to these unfamiliar with ASL.

Heck, I think I even had a part in 'inspiring' browneyedgirl65 to learn the language of ASL as she made several references to my vlogs in the past on her blog. ;-)

I can't say I'm surprised at all the heat this subject is generating. I knew this was bound to break out someday.

Now that 'someday' is here.

Paul (aka Banjo of Banjo's World)

drmzz said...

I think so too, Paul. If one is so worried about (mis)translations, what's the point of using interpreters? This is merely information-sharing and if such a service can reach more people who may benefit from such available information and inspires them to learn the truth from actual deaf people and learn about ASL, so be it. They need to hear from actual deaf people, not the media.

Thinking out of the box is healthy progress. BTW, I always like your cool intros in ur vlogs. Creative.

Chris Heuer said...


I wish that there were a way to not insult anyone (deaf or hearing) regarding issues of literacy (in either language). I think it'd be SO GREAT to have two-way translations of everything and make everything 100% accessible.

I also have a question, respectfully: So long as the origincal ASL text (vlog) is not altered in any way, and as long as it is made clear that the captioning is the best that captioner/captioning company can do, then is there really an issue with compromising the integrity of the ASL text itself? Aren't the ASL text and the captioning (the English text) separate products? Why can't the latter be consumer-driven, just like any other information based service? If there's another company out there that can do a better job, let them try! Market competition will soon force lousy captioners/captioning companies out of business, and vloggers can simply refuse to allow poor captioners/captioning companies to translate their stuff...

Thoughts on this, anyone?

(sorry if this gets printed twice... I don't think it worked the first time...)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jay,

Please stay strong and stop worrying about not providing captions. Don't you find it ironic that writers of Outspoken Berke and Der Sankt don't offer ASL translations for their blogs and complain about vbloggers not offering English versions? They don't practice what they preach. Ben should not interfere and let hearing people understand what Deaf people have to go through...Hearies have millions of blogs in English to enjoy while Deafies like me have only a few vlogs to enjoy and I don't want captions to interfere. Thanks!

Chris Heuer said...

Hi All:

You know, it occurs to me, this need not be a problem. What if all blogs simply came with a feature... they originally showed up in ASL, with no captioning "interference" of any kind. Then if you wanted captioning, you simply clicked on something (assume that captioners would have captioned it already) and it pops up, much like if you use the tv remote to turn on captioning, it comes on.

That way the ASL vlog shows up in all of its originality, and if you dont want captioning there, then initially, it's not. But if you do, you click, and there it is!

Would that work? And would it be desirable?

Susan said...

Perhaps Ben can put in a green spot for ASL only (those who don't want any captions), an orange for (those undecided) and a red spot for captions included. This way the green (positive) shows 100% ASL vlog. :) (instead of the other way around).

I think it's great that Ben is willing to use his time to translate vlogs (approved by the vlgoggers) into English so that many hearies can finally get to see and understand our point of view on various issues and topics.

I understand about others wanting to keep ASL pure. If there's no captioning, many hearies might become curious as to what we're talking about and learn ASL themselves to find out.

Anonymous said...

Without captioning ASL vlogs don't travel,and, no-one outside the ASluser will know whatthey're saying. You have to meet people half-way, if they are FORCED to go the total immersion, my way or the highway approach,they may just switch you out.

I am unsuer how much of a norm ASL IS in AMerica but I DO know that in the UK e.g. with quite varied 'regional' approaches to sign, without captions, many DEAF signers would be left out.

What the antis are promoting is eltitism let's face it,it's 'Ours' but so is your isolation.... Carl and many others are very intelligent and and respected ASL users who WANT to widen deaf people's appreciation of ASl culture and sign language, I'd like to KNOW just what he is saying, and cannot spend a year or so trying to master ASL !

If I did a vlog in BSL YOU wouldn't be able to follow it, am I therefor excluding YOU ? Minmising access is blocking that view and aim we all earnestly support deaf awareness.

Why be so aggressive because people have looked at ASL logs and taken an interest ? Is ASL some 'secret' or something ?


Anonymous said...

Jay, I received an email and agreed to keep the author's confidentiality. Here it goes:


I am so pissed with Jay after watching his vlog about Transcribing your
VLogs, only with your consent. I don't like it at all. I don't wish Ben
Vess to contact me asking me or put red, yellow, and green dots at all. It
is like invading. Ben Vess needs to back off. And shut up. Oh boy, I am
venting it all out to you. GRRRRR! I hate that idea.

Jay said...


Well well. People have their freedom to express their opinions. I welcome and respect different opinions, whether they jive with mine or not.

However, I do not see why your anonymous person emails his/her opinion to you (which is perfectly fine), but then did you really need to post that person's opinion on my blog under your name. Where did you fit in?

Is this about credibility issue? --giving that anonymous comment an additional value by adding your name?


Anonymous said...

Umm I am wondering why so many are objectin to maybe caption on their vblogs or such. Yet if they see something that isnt in caption that is verbal they scream bloody murder lol. Whats the big deal?
Then again I can understand asl being their language yet if they want to clearify things then learn correct english and do it themselves as they put this stuff on the net and should know the world is going to view it .Take into account all the posts, one can see many text in asl.....