Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Some of you may have heard of National Novel Writing Month, otherwise known as NaNoWriMo. It's a wacky but well-loved tradition, in which thousands of people from all over the world (so it's really International Novel Writing Month, if you want to get technical) attempt to write a 50,000-page novel in 30 days. I've attempted it four times and won it twice (I wrote about my 2008 triumph in What is Steno Good For: Writing and Coding, if you're interested). It's always a blast, and every time the end of October rolls around I get that nagging little hankering to write another novel, but this year it's just not in the cards. I'm CARTing for four students at three different colleges, five days a week plus prep and editing time, transcribing an average of one ophthalmology interview per workday, and frequently working weekends doing theater captioning and other per diem CART work that comes along. If I tried to carve out the time for NaNoWriMo, I'd have to cut corners somewhere else, and I don't want to do that. But I thought of something I could do, to get in the November marathon spirit: NatCapVidMo. You guessed it: National Captioning Video Month. I've decided to caption one online video per day throughout the month of November, using the amazing free utility provided by Universal Subtitles. The great thing about Universal Subtitles is that it not only works with YouTube videos, but with virtually any embeddable video hosted anywhere on the web. I made a test video this afternoon and it was absolutely amazing how quick and easy it was:

So from now until November 1st I'm going to try to put together a list of videos in need of captioning. Requests will definitely be considered, of course, though I reserve the right to ignore them and put up something that tickles my own strange fancy instead. I know this blog is usually pretty low-traffic, and I understand if one post per day exceeds readability for some people. If so, just remove me from your RSS feeds from November 1st through 30th and add me back on come December. But I think it'll be fun. Anyone else who'd like to join in would also be very welcome. If it goes well next month, I might even make it a yearly tradition. What do you think?


  1. You are awesome. That is all. I could try to do the same but Nov/Dec is the busiest time at work I might struggle to keep up. I do love using Universal Subs though :)

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