Interactive Transcripts

An interactive transcript allows viewers to click text to navigate video, and to copy text to get a sentence-level link along with the text. Share what you copied and it takes just one click to hear the quote in context.

The InSite system

I’m the lead researcher for the Rutherfurd Living History program at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. We’ve developed the InSite system, which is a workflow for recording, transcribing and organizing interviews and an open-source system for publishing interactive transcripts. The publishing system also allows readers to share quote lists. Each quote includes a direct link to that quote in the video. The system also allows publishers to annotate interviews and build annotated timelines. The InSite system is implemented on the Rutherfurd Living History site.

We helped FRONTLINE implement the system for it’s Putin Files project. We made interactive transcripts of the 70 hours of source interviews for Putin’s Revenge documentary shareable at the quote level.

Here are a couple of shareable quotes from The Putin Files interactive transcripts (anyone can do this with any excerpt from the 70 hours of interviews – select an excerpt, click to copy, and paste and you get the excerpt plus the length):

He is a man who is obsessed with TV. He watches tapes of the evening news over and over and over again to see how he’s portrayed, to see how he looks. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/interview/julia-ioffe/#1112

What Putin did when he came in was said: “OK, I’ve got a different project. We’re going to make”—if you will, to coin a phrase–“I’m going to make Russia great again”. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/interview/james-collins/#206

Here’s more information about the technology and the thinking behind it:
Our Research
An overview of the InSite system

The State of the Interview
How we got there

InSite: A Guide
A guide for recording, transcribing and publishing interviews

Technology to Watch

Colophon
The software that’s used to publish interactive transcripts on the Rutherfurd site