Video is the Ultimate Social Object

When I started blogging on ProPR in 2005, blogging was strictly a text only affair. My first post was a headline with text. That’s all that WordPress, my chosen publishing platform, could handle.

But things didn’t stand still. And there were a rapid series of improvements to blogging software that let me add pictures, audio and video to my blog. Today, I include pictures in every post on ProPR to provide quick cues about the subject matter of the post. Depending on the subject, I may include an audio clip. However, more and more of what I produce involves video.

Video is the ultimate social object. It is visceral and immersive. It conveys a sense of personality. I can hear my publishing experience extends beyond text-based posts to include audio and video.

My colleague, Mike Edgell, has answered the question of “Why video?” in a short video. I think it makes the point very effectively. Take a look at it. And if you find it helps you explain to people why video is becoming the ultimate social object, please feel free to share it. It’s on YouTube with a Creative Commons Share Alike Non-commercial license.

Coming to a small screen in the palm of your hand

Terry Fallis, Dave Fleet and I are weeks away from launching a new video podcast. And Terry Fallis, Dave Fleet and I have completed three demos. With each one, we’ve changed the setting -

starting in our boardroom,

then moving to a couch and chairs and,

finally settling on the staff gathering area just outside our kitchen. And we think we’ve found the right spot.

There must be a reason why people arriving at a house party often head straight for the kitchen. We just feel comfortable there. It’s where we gather during the day. We share meals with family and friends. We relax there. So, that’s where we’ve decided to produce our video.

We’re not quite ready to launch publicly. But soon.

Amber MacArthur and the MGI team will share video production tips at Third Tuesday Toronto

ambermacAmber MacArthur, Chris Dick and Jeff MacArthur will be our speakers at Third Tuesday Toronto on May 25. They’ll be sharing their tips on how to produce great video that people will want to watch, share – and maybe even pay for.

Amber has earned a reputation covering and commenting on tech through traditional media Citytv, CP24, and CBC, and new media. Every week she can be heard with Leo Laporte on Net@Night. Together with Chris and Jeff, she produces the CommandN video podcast. They’veĀ  also made online video production a successful business, MGI Media.

ThirdTuesdayTorontoAmber, Chris and Jeff will provide Third Tuesday participants with advice on how to shoot and edit video, how to create community around your videos online, and how to monetize online video.

You can register online to attend Third Tuesday Toronto with Amber, Chris and Jeff.

And as always, thanks for our sponsors, CNW Group and the Berkeley Heritage Event Venue. Their support allow us to keep Third Tuesday a free event for the community.

Overlay.tv: It's about creating community in video

When Overlay.tv launched in Beta on February 15, it was widely and positively viewed as a potential building block in the future of online video and advertising.

I’m told that Overlay.tv is making good progress toward a full release. As I write this, a new Beta is days away from release. And the folks at Overlay.tv are saying that release will be a minor step and won’t last long.

Rob Lane, the CEO of Overlay.tv, has been notching up the profile of Overlay.tv in advance of its release, with recent appearances at Social Media Breakfasts in both Boston and Ottawa.

I’ve created a four minute video of the parts of Rob’s presentation in Ottawa in which he describes overlay.tv, how it can be used to add relevant content and product information to any video.

Some of the things he said that caught my attention:

“If you look at video today, essentially it’s a passive experience. You put a video up. You sit there. You watch it. You may turn away and do something else. … What we’re trying to do at Overlay is to create a deeper interaction. And that interaction can be everything from hot spots to conversation in video to building community around video itself … It’s all about transforming what is a passive lean-back experience into an engaged experience.”

“If you create a video that people are interested in, they are more likely to want to interact with that video. … [Your choice of overlays is] all about relevance. [to the content of the video]”

“It’s about creating community in video.”

If you’re interested in knowing more about Overlay.tv, I’d recommend that you follow @roblane and @bitpakkit (a.k.a. Ben Watson, Overlay.tv’s Vice President of Marketing) on Twitter. Both Rob and Ben maintain an active presence on Twitter. Overlay.tv does have a blog. However, it has not been updated since April 25. (Come on guys. I’m sure you have lots of great content you could share. How about an “overlay of the day” to start with? ;-) )

Also, Mark Blevis blogs and podcasts his take on Rob Lane’s appearance at Social Media Breakfast Ottawa

Podcasting and Video Blogging Best Practices

An all star panel - Robert Scoble, Andru Edwards and Mary Hodder - promised to reveal Podcasting and Video Blogging Best Practices.

Robert Scoble: Start out by knowing the story that you want to tell. And edit it to tell the story from a distinctive perspective.

Expectations of production quality are going up. Rocketboom is using a $1,500 HD camera. While not everyone uses this quality of equipment, people expect better quality sound and images that don’t shake.

If you are using a cheap, on camera microphone, stay close to the subject to eliminate the ambient background noise.  A wireless microphone is a worthwhile investment.

Mary Hodder: People will engage more with quality video. So, if you want to reach your audience, it is important to improve the technical quality of the video you post.

Robert Scoble: It’s still early days for video on the web. So, you can experiment.

Andru: Edwards: You can even use a still camera to capture short web quality videos.

Mary Hodder: Freevlog offers good resources for people interested in video blogging.

Robert: It’s a fun community right now. Because people are experimenting and trying things out.

Video bloggers can obtain sponsorship revenues by hosting their video blogs on revver.

For casual video bloggers, Robert suggests they look at bliptv, YouTube, google video or similar services. However, when uploading video to a service like YouTube, read the EULA (licence agreement) closely. You may be giving up the rights to your content.

Libsyn is another affordable solution for hosting podcasts and videos.

Mary’s company, dabble, is a search and sharing site for video. (Robert asked, so it was OK for Mary to talk about it.)