Why use web video to reach your audience?

Because it’s growing by leaps and bounds, that’s why!

“The number of unique viewers of online video increased 5.2% year-over-year according to The Nielsen Company, from 137.4 million unique viewers in January 2009 to 142.7 million in January 2010.”  I’d like to think that a few of my videos that I created in the last year have contributed to a growth in that number.

Today I did a count of my videos, and discovered that I  created 27 business research videos and 21 library-related videos (like the ones I post on this blog)  in 2009. My business research videos were viewed over 2600 times, and the more general library videos have been viewed over 4200 times.  Most of my videos took less than an hour to produce, from start to finish, so the return on investment is quite huge.  It’s good to know that something that takes so little effort to put together is getting used so frequently.  For me, web video offers a great way to reach my users.

I’m in the process of putting together a series of blog posts on how I use and create web video, including services, tools, and more.  Hopefully librarians and others will find the information useful. Look for the posts coming soon.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about web video, please leave a comment.

Because it’s growing by leaps and bounds, that’s why!

“The number of unique viewers of online video<a href=”http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/total-viewers-of-online-video-increased-5-year-over-year/”> increased 5.2% year-over-year according to The Nielsen Company</a>, from 137.4 million unique viewers in January 2009 to 142.7 million in January 2010.”? I’d like to think that a few of my videos that I created in the last year have contributed to a growth in that number.

Yesterday I did a count of my videos,and discovered that I? created 27 business research videos and 21 library-related videos in 2009. My business research videos were viewed over 2600 times, and the more general library videos have been viewed over 4200 times. Most of my videos took less than an hour to produce, from start to finish, so the return on investment is quite huge.? It’s good to know that something that takes so little effort to put together is getting used so frequently.? For me, web video offers a great way to reach my users.

Does Flipshare degrade sound quality when uploading to YouTube?

The FlipShare software that comes with the Flip cameras allows you to do some really cool things with ease.  One of the features it has is the ability to let you easily upload a video to YouTube from the FlipShare menu.  It’s a convenient feature that doesn’t require the user to open aweb browser and go digging for the file.

The FlipShare window
The FlipShare window

Unfortunately, uploading a video to YouTube this way can have negative affects on the video, particularly the sound.  As an example, take a look and listen to the following video.  This video was uploaded with the FlipShare software.

Now watch and listen to this video, which was uploaded via the YouTube website by browsing to the raw AVI file on my desktop.

In the second video, you will notice that I don’t sound like I’m talking underwater, as I do in the first video. The sound in the second video is clear, but the first video the sound is quite garbled or hissy.

YouTube file names
YouTube file names

In looking at the screenshot above, it appears that FlipShare or YouTube does something to the file when it is uploaded via the FlipShare program.  The raw AVI file is changed into a file named Video 67, and for some reason it does not have a file extension.      This file name change could be the result of the compression that the FlipShare program uses, and the result is degraded audio that has a slight hiss.  I have no idea what causes this, but my only advice would be to upload your Flip videos via the YouTube website, rather than through the FlipShare program.

An awesome webcam video

This video is  a very creative use of webcams, videos, and creative storyboarding and scripting.  This appears to be some kind of music video.  According to Adverblog, “the cast was selected from the actual Sour fan base, from many countries around the world. Each person and scene was filmed purely via webcam.”

SOUR / 日々の音色 (Hibi no Neiro) MV from Magico Nakamura on Vimeo.

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Social media and the Tour de France

It’s no secret that Lance Armstrong is riding the Tour de France this year. He’s been all over the media and the web. He’s got a huge following on Twitter, and he is getting tons of comments on his TDF training videos and training blog. So what’s the big deal about using video and twitter and other social tools? Well, if you’ve ever heard anything about the Tour de France, or pro cycling in general, you probably know that the support is not without controversy. Every year, riders are disqualified for blood doping or using banned substances. The race officials have started really cracking down in recent years, yet there are riders (or teams) who choose to cheat. I’ve been a follower of Lance on Twitter for quite some time, and I believe that he is using it, and other social tools, to be more transparent about his training, his life, his Livestrong organization, and his life in general. Below are a couple of really cool videos from his website which show the human side of Lance. In both cases, we have a world famous athlete talking with everyday folks while riding his bike. It’s often hard to think of athletes or celebrities as real, approachable people, but I think the videos below show the Lance is a person on a bike, not a machine.

I’ve written recently about the importance of putting pictures of staff on librarywebsites. I really think that social tools like online video can help to personalize the library website and make it more approachable. Video and pictures from staff members can make the library more welcoming by breaking down the barriers and fears that users may have of the organization. By showing the people behind the institution, libraries can make their sites, buildings, and services more accessible.

Take a look at the videos below.

A video of Lance riding a TDF training route with an 8 year old boy


liamlivestrong.MP4 — powered by http://www.livestrong.com

A video of Lance talking with a lady from Ohio on the TDF route


ohioguest.mp4 — powered by http://www.livestrong.com

It’s a small world after all

Last night I got an IM question from a student while staffing our IM reference service.  She was in the stacks, but “was totally overwhelmed” with how many books we had and was very confused about how to actually find a book.  Since four floors separated us, I decided to send her my video on how to find a book in our library.  It’s a rather cheesy video that I made last summer with my Flip video camera.  As is typical, after sending the student the link to the video, I never heard back.

This morning, I taught a library session for a freshman English class.  About 45 minutes into the class, two girls mentioned how they had watched my video last night and found it really useful.  It turns out that the girls were the same patron that I sent the video to last night.  It was a very cool “small world” experience, and I was able to use the experience as a way to promote our Ask A Librarian service to the other students in the class.

I’m glad that the students found our IM transaction to be helpful, and that got me to thinking.  What if I had given them bad service last night?  What impact might that have had on their experience during this morning’s class?  How would it have impacted future library experiences?  What if they told their classmates that they were treated poorly?  We almost never get to meet or see the patrons that we help via IM, chat, or email.  With IM and chat, there is almost never a real name tied to the patron on the other end, so it can be easy to be less personal with the patron.  If you’re having a bad day, it can also be easier to be rude or short to a person who you cannot see, or whose name you do not know.   The girls this morning were extremely engaged, and worked very hard during the session.  They asked a lot of questions, and I think their overall impression of our library is very positive.  I wonder if we assumed we would meet each virtual patron the next day in person, how might that affect our interractions with our virtual patrons?  Likewise, how might our patrons’ perceptions of the library change?  It’s a small world, after all, and it’s only getting smaller.