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Advertising revenue is down, newspapers are struggling and as the economy takes a downturn production costs are up, at the same time online readership and revenue continue to rise. So what's the answer? Go where the eyes are.
Whether you are writing, taking pictures, shooting video or recording audio you can build communities with your content. But only if you take it online.
Three years ago online video was something I mostly only viewed. I'd played around with recording and uploading video but this was a long winded haphazard affair involving hand coded xml files every time I wanted to add a video to my podcast.
Then, if I wanted to share it further afield, I'd upload it to YouTube giving me the option to embed on a website or link to it in an email or forum.
Now it's just as easy as sending an email. Many of the sites I visit today are either video conversational platforms or at the very least places where video is being shared and commented on. Video is now a medium of conversation.
Recently I have been asked more and more by companies: "Do we really need to get involved in video?"
The short answer is "Yes."
For me, engaging with online video is a no brainer.
The easiest way for me to explain why this shift from old analogue methods of communication to online ones is so important is to compare online video with TV. The buzzword for a while now has been 'social media', which does exactly what it says on the tin: it allows people to have conversations on a new level of engagement, be it from an entertainment or marketing perspective. TV could not be further away from this world. The most interactive thing TV can offer us is the red button. Nowadays people expect a conversation with their content.
TV advertising is also fleeting and expensive. After the cost of creating your media, you pay for your slot and when it's gone it's gone. Online video on the other hand, can be made at a fraction of the cost, and if you spread it intelligently it's viewable forever. Not only that but the viewer can comment on, respond to, and share it for you. This conversation around your content keeps it alive, relevant, and in the public eye way beyond other forms of old analogue media.
Online video is also instantly global, searchable, on demand and with viewing stats that are easily measured. Whether you want content for your website, to launch a brand or product, produce video news releases, or just show the human side of your organisation, you need to have a presence in the digital world, you need to be using online video. Like I said, it is a no brainer.
So for a little while now I've offered one-to-one consultation and informal training sessions on all aspects of social media and video making for the web. Now, for the first time, in conjunction with Econsultancy, I'm going to be able to offer a formal workshop called 'Video For The Web'. I will show you how to do produce content cheaply and effectively. I cover the kit, how-to shooting tips, file compression, uploading and aggregation, how to make your video visible, and loads more. Whether you wish to use some of the free solutions out there like Twitvid, Tokbox or Qik, or shoot HD on a handheld device, I will be there to guide you through selecting suitable equipment to shoot, edit and distribute your video effectively.
4.7 billion videos are watched online in the UK every year. Make one of them yours.