A participant in one of my workshops recently said, “Our job is about storytelling [...] and the best stories are told by people.” I certainly agree with the first part, storytelling is at the heart of most of our work. The second part, however… (To avoid chaos on my Twitter: I do believe people are the only ‘thing’ able to tell engaging stories and I don’t see algorithms taking over anywhere in the next 20 years, at least.)
One of the most powerful tools for (online) storytelling is without a doubt video. I often use video in my workshops to clarify key points or keep people focused. Although video is traditionally difficult and expensive to produce, I do think we shouldn’t neglect it in our (online) content strategy. One only has to look at Tate’s video channel, the wonderful Ship Song Project or the Troy Library video I shared earlier to understand video’s potential.
In recent years online video has gone way beyond the linear, 480p stuff that made stars of Rebecca Black and Carly Rae Jepsen. We can now automatically create interactive video’s with gaming elements that are fully embedded in the (social) web, for free! Five tools that might help kickstart your institution’s career in online video.
1. Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker
Without a doubt the most exciting innovation in online video is Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker. This super simple tool allows you to add photos, text, interactive elements and even real-time tweets to any (online) video. Simply look at this example TED video to discover the possibilities:
Quietly launched not too long ago, Galahad allows you to create interactive videos that let you control the order and outcome of any video. YouTube allows similar things, but doesn’t have the gaming elements that are part of Galahad. You can help sort a murder if you want to try it out.
A somewhat older service (now hidden) turns any Wikipedia article into an interactive video. Something new is coming soon to our iPhones (says the website) and if its an improved version of what Qwiki already does, this might be very interesting for museums that wish to spice up their online collections:
Wibbitz turns any blog or newsfeed into a clickable video. I’d love for Google Reader to integrate this so going through the usual 500+ unread items would be easier (for instance, while cooking). It even makes this blog look hot and happening:
5. YouTube’s 3D
Of all the technological innovations in video I think YouTube’s incredible 3D options are the most impressive. If you have a 3D rendering of any video, YouTube automatically transforms it into all possible 3D formats, even those that don’t need glasses. Considering the normal difficulties setting up a 3D television, this is really quite amazing.
The speed of new innovations in online video is incredible. I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of great new services. What are your favourite tools for online video and where do you think this is headed?
Header photo by Erick C. on Flickr.Tweet
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Five thoughts about digital engagement strategy after ten days in Sydney