Example of Using Video for Library Events

I’m still experimenting with video, as you can see here. This was taken today, at my library’s First Fridays event. This month, we had a band performing on the stairs to our way-cool library parking garage. We also had free hotdogs and an information booth! It was fun (if you’re interested, I took some photos, too).

So… here’s an example of a video snippet taken of a library event. This snippet (assuming it’s good enough for the average joe – I’m no Steven Spielberg) can be used to showcase library events, future First Friday events, etc. If a library has a blog and/or an RSS feed, the video can be sent to patrons – what a great way to get the word out about cool library events!

And it’s done in more of a “story” format, rather than in a formal, “look we paid lots of money for a TV spot” style, which seems to be nicer for the web. The video briefly tells the “story” of the First Fridays event, and provides viewable snippets of the event at the same time.

Time spent on this? Let’s see… 45 minutes of actual video shooting (including time spent eating a hot dog). 1-2 hours of downloading, editing, and exporting to Quicktime. And that’s because I’m not used to it yet – it would be faster if … well … I was faster. And then the time it took me to upload the video to blip.tv and write this blog post.

Any thoughts?

I am a portal…

Yesterday, I taught another one of my Introduction to Web 2.0 classes – this time at the Missouri Public Library Director’s meeting. There were about 50-60 library directors there, which was pretty cool!

Afterwards, they asked some great questions. One of their questions really puzzled me at first – someone asked me to explain the difference between a portal and an RSS feed. Really. I said something about how a portal is really just a large website with lots of links on the main page, and how an RSS feed isn’t anything like that at all – but still wasn’t really satisfied by my answer.

So as I was driving back to Kansas City, I was mulling it over… and here’s what I came up with.
Anyone remember Netscape’s front page from, say, about 1999? It was a portal site – lots of links, and the page pulled up information from different sources – reuters, stock information, sports stuff, etc – and stuck it all on that single page. I think you could even customize it a little bit. Pretty cool for the time.

Even though it was customizable, it couldn’t REALLY do all I wanted it to do. It couldn’t, for example, pull up the list of new fantasy novels at the local public library. It couldn’t deliver just the news I was interested in. So there were some definite limitations.

As I was thinking about that library director’s question, and was remembering all that stuff about portals … it dawned on me just how excellent of a question that really was. Because, with RSS:

I am the portal

And that’s a huge shift. In 1999, I had to rely on a company to gather the information they thought I might want. But today, with RSS, I don’t have to rely on said company. I can, instead, rely on MYSELF to gather whatever it is I want.
I can get the information I want, when I want it.

So now I have my answer (not that it’ll ever come up again :-).

Anyone else have creative, useful answers to questions about emerging digital technology? I’d love to see them.