Stability Fix in Youtube

Here’s a cool new feature I just discovered in Youtube. I posted a short, really bouncy video (bouncy because I walk sorta bouncy). The video’s nothing fancy – really just me, playing with my new iPhone 5.

Youtube noticed the bounciness of the video, and automatically offered to “fix it.” And it did an ok job, too! Now the video looks really smooth (odd, since I’m talking about how bouncy I walk in the video), and there are some weird jerks as the automatic setting either gets a bit confused or is “catching up” to me. So be warned – your mileage may vary!

Below is a screenshot of what it looks like mid-fix. You basically get a split screen to see if the video looks better, and a Yes or No button for saving the video.

Simple stuff, but sorta cool and potentially handy, too. Check it out!

Youtube Stabilization

Creating Community & Driving Engagement #BEABloggers

bea bloggersThis was my panel session. I shared the panel with three fabulous people:

We each submitted questions beforehand. Here’s what I submitted (along with my answers). I focused on video and podcasting. This is what I planned to share – what was actually shared was just a little bit of this (panels tend to take on a life of their own once started, which is cool):

10 video questions

1. what equipment do you need to start making video?

  • you probably already have some type of video recorder: smartphone, digital camera, camcorder, webcam.
  • smartphone for audio recording too
  • any basic digital camera with video recording will work great for starters, or your iphone.
  • Nothing fancy until you are ready for it!

2. what software should I use to edit videos?

  • Your computer comes with great software – Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.
  • Or get Adobe Premier Express or Apple’s Final Cut Pro – $100-300 or so.

3. what type of content should be in my video?

  • Thinking author here…
  • promotional video about your new book. Duh. Maybe a series of them!
  • short video about writing process
  • short video about a fun plot twist or character development
  • just a “I’m touching base with my readers” video
  • what are you excited about? Share that.

4. How about podcasting – what’s that, and how is it different from video?

  • Podcasting – audio; video = video. Some people call videos video podcasts.
  • podcasting goes on your iphone, in itunes. Video, not so much.

5. Where should I store my videos or podcasts?

  • Videos – Youtube.
  • Podcasts are harder. Start out with a free tool like Soundcloud. Then you can up that to Libsyn or Blubrry – monthly charge.
  • Videos – might also think about Viddy or Socialcam.

6. What do I do with my videos and podcasts once I upload them?

  • Never just keep them at Youtube! Well, unless you’re Justin Beiber or something.
  • Put them on your blog.
  • Social media – Twitter and Facebook.
  • LinkedIn? Tumblr? Wherever your followers are.

7. How can I make my videos more social? How do I engage viewers or listeners?

  • ASK. Ask for comments. Ask questions. Look at the camera.
  • example – ebooksforlibraries! We asked for petitionn signers. We got em.
  • Youtube – include annotations that point to subscribe, Like, Favorite. Other videos.
  • Make commenting easy – have them on your blog.
  • Ask for specifics – i.e., here are my top 5 – what are yours?

8. Do videos need to be scripted out? I’m not an actor!

  • Depends. Are you good at winging it or talking? Then probably not.
  • scripted Karl out for ebooksforlibraries
  • If you’re like me, you need at least an outline to keep you on track.
  • Edit out the ums and ahs. It’s video/audio, after all.
  • No, you’re not an actor. Just be you. People WANT to hear from you – they buy your books, don’t they?

9. How long should my videos and podcasts be?

  • Videos – under 3 minutes. The shorter the better!
  • Podcasts – can be longer. Think drive time or exercise time length.
  • If you’re interesting, they can be longer. You’ll see dropoff rates in Youtube analytics…

10. OK – I’m making videos and podcasts. How do I take them to the next step?

  • Video – lighting, mics, cameras. Upgrade when you hit a wall (and have the money)
  • Podcasts – mics.
  • Both – content. Make it better! Include your audience! Ze Frank is a great example of including audience in his video series.

Playing with the ProJive XLR iPhone Cable

I just bought the ProJive XLR mic cable for my iPhone. What’s it do? It’s an XLR to headphone jack cable adapter, and it’s made to plug a normal XLR microphone into an iPhone.

This lets me use my better-quality microphones (well, better than the built-in iPhone mic, anyway) for recording. It works with any audio app (like the voice recorder) or with video apps, too.

So – check out the video above, and listen to the sound. Not bad for an iPhone video, huh? Also listen for the unmistakable cell phone interference – that “beep beep beep” noise that you sometimes hear when a cell phone is close to some speakers. I’ll have to experiment more – if that interference happens a lot, the cable isn’t going to be all that helpful.

But we’ll see. Until then, I can now get quality audio in my iPhone videos effortlessly. Sweet!

Visual is In – Are You into Visual?

me, giving a visual thumbs up to visual!Two huge social media sites have been mentioned in the news in the last couple of weeks: Pinterest and Instagram:

What’s going on? Why are these two sites so hot right now? Well… it’s because of this:
  • Pinterest = visual
  • Instagram = visual
  • Facebook = visual (depending on what you do with your status update)
  • Youtube = visual
  • etc.

Visual is in. Why? Because you visually “get it” immediately. It takes seconds to look at a photo and understand what’s going on. It’s very easy to look and like … and then click through to the meat of the post/site/message/video/etc if the visual carrot being displayed is interesting enough to make you click.

Is your website visual? Do you use visual parts and pieces to get people interested in your stuff? If not, you should maybe take a hint from the growing popularity of visual-based sites, and … add some things to look at.

Some visual starter ideas:

  • blog post – add an image that relates to the post. The image can help some people “get” the post better (I’ve had people tell me that about the images I use in my blog posts).
  • Video post – make a short video, showing off a new thing in your library. Videos are easy to watch and share. Since the video is usually embedded into a site, there’s a visual component, too. Do video well, and people will stick around (and hopefully click around, too).
  • Facebook – add an image of that packed program. This visually shows popularity – much better than having someone type “the event was really well-aattended.”
  • Twitter – tweet links to your photos and videos.
  • Pinterest, Instagram – start experimenting, and figure out how (or if) you can use one or both of these for your organization. I’ll bet you can.
  • Websites – add photos and graphics. That’s what we try to do on our website, and our customers love it (they’ve told me that numerous times).

How are you making your website visual? Adding visual elements to social media?

Library360 – a new Video Series for my Library

Here’s the first video for Library360, a new video series for my library. Our goals are pretty simple (or lofty): to introduce our library’s customers to the library – our services, staff, etc. All the cool stuff the library does that doesn’t always get noticed.

We’ll see what happens!

In the meantime, here’s what our plan looks like for the video series:

  • 3 minutes or under (didn’t quite make it at 3:16, but we were close!)
  • big goal – make the library more visible to Topeka
  • post a new video every two weeks
  • do this for one year
  • ask for interaction (likes, comments, subscribers)

Question – anyone else doing a regular video series for your library? I’d love to know about it!