My Thoughts on Video Communications

I wrote this article for my Media Imaging and Sound interactive communications class at Quinnipiac University. Enjoy.

The Significance of Video on the Web
I remember discovering YouTube sometime after I moved to New Mexico in 2005. For all of us television watchers, YouTube naturally entertains us. The Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments video went viral for me. I shared it with everyone I thought would enjoy it. I drank Diet Coke and my company promoted Mentos in the local market during the late 80s. That video had special meaning for many of us and now it was easy to share by linking to it.

In honor of our mental trek thinking about the significance of video on the web, I revisited the “101 bottles of Diet Coke and 523 Mentos” movie. This time; I brought a more mature look at the video. Now, in addition to enjoying the explosive fountains, I read the stats and comments…

13.5 Million Views
40.3 Thousand Likes
1.5 Thousand Dislikes

A link declaring “as seen on: time.com” lead me to an article celebrating YouTube’s 5th anniversary in 2010 which placed Diet Coke + Mentos at #43. The number 1 position went to Charlie bit my finger – again! with 310.9 million views whose spin offs add another 40 million viewers. I wonder if in a few short years YouTube will worry about their number data programming due to the unlimited viewership ability to create staggering numbers. Will YouTube experience their personal “1999?” I believe billion is just the start of the large numbers we will be seeing on websites like YouTube.

Recently I discovered we must provide “closed captioning for the hard of hearing” to post video on our organization’s website. Due to the popularity of videos on the web, I believe “accessibility” will increase in importance. I have a good friend who’s hard of hearing. Our communications improved with the advent of texting. Fellow interactive communications student Monica Guy in her blog, Unleash Web Access, writes about “the power of technology for people with disabilities.” I have learned much about accessibility from her writings.

I believe videos need closed captioning. YouTube has responded and provides it as an option you can add. It appears fairly simple; I will be writing closed caption text soon — both because I want to…and because I have to. I wonder how it will work for me. Will editing be required to adapt the message to the medium? I suspect so.

Mobile computer phones (aka communication devices) will only increase in popularity; fast replacing desk top computers. Most phones now upload and posts to the internet immediately. More and more slice-of-life videos like Charlie bit my finger – again! will appear.

Price and size does matter. Constant communication has fast become a way of life also. Tablet computers will increase along with e-books; but android phones will be the norm for most of the world.

The size makes them the most mobile of all which requires us to provide good graphics and clean designs. This will separate the talented, computer graphic artists from the technical, computer graphics people even more.

In order to rise above the noise, we need to be smart about our approach to video production. Videos require clear messages to reach intended audiences; prepared scripts, stimulating visuals, and technical competency. Today’s audiences expect to be entertained. As interactive communications professionals, our jobs merge communications with entertainment.

That is what I think. Thanks for listening. Jan Bush

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