Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Favorite Web Video Creation Tool: Visual Communicator

Combine a FLIP camcorder with Adobe's Visual Communicator and what have you got? All the makings of a Do It Yourself video network. It's so easy, even a child could use it - and that's just what's happening.

I've often thought Adobe's intro video overview of Visual Communicator was sadly lacking, in terms of really showing off the program. You can also find a pretty amateurish video on YouTube that reviews it, as well. But today I finally discovered the best source of all: hidden away on Adobe's web site is a great webinar, which gives you a very useful, in-depth view of just how the application - which is used by thousands of schools, businesses, and organizations - works.

See the Adobe Visual Communicator webinar video here.

One caveat: just because this webinar is filled with educators who want to use the product, don't think it's just for kids. Hardly! It's my favorite business news tool. Read about one of the first stories to break on this technology originally written in the Washington Post.

I invited the original creators of Visual Communicator to speak at a vendor fair for internal communnications back in 2005 (at Wells Fargo) and during three days of presentations, the Visual Communicator product demo was the only one to receive an enthusiastic, unequivocal thumbs up - and a standing ovation!

Friday, August 22, 2008

David Pogue Finally Discovers Flip Camcorder (Now That It Has 13% of the Market)

The Flip, which I wrote about three years in my book Create Your Own Digital Movies, has been my favorite camcorder since 2005. Like the Kodak Brownie, it's small, simple and doesn't have bells and whistles. Finally, my hero David Pogue has gotten around the reviewing it, in this video.

He admits he didn't take it seriously. But now he has. Take a look.

The model featured in this video is the Ultra...I have the Mino, which is a newer version, which I recommend over the Ultra. The Mino is smaller, lighter, and just as easy to use. For a comparison of the Ultra versus the Mino (and a more in-depth review) see the All Things Digital review from the Mossberg crew.

For me, the Flip has many advantages:

1. You can take it anywhere and you can strap it on pretty much anything.

For example
See here for a video of someone who's got it attached to their leg while rollerblading so you can get a dog's eye view of the street.

2. People often don't "get" that you're actually taking a video of them.

The Mino is so much smaller than even most digital photo cameras that people don't register that it's a video camcorder. That makes it a lot easier to get informal shots because there's not a lot of technology to get in the way between you and your subject.

3. Tripod

There is a tripod available, and it's also unintimidating.

4. Better than a web cam on your computer, too.

To me, there's something I can't quite grock about talking into a web cam on my computer. The angle of the lens is soooo wide and the lighting soooo bad, and I can see myself while recording. All of this adds up to a great big X-NAY on the webcam. I've deleted every one of myself using my computer. The Flip, on the other hand - well, it's just less intimidating. It's kinda cute.

See what you think - and let me know.

There must be a lot of us out there who love the Flip, because it's the bestselling camcorder on Amazon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Get the download: here's everything you need to know about YouTube, the community, and its history

Finally someone has gone where no man dared to go before...and that is straight to the anthropological heart of YouTube.

The acclaimed YouTube anthropologist Michael Wesch - who's first YouTube video (The Machine Is Us/Ing Us) got more than 7 million hits and explained to most of us what Web 2.0 is - had his moment of glory in front of the Library of Congress in July.

Even though this video is 55 minutes, you won't want to miss a single minute once you start watching. Catch it here!

This is the single best introduction you can get to the heart of YouTube - useful info to know before you start planning how your business or group is going to use this worldwide video distribution channel.

Monday, August 4, 2008

YouTube101.TV blog launches!

If you're like most small businesses, just getting a web site is a Big Job. Now you find out that's just the starting point. Everyone's talking about how to use "social media," Web 2.0, and viral videos to jumpstart your online marketing. (Plus there's your email campaigns AND your search engine optimization). And NOW there's video, too. How are you possibly going to find out how to use This YouTube/Web Video Stuff?

Don't worry - it'll be fun.

I've launched this blog to help people who are interested in using web video for their small business or startup. In the coming months, expect to find links to the greatest resources, success stories, and more insider tips and tricks here on (full on site coming soon; enjoy the blog for now.)