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Matt Makes Viral Video Delight & Super-Hit

Frank Capra used to say (regarding the requisite creative direction to make a movie), “One man, one movie.” In today’s world of viral video distribution, one man (or one woman) can make a super-hit all by themselves… or in this case with the support of one partner and a chewing gum company for a sponsor (no kidding). The story is well-written in this NYTimes coverage, “A Private Dance? Four Million Web Fans Say No” (although as of this writing it’s been viewed 5.5 million times.) The Times calls it, “an almost perfect piece of Internet art: it’s short, pleasingly weird and so minimal in its content that it’s open to a multitude of interpretations.” I like it for all of the reasons above as well as the fact that it’s just plain fun and makes you feel good. 🙂 (btw, clicking on “watch in high quality” is HIGHLY recommended, although you have to view the clip here on YouTube to do that.)

I also recommend viewing Matt’s “Dancing Out Takes” at http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/

New iPhone Videos Better Than Ever

I’ll leave the commentaries on Apple’s dramatic announcement of the iPhone 3G to others. I’ll only say that after holding out on buying an iPhone, I’m glad I did. Because now I’m ready! Half the price for double the speed (and all those new applications!) I’m going to get an iPhone 3G as close to July 11th as possible. That’s as strong an endorsement as I can make. And, I think the iPhone is truly the first, the leading and the most important mobile computing platform.

I also noticed that the videos of today’s announcement are better than ever. For example, here’s a nice little hightlight reel from the Wall Street Journal:

I also looked at a little of Apple’s streaming Quicktime version of Steve Jobs’ complete presentation, and the quality of that video looks better than ever at http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/0806wdt546x/event/

I also enjoyed and appreciated the excellent live blogging done by the TechCrunch crew. Their live blog posts included videos of key people and commentators pre-event (including a nice scoop that EBay would be announcing an application) as well as great photos during.

More Very Useful Explanations in Plain English

I’m going to claim this might be the best resource for explaining Web 2.0 communication platforms to newbies ever! See my post below about CommonCraft, and if you’re someone who would like a better understanding of stuff like blogs, RSS, social networking, podcasting, Twitter and more, there are easy to understand and remarkably clear and enjoyable CommonCraft videos about each of these subjects on the CommonCraft YouTube channel. Enjoy!

YouTube Video Quality & Flip Video Illustrate Latest Dynamics on The Video Web

One issue we’ve been dealing with that I think many people struggle with is how to get better quality video on YouTube. Here’s the most useful insights I’ve seen to date on this subject:

>> Read: “Hi-Res YouTube Hacks”

Some of you know that I’m impressed with the amazingly simple, little video camera called The Flip. Here’s why another thoughtful person thinks The Flip is important and perhaps indicates meaningful web video trends pointing toward our future:

>> Read: “Video Flips for the Future”

And while we are illustrating what’s cool about the rapidly expanding world of video on the web, here’s my son’s newest favorite short video, which clearly would not have been possible without “the video web” both in terms of production as well as distribution. Pretty cool, eh? Enjoy!


People in Order

Enhancements to the Video Web: The Mini-Camcorder Du Jour & Intelligent Video Conversations

A couple of quick blog bites (vs sound bites) from the NYTimes website which indicate continually brighter days ahead for what I affectionately call The Video Web:

First of all, my fave tech writer David Pogue not only reviewed my Christmas present (see posts and demo video below), The Flip Ultra, but his latest “State of the Art” column, “Camcorder Brings Zen to the Shoot” pretty much nails it. It also informed me–and I had no idea about this–that the Flip is now garnering a rich 17% of all US camcorder sales and “has been the best-selling camcorder on Amazon.com since the day of its debut. For Pogue’s finely articulated perspective, click here.

The other item is what appears to be a new feature on the NYT website, which is Bloggingheads.tv “diavlogs.” Language-wise this is a double-derivative term. I’ll bet most people don’t even know that the term “blog” is derived from “web log” let alone that a “vlog” is a video blog. Just the same I welcome this combination that creates a new kind of conversation. (kind of rolls off the tongue) I’ve been thinking and occasionally saying that the use of webcams and the ease of the current state of video conferencing should be put to more use. Little did I know that this kind of video dialog, oh OK, diavlog was being so widely distributed. And then imagine my delight when I found at least these two commentators talking about the Barak Obama race speech being more articulate and interesting than most of those duds on cable TV news shows. Right on. It was also nice to see the NYTimes editing down and providing a solid 4-minute excerpt of what appears to be an almost hour-long original conversation on BloggingHeads.TV At least the whole thing is there for you if you want it.

Click here to watch the NYTimes-BloggingHeads edit: “Obama’s Grandmother” which asks the scintillating question: “Is everyone missing the whole point?”

I have to add that the intelligence of this BloggingHeads conversation is in stark contrast to my experience experimenting with the Seesmic.com video “conversation” website which is mentioned in the Davos post below. That turned out to be an interesting attempt from a technological point-of-view, but extremely boring overall. Even Seesmic’s specially produced (and apparently funded) posts were disappointing (to say the least). Sorry. I liked their bushy-eyed enthusiasm, but there’s good web video and a lot that is not so good. Like everything else…

Quality Video Programming is On Now

On my less optimistic days, I feel like we’ve gone from “nothing on” crappy TV programming, to “too much on” kitchen sink internet video programming. But fortunately those days are few because of how much uplifting and inspiring stuff is out there.

Recently, rather than bottom feeding, I’ve been top feeding with some of the best online video programming anywhere.

Tonight I was browsing some great Talks at Google on YouTube (from obvious Google execs, to fascinating authors, to presidential candidates). And earlier this weekend, I caught a link (on an Amazon author blog no less) to yet another amazing one of the extraordinarily inspiring TED talks. Truly great stuff. These are also available via iTunes and, for me, has made having a video iPod worthwhile.

Here’s the latest TED talk that blew my mind. If you’ve ever wondered the meaning of all the left-brain, right-brain talk this will clear it up and uplift you as well, at least it did me:

By the way, if you’re interested in getting a full taste of the TED conference, I highly recommend the DVD, The Future We Will Create: Inside the World of TED. It’s a kind of greatest hits, behind the scenes look at the 2006 TED conference. Also, inspiring and uplifting.

See there’s lots of good stuff to watch. 😉

The Story of Stuff: Powerful, Interactive Online Education & Activism

I certainly don’t want to diminish the enthusiasm of those who are authentically spreading joy by giving gifts, but as someone who has not only been concerned about the environment and the people on our planet for many years, and someone who has been watching various forms of interactive online videos and Flash movies for those that are the most powerful and (in my humble opinion) the most likely to succeed in making a difference, I was really blown away by the twenty minute presentation:

The Story of Stuff with Annie Leonard

Please click the link above to watch this fabulous program and check out this great website (or watch the Flash video intro below). Then if you are so inspired, please “pay it forward.”

Happy Holidays!!

Google Mail Video Best Viral Video User-Generated Video Marketing I’ve Seen

Geez, I’m always posting about how hot the online viral video space is becoming, and wouldn’t you know it, here comes Google with not only my 2nd viral video post of the night, but one that leverages user-generated content to the max. Great stuff you all, and I really mean you all. And, oh yea, nice job Google for editing it all together in such a snappy fashion. More info here: http://mail.google.com/mvideo

Seniors Nintendo Wii Bowling Video Scores as Viral Video Marketing

Here’s a video that’s not only entertaining and about seniors using the innovative Nintendo Wii video game, but it is also a clever form of viral video marketing which subtly promotes a senior assisted living company. Expect to see more of this kind of thing in the future. This one is unusually well done, and they save the low-key pitch for last. Appropriately putting the fun first…

Recording a Skype Video Call, Good Fun


Yesterday, I had a pro bono client who wanted to demo a new voice mail system at a conference. I came up with the idea of using Skype to record the call and found Call Recorder (for Mac).

Today, because I had Call Recorder demo installed, while I was on a video conference call using Skype with a client, I had the idea of recording a message to my designer/producer having the client acknowledge his work in a video clip. Presto. Easily done with a click of a button.

Nice software. It works. Does what it’s supposed to as far as I can tell and only costs $15. Nice.

PS. Bonus, because Call Recorder records the calls as Quicktime movies, I can easily go into iMovie and add visuals to enhance the voice mail demo. Very nice. 🙂