3 things for Friday:
VIDEO AND YOUR WEB SITE. I know people are under pressure to create more video content for the Web. But if you create and post underwhelming multimedia content just for the sake of posting multimedia, you're essentially teaching your audience it shouldn't waste time clicking on multimedia you post. And you're wasting production time you could instead spend creating content that WILL draw clicks.
A friend told me about his Web site's video initiative: Getting people in the profession to stand in front of a branded backdrop and read a list of their top things to ... (etc.)
Is it doing well, I asked? Not so much, he said. And I offered this explanation:
-- Video of people reading things is lousy video; its chances of going viral -- or even just being shared -- are close to zero.
-- Video of people reading a list isn't an efficient way to convey information. It requires viewers to take notes. Which they won't.
To draw an audience on the Web, video and audio should do things text CAN'T do. It should be funny or sad or gripping. It should transport viewers or listeners. It should have that often-intangible quality that makes someone want to share it.
If you're creating video for your Web site and don't have the immediate urge to share it with your friends, family or coworkers, why would your audience feel any different?
Create video and audio that makes you gasp, that makes you laugh, that makes you cry, that makes you proud. As difficult as those things are, those are the marks to aim for.
In this case, I recommended that my friend post the best-of lists as clickable texts. And that he stop posting video of people reading things.
Instead, interview them ABOUT the items on their lists. Ask them why they picked those things, ask them about the reactions of people to whom they've made these recommendations, ask them about the terrible things they DIDN'T put on their lists, ask them for their funniest stories about the things on their lists. Get them talking naturally and enthusiastically about their recommendations. Bonus points for video showing the items in question.
Want feedback on your Web operation? Just ask.
... And now, those two other things:
TEMPLE, MOVIE SHOOTINGS COVERAGE COMPARED. The Week takes a look at the media's different reactions.
NASA RISING. Why the best digital media coverage of Curiosity's landing on Mars came from NASA. And why that's worrisome.