If A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words, What’s The “Value” Of Video?

When YouTube debuted, I remember thinking what’s all the fuss?

You obviously don’t want me reading tarot cards at the local county fair.

Universal McCann’s study on social media on video traction shows that more than 80 percent of Internet users watch video online:

Universal McCann Study

With that said, I don’t know if anyone predicted that video would transcend the short-term gratification of youth and become a mainstay of business communications. Virtually every media product – from The New Yorker to The New York Times to EE Times – now showcases video.

The state of video creation today reminds me of the early days of desktop publishing when PostScript and the laser printer essentially put the tools of the designer, typographer and printing press at the disposal of the masses.

Not a pretty picture.

You see the same dynamic with business videos as everyone jumps on the bandwagon.

Like the early days of desktop publishing, most people don’t have basic video skills much less the ability to tell a story through video.

Back to EE Times (targets an engineering audience), take a quick look at a recent video in which the reporter Mark LaPedus interviews an executive from Global Unichip Corp.

I venture to say the only people who watched all 399 “scintillating” seconds were Global Unichip employees.

I know LaPedus, and he’s a damn good reporter. No doubt the powers that be at EE Times have charged their reporters with creating videos but have neglected that one small detail called training.

On the positive side, compelling videos in the business realm are finding their way to various media platforms. And thanks to increasing demand, there’s a huge opportunity for those who can package a compelling yarn on video.

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4 comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Sarah Lafferty July 25th, 2008 4:57 am

    I daresay the Global Unichip employees probably didn’t get past the first 10 seconds. But I feel sympathy for Mark. It’s not fair that publishers ask their writers to start being their own photographers, shoot video, record podcasts or even blog without offering any kind of training on the tools, techniques and the rules. Even so, some people, many of which are writers, are not visually artistic or natural performers and will never develop the skills to frame the perfect shot or present a video. I know that times are tough in the publishing world, but if you can’t deliver professional and engaging multimedia content, you’ll only damage your brand and frustrate your staff by going low budget.

  2. Lou Hoffman July 25th, 2008 12:57 pm

    Well said.

    I think we get a glimpse of the future at the CNN job site at http://www.cnn.com/JOBS/. It highlights the entry-level position of video journalist; i.e., schlep your own camera, produce your own stuff and come back with compelling video.

    In short, easier to shape youth then make a reporter who’s been writing for print for 20+ years camera ready.

  3. Edith M. Laga November 3rd, 2008 9:38 am

    I think it lets you get a glimpse of not only video-journalism – when I started to study (which is almost 10 years ago) we were already trained in all “disciplines”: print, radio, video and online. I think young journalists of today are under the pressure to become allround-talents, no matter which segment they want to work in.

  4. Lou Hoffman November 4th, 2008 8:06 am

    I just heard through the grapevine that BusinessWeek conducted a video bootcamp to help its reporters get comfortable on both sides of the camera.

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