Peter at Video 2 Zero is going 7-crazy on his blog, with what will eventually be 8 great posts.
Newspaper Video – 7 strategies for success(maybe) outlines the following very intelligent advice:
1. Ban people who teach videojournalism from judging videojournalism awards. This is just a self-fulfilling method of promoting an unproven agenda. Yes I am a great teacher – students who follow my methods win awards.
2. Ban videojournalism awards, that are not based on real world performance. The very notion of refining video strategy with rosettes assumes that there are an elite group of judges who have the answers every one is looking for.
3. Encourage transparent competition – put all the videos on youtube get journalists to compete for “minutes-viewed” or whatever. Video-journalism is a trade/craft – it is not an art-form. Dieing penniless and scorned is not an option.
4. Get reliable metrics. What does “1000 hits on a video” mean? Did anyone ever watch past 30 seconds? And if it does mean 1000 people watched the whole thing, then how many people watched the first 10 seconds then clicked out?
5. Fail fast – the idea that audiences take time to build is seductive. “Is our policy working? Well people need to catch on”. People caught on to the iPod pretty quick.
6. Caffeinated video – Habits not hits. This is the biggest problem with metrics – it is relatively easy to measure minutes viewed, but it can be difficult to tell the decaf from the regular. Until you notice your customers keep coming back for more.
7. Telling truth to power. As a commercial videographer I produce videos for clients who want to present certain aspects of what they do in a certain light. Way too much video on newspaper sites is doing the same thing. The client/subject agrees to collaborate with the videographer, knowing that he will receive positive treatment. It is not in newspapers interests that the barrier between journalism and press releases is further eroded. Not in my interests either.
“When you take an emotional story and edit it down to 2 or 3 minutes you transform emotion into sentimentality. When you don’t edit it down then you better have an engaged audience if you expect anyone to watch it.”
(via Robb Montgomery – apologies for confusing the authorship on this one, and thanks to David in the comments for the correction)