One down, one to go. [Updated to add that we will be re-recording the audio for both on better equipment this week, and adding subtitles following useful feedback]
Dana worked her socks off today on the editing of the Twitter digital video guide, which is now available for you to have a look at and share with Twitter newbies and sceptics alike. I also want to thank Michelle, Ceri and Alice for their contributions too.
What was interesting today was to see someone familiar with the principles of digital video editing getting the hang of, and mastering a more complex piece of software. What’s particularly pleasing with this project – and with the first digital video projects is that the laptop and software I bought some 18 months ago is now being stretched to its limits. It seemed to take forever for for the final exporting and conversion of the finished version to complete. At the same time I also got a feel for a whole host of new things that we can put into action for future digital videos.
I’m not going to claim it’s a sparklingly smooth all-singing all-dancing guide that flows seamlessly. These guides are not meant to be like that. Part of the fun with this sort of work is that you can create these things at home. You don’t need an expensive studio. For Michelle, Dana and Ceri as well as myself, this has been an experience in the art of learning what is possible – as well as trying to get round some fiddly, some difficult and some challenging problems that you don’t face every day. Why weren’t the file formats as interchangeable as we wanted? How do you convert file types to get them consistent? Why is the screen all fuzzy? Why won’t it export in a sensible format? How do we get the sound to a consistent level? What will we need to do to improve the sound for future digital videos?
Well, we’re all more familiar with the editing side of things on a complex piece of software. In each of the guides, there are different numbers of people involved: one for blogging with WordPress, two for Facebook and three for Twitter. Two people per guide feels like the best for me – especially if using them on a public platform. It’s strangely comforting to hear two other familiar voices coming from a presentation when you’re up there all alone or only with a dragon fairy for company. Three people as a number seems to make the editing process that little bit more complicated – though not having a suitable microphone didn’t help. Note for the future.
Did we need more time? Obviously for this one, but then we, or rather I, didn’t anticipate the problems that we came up against. I’ve got a final day of editing with the aim of getting this one up by Sunday evening. One of the things I need to consider is the familiarity of people with the screencasting and editing software that we have. Yet as Dana tweeted, having separate days for planning, writing and editing really helps. There’s also something good about having a couple of days where you’re not stuck in front of a computer but where you are talking about how you’ll go about solving a problem. When faced with a group of people that have either not met or are less familiar with each other, this really helps. In each of the two case studies, individuals in the group had not met each other face to face or had only met once or twice before.
“Can I/my organisation use these guides?”
Absolutely – so long as you attribute who made them. I’ve plonked a Creative Commons licence (Attribution sharealike 3.0 unported) label on the guides accodingly, and I’ve put them on the resources section of my work website too.
It’s less so about me and more for those that worked so hard with me to make them. The people I commissioned to work with me on this at the time were un/underemployed and are all still young. I’m sure by now you’ve heard the stories about how young people are being disproportionately affected by both the cuts and the recession. This is my bit for doing something to give even a few of them that extra fighting chance in a highly competitive jobs market. Given that all of them have, through their following and Twitter exchanges have helped build my Twitter and social media profile up, it’s the least I can do in return. So if you are going to use them in your organisation, please flag up the names of the very talented groups of people that were essential to producing them.