blog post #343
Finally! This work has been postponed basically since the earliest days of my career as a writer in this niche. I’ve been “meaning to get around to that” for literally several years now. No longer. The first video is done.
My readers and customers always think of things I didn’t, and see problems I missed. Please let me know what you think of this first effort. A lot more videos are coming, so the sooner I work out the kinks, the better.
Jason Snell, a MacWorld editor and a writer I’ve followed and admired for years, recently published a video of himself messing around with Apple’s intriguing new “Siri” voice command tech for the iPhone 4S. The video got a lot of traffic and attention, particularly because Siri is generally amazing, but still makes just the sort of amusing, mockable error you might expect: taking Jason’s dictation, Siri typed “iPhone 4 ass” instead of “iPhone 4S.”
So cute! Steve Jobs would have laughed. And then fired someone.
The next day, Jason tweeted this:
Lesson learned: People like to watch videos. Siri, remind me to make more videos.
That’s why I’m now (finally) getting serious about producing videos for this website: video is taking over the internet, because people love it, and I cannot ignore it any longer.
Plus, it’s fun to work with. Fun and hard work …
Animation was an ambitious video style to start with, but I chose it because it’s good at punctuating concepts in a way that no amount of “talking with my hands” can pull off. (And I’m camera shy.) This video is just eight minutes long. How long do you think it took to bake those eight minutes?
Number 3 is the correct answer: about 35 hours, spread out over a couple weeks, which rough equals about three hours of production effort per minute of video. Yoiks.
I will speed up. This first project involved significant initial investments and one-time only setup jobs, learning curves as steep as cliffs, and major production experiments and mistakes that I will never have to do again. For instance, I had to hang draperies on three walls of my office to prevent echoing — a significant, one-time-only detour. And I had to learn to do serious work with new equipment and complicated software I’d only ever tinkered with before.
The video was made primarily with Apple’s Keynote, which is great for syncing animations to a voice track, and then stitching sections in iMovie. I recorded with a Blue Yeti USB mic — an impressive piece of equipment that can do things that no consumer mic was capable of a decade ago, when I was doing radio work. This first project involved learning curves as steep as cliffs.Back then, that kind of mic would have cost thousands.
Throughout production, I was impressed at how I have upped the ante yet again for the amount of computing power and storage I need. For years I have had “more Mac than I need,” because I’m a tech hobbyist and I like things to run as smoothly as possible. But this job really needed computing power, and it was a pleasure.
Videos will always outrank articles on Google, all other things being equal. Or so I’ve heard. This is one of the best reasons to publish videos — Google promotes them. In less than an hour of publishing this one, Google put it on the first page of results searching for “it band myths.” That’s astounding. Jaw-dropping. The results weren’t as good for less specific searches, but still … the fact that it appeared at all, and within the hour, is quite remarkable.
There are also 247 more articles and eight big tutorials on the website, plus dozens more timely updates and “posts.” See the complete categorized index, or get some reading recommendations for patients or professionals.