Thanks to everyone for joining me on Tuesday for our webinar on Video Storytelling. I really enjoyed hearing from you about using video on your websites and found your questions to be insightful. The questions you asked touched on many of the issues that video professionals around the world are tackling: mobile device compatibility, choosing hosting and how do we use this effectively?
You can view and listen to the whole presentation here: https://umconnect.umn.edu/p29665602/
Now, let me take a moment to answer the questions I didn't have time to address.
Q. Is there training available for Final Cut Pro?
University Technology Training offers one introductory class to video production called, "Media production and publishing." You can read more about it here: http://uttc.umn.edu/training/courses/description/?designator=ML101
I have not taken this course, however, I have heard from others that this is an introductory course and doesn't go in depth on any particular software.
To be honest, I wouldn't advise trying to learn Final Cut Pro first if you are an absolute beginner. Most people that use FCP have taken several years of undergraduate coursework to learn how the software works. To put it in perspective, the user manual for Final Cut Pro is actually 6 books long! If you want to learn the basics of Final Cut, start with Final Cut Express. Apple's website offers some basic tutorials on how to use the software that will help you get started: http://www.apple.com/finalcutexpress/tutorials/
I like to think of Final Cut Express as the training wheels for Final Cut Pro - and we all know what happens if you try to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels!
If you want more training on Final Cut Pro, consider looking into taking a class from the Art Department, such as ART 1601, which is considered an introductory course.
Q. How do you decide between MediaMill and YouTube?
Every video I produce is stored in MediaMill and YouTube. Why? MediaMill is great for sharing content between my colleagues and provides us with a searchable archive of all of our content. It is also integrated with our content management system and provides the feed to our website. We also put the videos in YouTube because it then becomes part of the University's channel (www.youtube.com/umn) which is fed to YouTube EDU. (www.youtube.com/edu)
I like to think of MediaMill as our primary hosting service and YouTube as one of our "outlets," which also includes iTunesU and Facebook.
Q. Have you done any research on whether your users want video vs. text and photos?
I know I discussed this a little bit during our webinar, but I wanted to touch on this again. One of the ways in which I can determine the "value" of video as a part of how we present information on the web is by looking at the ratio of "click-throughs to plays." For example, last week we had the story about the custom shoe designer on the home page and the story received 2,197 click-throughs between Tuesday and Sunday. The video logged 1,148 plays in that time. That means that 52% of the people that wanted to learn more ALSO spent 3 minutes with our content. While it is difficult to pin down an industry standard, in the time I've been logging this information it seems that anything above 30% is generally a sign of successful content integration.
As I mentioned during the webinar, every user is going to consume information differently. It's our job to try and provide them with the best content possible and be discerning about when to use video. Using video just because the media is fun and new isn't good enough. We need to be strategic about WHY we are choosing the medium.
Good luck on all your video projects and I'd love to see any final products as they become available!