“I, like the rest of journalists and editors working in this industry, know we need to improve how we capture, produce and deliver multimedia content. The problem is media companies have been slow to embrace the Internet. The fact is, they all talk a great line, but still struggle to understand this rapidly evolving medium.Sixty-year-old executives in suits still don’t have MySpace pages or blogs. This makes it hard for them to really understand the importance of using social media sites as a distribution network.”
Heres the advice:
- Fix the players. Too may newspaper websites have crappy video players that take too long to load, don’t work with all browsers, have no full screen mode, don’t allow you to embed code or share with social media sites. Video need to be tagged so search engines can find them.
- Invest in decent compression software likeSorenson Squeeze.Then test until you find the best setting for your audience.
- Use in-house distribution servers. Brightcove is fine, but I think having to wait for a video player to load is a deal breaker. Video players should be easily embedded in the page and should start up almost instantly.
- If people can’t find your video, then it’s not worth the time or effort to produce. There have been lots of discussions about how video has a long shelf life. I can attest to this. Inmy Video Journal blog,many of the posted stories continue to receive hits over time. Some videos or slideshows take off and become viral months or years after they are produced. Why? Because they are findable in my blog archive. Too many newspapers post a video for a day or two and then it drops of the radar. That is death for hits.
- Invest in a decent content management system. Too many websites,like mine,have been cobbled together with legacy code that doesn’t allow you to use Web 2.0 tools to enhance media distribution. At The Spokesman-Review, we are in the process of installing a newEllington CMSand we will have a ground up redesign in the coming months. This will allow us to showcase our video in new ways.
- Propagate your video. It doesn’t have to live just on the “multimedia page.” Embed it in your newspaper’s blogs, stories and home page. Upload it to You Tube, iTunes.
- Invest in technology that will speed up the editing process. There’s a whole new generation of video cameras coming out that are tapeless and allow you to cut the capture time by 90 percent.
- Train, train and train some more. Multimedia quality won’t improve if producers don’t know how to do it better.
- Find a better model than pre-roll, which just makes your viewers hit the back button. If you’re going to continue to use pre roll ads, then make them less than seven seconds. Thirty-second ads are for TV. Web users are not that passive. I know there is a way to monetize video, it just hasn’t been discovered yet.
- Finally, as multimedia content producers, we shouldn’t give up on innovation. We are the one’s who took the risk and made the jump to video. Yes, we are fatigued from the fight, but we need to press on. The industry is changing and we need to be better prepared for when digital distribution becomes the standard. It’s a long road ahead.