Saturday, December 15, 2012

When does online video work?

Tim at Mumbrella asks whether online vide is journalism’s final frontier? He claims there is no definite rulebook as to what works.

The key question - in fact the only question - that needs to be asked is WHY would someone want to watch a video rather than read a transcript or short article with photo(s)?

1. Is it incredibly funny or astoundingly cute visually for at least several seconds?
2. Is it someone so famous/beautiful/sexy that people want to watch them rather than just read their words?
3. Is there an interaction/reaction that cannot easily or as satisfactorily be transcribed?
4. Is it an astounding, amazing, spectacular moving sight?
5. Is it a beautifully crafted and edited piece of moving, and/or musical, visual art?
6. Is it a phenomenal piece of history?

Another way to look at it is "no one needs to hear a policeman speak". Unless he has no clothes, green skin or matinĂ©e idol looks, I don’t wish to watch his verbal statement to media, I’m quite happy to read it.

If photos can convey what your video can convey, then use photos (try a slideshow).

Video is never worth it just for the sake of it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

4 great graphics apps for business

Get creative while giving your business ultimate visual appeal. These days you don’t need to be a professional photographer or graphic designer to add some colour and visual buzz to your business. These are some apps that are easy and enjoyable to use, and could give extra appeal to your website or social media feed.

Windows Phone, iOS
This brilliant, free app from Microsoft Labs allow you to easily turn digital photos into 3D panoramas. All you need is a camera smartphone and you can quickly create spectacular, useful scenes that can be uploaded and shared from Microsoft allows 20GB of storage - even for commercial use. Photosynths are ideal for businesses that need to show off locations, such as the real estate or hospitality industries.
Suggestion: use it when checking out venues or recording the progress of a building development. example

Cinemagraphs, also known as "cines", are high quality, animated gifs that looks like moving photos. Created from video, only a selected area of the image is animated, reducing the file size and making it look more like a photo than a movie. They’re easy to create, and a fantastic way to add subtle movement to your site, creating a dynamic quality without the need for Flash. Cinemagram also allows you to upload and share your creations online.
Suggestion: put a cinemagram of your office on your website to create a sense of serenity. example

With Diptic you can combine multiple photos to create a new image. It’s great for sending a quick collage, rather than multiple images. There are a range of templates for between two and five photos, as well as customisable, expandable layouts.
Suggestion: use it to combine several images of people at an event, to convey the busy atmosphere. example

Adobe Photoshop Express
Android, iOS
Adobe PhotoShop Express is a free image editing app for smartphones, with a Flash-based online version too. It allows you to very quickly and easily crop, rotate, straighten and flip your photos, as well as adjust exposure, colour saturation and brightness. There are extra tools you can buy, such as a self-timer, noise reduction, and extra effects.
Suggestion: brush up a quick self-portrait if someone needs you to email a last-minute profile pic. example