Week Ten: Video on the Web

Woo hoo – You made it to Week 10! That is fantastic! My name is David Lee King, and I’m facilitating this week’s lesson. And believe me, this week should be FUN. Here’s a video to get us started off on the right foot:


Most likely, you have already discovered YouTube, and have probably even received a link to a funny YouTube video in your email inbox. Did you know that you can use video in a library setting to introduce library services and tools to your patrons, and have fun in the process? This week, we’re going to learn how video applies to libraries.

There are different types of video on the web, including:

News video: Did anyone watch a clip from the Olympics online? If so, that’s a great example of new video. Most newspaper and television news websites have added video to enhance their stories. This type of video consists of traditional news pieces done by professional journalist and by “regular people” off the street.

Shows: Missed your favorite tv show last night? You can probably catch up the next day by visiting nbc.com. Go to Hulu and you can watch a lot of current and past television shows. And there are a growing number of shows created for a web-only audience and released in a web-only format.

Screencasting: Ever wanted to show someone how to use the library catalog? One way to do it is by screencasting. Screencasting takes video of your computer’s screen – mouse movements, clicks, etc. – and even overdubs your voice. This gives you the ability to teach people how to do something via video.

Machinima: Take your virtual world avatar (i.e., your World of Warcraft or Second Life character), and make a short video of the avatar doing non-normal stuff. For example, a librarian at my library used her World of Warcraft avatar to talk about the library.

Live video: Ever wanted to strap a video camera to your head and record 24/7? Probably not – but that’s how lifecasting started. There are a growing number of web-based services and tools that let you easily broadcast live. Some of these tools are desktop-based and use the webcam attached to your computer. You can also take lifecasting one step further and make it mobile – for example, some cell phones can now broadcast live video.

Video blogging: This is what I do with video. You’re probably familiar with a blog – thoughts typed and posted to a website. Videoblogging is the same idea, except posts are created with a video camera, and the video is posted to a blog.

Sharing, Productivity, & Community

So before we get to the nitty-gritty tools section … how does video fit into sharing, productivity, community and libraries? The sharing part’s pretty easy to figure out. Make a video about your library – your services, an event that’s happening, a new resource – and embed that video on your library’s website. Ta-Da! You have just shared useful content with your patrons. Same with productivity – show people how to search your catalog via a short 2-minute video. You will have just saved the patron’s time, which = productivity for that patron. You probably just saved time for yourself too, since with video, you can teach once then use that video for a long time.

But what about the community part? This is the fun part about video. There are many ways to connect with your community using video. There’s usually multiple ways to comment on a video. For example, the library’s blogpost that includes the video will probably have a comment box. The YouTube version of the video (if that’s where you uploaded your video) will also have a place to comment on the video. Comments = community.

But it’s about more than simply allowing comments. Want interaction? You probably need to ask for it. Ask for people to comment – in the text surrounding the video, and in the video itself. The first part of community and interaction is inviting someone else to comment. Since you are offering the video, you’re the one that needs to start.

Here are two examples – Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library and Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Topeka has been making videos for a couple of years now. I have been creating a weekly technology video show for the last 4 months – check them out! And Allen County makes a lot of videos, too.

Tools You Need to make video

The most important tool you need is a video camera. STOP! I know, you’re thinnking “but I don’t own a video camera!” Let’s take a show of hands – how many of you own a digital camera? I’m guessing that most of you admitted that you own or have access to (i.e., work or a friend) some type of camera that takes video. Remember – we’re not making the next Oscar-winning movie here. Our goal is to get our message accross, and any normal digital camera, basic camcorder, or even a webcam can do the trick. Many people are very successful with a Flip Camera. This runs about $129, and has one big red “record” button – dead simple to use.

Video editing software: The other big thing you’ll need is video editing software. If you own a computer that was built in the last 5 years, you have access to basic video editing software. All PCs come with Windows Movie Maker, and all Macs come with iMovie. If you want to upgrade, there are several software packages that offer more bells and whistles starting at around $100 (and on up). Figure out your software, and save your video as a .mov, .mp4, .avi, or .wmv, and let’s move to the next section – a place to put the video.

Store that video on the web. Your best bet for uploading your video is YouTube. Sign up for a free account, then click the Upload button and follow the instructions. Your video will be live in no time! blip.tv and vimeo.com are two other very popular services to use for getting your video to the web.

Other tools to try:

  • ustream.tv and justin.tv are both great places to livestream a video. Instead of recording a video, editing it, and uploading it later, with livestreaming you are broadcasting live. The video you make can be viewed as it’s being made.
  • qik.com – another livestreaming service. This works great on an iPhone (ustream does this, too). This way, you can livestream from a mobile device, wherever you are.
  • 12seconds.tv – just for fun. This takes and uploads video … but the video will only be 12 seconds long. Think Twitter, but instead of typing you’re talking.

Instructions for this week’s activities

So now it’s your turn. Let’s get some video-related activities going on!

Activity #1: Find a Video and Embed it into your blog

Find a video you like and embed it into a blog post on your blog. Maybe do a search on YouTube for your favorite hobby. Embedding is pretty easy, too. For example, with a YouTube video, look for the Embed link when you’re on YouTube. Depending on how your blog is set up, you’ll do different things with that embed code:

Activity #2: Make a video!

This might be challenging … and I challenge you to do it anyway.

  • Step 1 – go get your camera (or borrow one if needed).
  • Step 2 – start shooting. Take a video of your cat. Do a 30-second book review. Use Jing and make a quick screencast. Anything goes.
  • Step 3 – edit your video. I can’t help you much here – this will depend on what video editing software you have access to. If you need help, you can probably do a Google or YouTube search, and find just what you need! Do some basic edits, like add a fade in and fade out to your video. Then save it in a YouTube-friendly format.
  • Step 4 – get a YouTube account and upload your video.
  • Step 5 – embed that video on your blog, and link to it here, in the comments!

If you need help, remember to ask in the listserv – that’s what it’s for!

I’m looking forward to watching everyone’s videos – go get that camera, and start making video!

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