I’ve told my story about diving into social media before, but today, I’m adding a new chapter to that story. I’ve started video blogging.
It’s not that our team at Sprint doesn’t have video capabilities — we do. We have an entire fully equipped television studio at our headquarters where I can connect any television reporter via satellite to a colleague for an interview. But as great as the studio resources are, they don’t always meet my needs. Sometimes, I need to quickly shoot a video and I don’t have the budget for a high end production or the need for one.
My trip to North Carolina for our Sprint 4G launches was a good example. I was traveling back and forth across the state and I just wanted to capture a few minutes of footage to share with reporters and my co-workers on our Intranet’s social network, Sprint Space. It didn’t make sense to spend a great deal of money to accomplish what I was looking for.
So before I left for Charlotte last Sunday, I bought a Flip video camcorder. I spent $200 at a Best Buy and got the HD version with built in editing software. The camera fits in your pocket and has 2 hours of recording time and 8GB of memory. The editing software very pretty intuitive for basic editing.
I have to say, this thing is foolproof and perfect for someone like me who isn’t gadget savvy. As I met reporters, customers and colleagues, I shot several short videos and added them to a You Tube channel I had set up earlier this year.
When I went to the local Fox station in Charlotte for an interview about Sprint 4G coming to North Carolina, the executive producer of their morning show told me that he keeps one on hand for breaking overnight news. Due to budget cuts, they no longer keep a camera operator working on the overnight shift, so if there’s breaking news, he goes out and shoots it himself and then edits it at the station. Eventually, he hopes to outfit his reporters with the Flip cameras for this purpose. He’s also intrigued with the possibility of getting them Sprint 3G-4G air cards so the team can email the footage straight from the field.
It’s not just broadcasters who are using these little cameras, print reporters are, too. One Washington Post reporter I work with uses video clips to augment her print stories as they appear on WashingtonPost.com. Another CNET reporter I work with is doing a great deal more video since they were bought by CBS.
Sure my camera work and editing aren’t the best, but I expect I will get better with practice over time. Already I’m surprised at how quickly my You Tube videos have been viewed — I’ve gotten 100 views in less than 24 hours. (I certainly can’t connect with that many reporters or customers in the same amount of time.)
Let me know what your experience is with video and please, send me your tips on what I can do better. (I need all the help I can get!)