Tag Archives: video

Case for no auto-play video or audio

18 May
Auto-play video cat

A polydactyl cat strongly reacting to auto-play video on a website.

Audio-play video or audio will immediately get a website added to negative usability example lists, incessant mocking, as well as, post-dating the website (what is this, 2002?). The major reasons for avoiding auto-play are:

  • Screen Readers: Usability annoyance (especially for handicapped/blind users)
  • People already listening to music
  • Users viewing page in an office setting

Auto-play media went out of fashion in 1998-2002 when more developers started to pay attention to their analytics and noticed that users bounced in droves when encountering auto-play (video or audio).

The correct way to display audio or video content is to introduce user to this content on a landing page (images, text and link) or your homepage and then allow the user to determine whether they will click on and play the media.

Need another opinion?

Auto-play is annoying.
Auto-play is really annoying.
Jakob Nielsen thinks it’s annoying.



Essential content includes video

14 Jul
Storytelling video e-book

Essential Content – Video helps explain our passion for content creation and storytelling video.

Ever since Lorrie (MrElshMedia) and I caught a glimpse of our first well-done e-book on David Meerman Scott’s WebInkNow we have been pining for the opportunity to actually produce our own.

Essential Content – Video is anchored on Lorrie’s website to help explain our passion for content creation and storytelling video.

After exiting the news industry (the hard way) in 2009, we began thinking about how much truly mediocre content was out there. Not just poorly written or edited, but lifeless appeals for attention. With so many questions to be answered, how could there be so much chaff en route to the target?

Our vow is to help people tell their story by focusing on:

  • Quick and nimble content: Please get to the point and explain yourself with a lead (one lesson retained from journalism).
  • Useful, usable, and share-able content: Can I help at least one other person answer a question or solve a problem?
  • Unique content: Reference or comment on other content, but mash it, poke it, and add your imprint to make it better.

Let Lorrie and Kevin know how you like it and if you can use it to make better content.

Storytelling video series was a Flip and a long walk

26 Nov

We dipped into the Grand Canyon at the North Rim and about 27 miles and four days later emerged on the South Rim with some great web content. Lorrie (MrElshMedia) and I were armed with a 14.4 ounce Flip Mino HD and an 8 ounce Sony Cyber-shot (8.1 mega pixel). We nursed the two hour charge of the 8GB Flip for four days, conserving video shots to hold a reserve for the South Rim exit.

We ended up using Cyber-shot video (using all of the 512MB memory stick) near the top of the South Rim to finish with 2:00 of Flip video.

A portion of the content strategy was to answer questions for other backpackers that we had when preparing for the trip. What I found online was randomly ordered video and text content about the Grand Canyon experience. Most of this content was poorly indentified, lacked place names, dates and proper tagging. What we thought would be helpful was showing what spots like Plateau Point looked like, where this place was in relation to other map points, and adding National Park Service, lodging, dining and shuttle info.

All MrElshMedia storytelling video was edited in Sony Vegas Pro 10. MPEG-2 HD files were uploaded to YouTube.

Find all five stories in the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim series here:

Lorrie and I have also shared these ideas and results on the MrElshMedia Facebook fan page, MrElshMedia website and MrElshMedia Twitter channel.

Content rehearsal for baseball recruiting video

13 Jul

Hey, second baseman. We’d like to create more engaging content for web video, and that involves telling a story. Your story needs to be clear and concise, and have a distinct beginning, middle, and end.

To make this distinct from 99 percent of other recruiting videos, we will omit the clichés. When athletes are interviewed they tend to move quickly to the end of a question set with pat, recycled responses. In crafting this piece of video, we have the advantage of preparing the response so that it is more thoughtful.

We’re looking for you to describe a single at-bat in detail. The best at-bat would be a success (base hit) with a multiple pitch count. What we are trying to show is a well-thought-out path and process that is combined with your athletic ability. A coach or recruiter viewing this will note:

  • Attention to detail
  • Following and processing coaching
  • Situational flexibility
  • Athletic ability

Begin thinking about the at-bat as you would be describing it to another ball player or friend. You’re speaking to a peer, perhaps someone who will be facing this same pitcher and situation. You’re excited at what you learned and the result and want to share detail with the other ball player so that he can hit off this pitcher.

Examples of possible responses:

  • “We faced this pitcher before earlier in the season. He’s got a great fastball and a decent curve.”
  • “Coach told us to build pitch count and let him miss with breaking pitches and wait for inside fastball.”
  • “In this situation, I had a runner on first base so I was thinking about this . . . “
  • “The third base coach was reminding me of this . . . “
  • “Behind in the pitch count with a runner on, I was reminded of this coaching . . . protect plate/make contact, etc. “
  • “You’ll see on this pitch I check my swing (I saw what I thought was a breaking ball and backed off . . . .”

The key is conveying a sense of mastery, joy and intelligence during such a brief, simple act as swatting a baseball.

So think though a favorite moment and rehearse it with a friend or your family so that when we shoot video, you won’t have to be loaded up with a lot of questions and cliches.

You want to convey honesty and intelligence and passion for your craft.

This will make you unique from most other recruiting videos.

Let me know if you have any questions or ideas.

Making the long tail of video more searchable

14 Jan

Good volume of video content helps, but not if people can’t access the video content.

Charles Tillinghast, President and Publisher of msnbc.com, talks about the use of metadata to help people find the long tail in news video instead of just the top 100 views.

Automatic transcription of the voice track of video has proven to be a big value by making video more searchable.

Raw video: Making something out of nothing

7 Jan

What would possess men to leave a nice warm poker game and venture out into the elements? This softball rivalry began over a poker game in 1937 in Elyria, Ohio and has spanned three generations to settle a dispute. The wisdom of settling the matter in January instead of waiting until June is debated each year during post-game festivities at the United Polish Club in Elyria.

Is this raw HD video visually worthy? Lorrie Cesarz decided to frame it with context and tell a story.

We struggled with two failed uploads to the MrElshMedia YouTube channel before noticing that the M2TS file format was for Blu-ray video. The HD video ended up in a MPEG-2 container and all was well.

Cash for clunkers: No disabling this conversation

4 Aug

This Volvo cash for clunkers engine disabling video had a mere 10,000 views a few days ago. We are now at 126,741 views and climbing. Add the 968 comments and you have quite a social media conversation for whichever entity would like to enter the debate.

Who will use social media to shape this debate through shared views and comments?