Why I do long videos and tell mass audiences to go elsewhere

Andrew Bourland notices that the way to build an audience is to do short videos. Beet.TV is kicking my a&&.

But, as Kathy Sierra teaches us, it’s not all about size of audience. I used to get that request over at Microsoft all the time.

See, you assume I’m going after a mass audience. If I were I would have posted my “Surfing porn shootout: Firefox 2 vs. IE 7″ post already. THAT would have gotten a mass audience. Of course it would earn me a divorce, too. :-)

Instead I post long videos of Thomas Hawk shooting pumpkins. THAT will NEVER get a mass audience. First of all it’s only going to be interesting to people who care about photography and, even worse, only to those who have digital SLRs.

Same thing when I get a startup or a team from a big company on. How many people REALLY care about RSS readers, for instance? Not many. Probably less than 1% of the overall market.

I’d love to have the passionate ones. That’s who I do my show for.

84 thoughts on “Why I do long videos and tell mass audiences to go elsewhere

  1. Do I need to buy additional lens for video camera? Can the original lens handle low light situation like night scenes and inside conference? What other len filters should I get to cover different situation?

    Would you use a soft camera bag or hardcase for transport?

    Any good suggestion on those 4 leg tripod with wheels?

    Vloggies can get away by using unediting video footage. For TV Show editing is important to show the best footage to achieve the optimal viewing experience. Audience time is precious. No one want to waste time to watch even 10 or 30 sec advertsiing spot.

    I wonder if Vloggies can include corporate and business, and the talent side like slide design, editing, sound.

  2. Do I need to buy additional lens for video camera? Can the original lens handle low light situation like night scenes and inside conference? What other len filters should I get to cover different situation?

    Would you use a soft camera bag or hardcase for transport?

    Any good suggestion on those 4 leg tripod with wheels?

    Vloggies can get away by using unediting video footage. For TV Show editing is important to show the best footage to achieve the optimal viewing experience. Audience time is precious. No one want to waste time to watch even 10 or 30 sec advertsiing spot.

    I wonder if Vloggies can include corporate and business, and the talent side like slide design, editing, sound.

  3. Dude, IMHO: You are an awesome, straightforward, candid, tough, etc. interviewer but you need a partner on the video production side. Your videos don’t need to be shorter necessarily but they do need to be edited. There’s no point to encoding in H.264 and shooting on a great DV camera if that’s the only aspect of the video with high production value. Otherwise you might as well be doing an audio podcast.

  4. Dude, IMHO: You are an awesome, straightforward, candid, tough, etc. interviewer but you need a partner on the video production side. Your videos don’t need to be shorter necessarily but they do need to be edited. There’s no point to encoding in H.264 and shooting on a great DV camera if that’s the only aspect of the video with high production value. Otherwise you might as well be doing an audio podcast.

  5. to see if I can share the video in public

    Yeah, I’d be very interested. “Strict movie script guidelines” actually make it easier, over open-ended, imho. But yeah, if hundred of clips, short bursts, frame by frame timing, well…2 weeks easy. :)

  6. to see if I can share the video in public

    Yeah, I’d be very interested. “Strict movie script guidelines” actually make it easier, over open-ended, imho. But yeah, if hundred of clips, short bursts, frame by frame timing, well…2 weeks easy. :)

  7. ScobleShow interview is a more simple editing. It is filming the speaker one way, not including interviewer Robert himself. The corporate video took 2 weeks long because the editing must follow a very strict movie script guideline. Just the movie script is 20 pages long not including the non-script scenes. It composites hundreds of individual sequences of 5 sec to 20 sec video clips. I have to edit frame by frame to get the best cut of each sequence before combining hundreds of sequences.

    I’ll ask our chairman in his good mood day to see if I can share the video in public. There may be some sensitive information we don’t want our competitors to see.

  8. ScobleShow interview is a more simple editing. It is filming the speaker one way, not including interviewer Robert himself. The corporate video took 2 weeks long because the editing must follow a very strict movie script guideline. Just the movie script is 20 pages long not including the non-script scenes. It composites hundreds of individual sequences of 5 sec to 20 sec video clips. I have to edit frame by frame to get the best cut of each sequence before combining hundreds of sequences.

    I’ll ask our chairman in his good mood day to see if I can share the video in public. There may be some sensitive information we don’t want our competitors to see.

  9. Canon XL-2 7.72 lbs
    3CMOS 1080p HDV Camcorder 3 lbs., 6 oz

    Both are good recommendations. What about tripod? Any recommendation on the tripod type that you can roll around with wheels. You can effortlessly change the filming angle.

    May be Video Technician is a better title for those handle those boring decoding, compression and dvd burning. Training and skill are more essential than age and educational background.

  10. Canon XL-2 7.72 lbs
    3CMOS 1080p HDV Camcorder 3 lbs., 6 oz

    Both are good recommendations. What about tripod? Any recommendation on the tripod type that you can roll around with wheels. You can effortlessly change the filming angle.

    May be Video Technician is a better title for those handle those boring decoding, compression and dvd burning. Training and skill are more essential than age and educational background.

  11. @34. Fair enough. Although it would be interesting to see if there are metrics related to how long a video some will tolerate watching on a not made for video device.

  12. @34. Fair enough. Although it would be interesting to see if there are metrics related to how long a video some will tolerate watching on a not made for video device.

  13. Robert, you said: “As for enough time editing, the 1:10 photowalking series took me about 12 hours of encoding, editing, compressing time. I’m not sure how much more time you’d like me to spend, but at some point the cost/benefit isn’t there.”

    My point is about the editing bit of all that. The rest is machine time. Any number of people have talked about being willing to unfocus during the boring bits to get to the nuggets. Editing out at least some of the boring stuff wouldn’t be so tough, would it?

    I wasn’t arguing for short videos in preference to long ones. I’m arguing in favour of sectionalised videos, each section of shorter length. Clearly you aren’t going to be uploading a 10 hour photowalking video – no one would stick with this. Similarly you are underestimating in my view the numbers who would watch your 45 minute videos if edited down to remove much of the dross, and/or segmented these into digestible units – but it does require more editing time.

    I’ve stuck with a number of Scoble Show videos because I wanted to find out if the topic was worth spending more time on. But more than a few others I gave up on out of boredom because I couldn’t see what the bottom line was going to be.

    So trying to be practical – what about a short 60 sec Scoble to camera intro to each video, produced after the video has been shot, that sets out what the key points in the video will be? Better than the 50 word description on the web page?

  14. Robert, you said: “As for enough time editing, the 1:10 photowalking series took me about 12 hours of encoding, editing, compressing time. I’m not sure how much more time you’d like me to spend, but at some point the cost/benefit isn’t there.”

    My point is about the editing bit of all that. The rest is machine time. Any number of people have talked about being willing to unfocus during the boring bits to get to the nuggets. Editing out at least some of the boring stuff wouldn’t be so tough, would it?

    I wasn’t arguing for short videos in preference to long ones. I’m arguing in favour of sectionalised videos, each section of shorter length. Clearly you aren’t going to be uploading a 10 hour photowalking video – no one would stick with this. Similarly you are underestimating in my view the numbers who would watch your 45 minute videos if edited down to remove much of the dross, and/or segmented these into digestible units – but it does require more editing time.

    I’ve stuck with a number of Scoble Show videos because I wanted to find out if the topic was worth spending more time on. But more than a few others I gave up on out of boredom because I couldn’t see what the bottom line was going to be.

    So trying to be practical – what about a short 60 sec Scoble to camera intro to each video, produced after the video has been shot, that sets out what the key points in the video will be? Better than the 50 word description on the web page?

  15. Regarding camera choice. Mine is NOT light and NOT cheap. I use a $4,000 Sony HD camera with a $700 Bogen tripod with a $500 Sony wireless microphone.

    Really great stuff, if you can afford it and carry it around.

    I think the real sweet spot, for most people, though, is the $1,500 Sony HD camera range, with a $300 Bogen tripod, and a wireless microphone.

  16. Regarding camera choice. Mine is NOT light and NOT cheap. I use a $4,000 Sony HD camera with a $700 Bogen tripod with a $500 Sony wireless microphone.

    Really great stuff, if you can afford it and carry it around.

    I think the real sweet spot, for most people, though, is the $1,500 Sony HD camera range, with a $300 Bogen tripod, and a wireless microphone.

  17. @30. So you concede that the fact that Channel 9 has 4.3MM unique visitors (but we don’t know how many stayed and for how long and what content they viewed, if any, while they were there) is not really relevant to your work at PodTech?

  18. @30. So you concede that the fact that Channel 9 has 4.3MM unique visitors (but we don’t know how many stayed and for how long and what content they viewed, if any, while they were there) is not really relevant to your work at PodTech?

  19. @29. It would also be great to capture that elitist Kerry thinking he’s still running for President and thinking this is the the late ’60′s and early ’70′s, talking about the evil military machine and attempting to undermine the morale of the military.

    I also agree it would be great to document voter fraud. For example it would have been great to document:

    Paid Democrat operatives charged with slashing tires of 25 Republican get-out-the-vote vans in Milwaukee on the morning of Election Day 2004 .

    * Misleading telephone calls made by Democrat operatives targeting Republican voters in Ohio with the wrong date for the election and faulty polling place information.

    * Intimidating and deceiving mailings and telephone calls paid for by the DNC threatening Republican volunteers in Florida with legal action.

    * Union-coordinated intimidation and violence campaign targeting Republican campaign offices and volunteers resulting in a broken arm for a GOP volunteer in Florida.

    * That task forces in Wisconsin found “clear evidence of fraud in the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee,” including more than 200 felon voters, more than 100 double voters and thousands more ballots cast than voters recorded as having voted in the city.

    * NAACP National Voter Fund worker in Ohio paid crack cocaine in exchange for a large number of fraudulent voter registration cards in names of Dick Tracy, Mary Poppins and other fictional characters.

    * Former ACORN worker said there was “a lot of fraud committed” by group in Florida, as ACORN workers submitted thousands of fraudulent registrations in a dozen states across the country, resulting in a statewide investigation of the group in Florida and multiple indictments and convictions of ACORN/Project Vote workers for voter registration fraud in several states.

    Also there for a while I was using Howard Dean’s scream as my ring tone.

    But, we both digress ;-)

  20. @29. It would also be great to capture that elitist Kerry thinking he’s still running for President and thinking this is the the late ’60′s and early ’70′s, talking about the evil military machine and attempting to undermine the morale of the military.

    I also agree it would be great to document voter fraud. For example it would have been great to document:

    Paid Democrat operatives charged with slashing tires of 25 Republican get-out-the-vote vans in Milwaukee on the morning of Election Day 2004 .

    * Misleading telephone calls made by Democrat operatives targeting Republican voters in Ohio with the wrong date for the election and faulty polling place information.

    * Intimidating and deceiving mailings and telephone calls paid for by the DNC threatening Republican volunteers in Florida with legal action.

    * Union-coordinated intimidation and violence campaign targeting Republican campaign offices and volunteers resulting in a broken arm for a GOP volunteer in Florida.

    * That task forces in Wisconsin found “clear evidence of fraud in the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee,” including more than 200 felon voters, more than 100 double voters and thousands more ballots cast than voters recorded as having voted in the city.

    * NAACP National Voter Fund worker in Ohio paid crack cocaine in exchange for a large number of fraudulent voter registration cards in names of Dick Tracy, Mary Poppins and other fictional characters.

    * Former ACORN worker said there was “a lot of fraud committed” by group in Florida, as ACORN workers submitted thousands of fraudulent registrations in a dozen states across the country, resulting in a statewide investigation of the group in Florida and multiple indictments and convictions of ACORN/Project Vote workers for voter registration fraud in several states.

    Also there for a while I was using Howard Dean’s scream as my ring tone.

    But, we both digress ;-)

  21. >>Of course you know those 4.3 million viewers aren’t going to follow you, right? I doubt you will get anywhere close to that, but that remains to be seen.

    Of course I know that.

    I had exclusive access to something interesting that no one else had access to. I also did it at a time when there was far less competition than there is now for your viewing time.

    It all depends on the quality of the stuff I get.

  22. >>Of course you know those 4.3 million viewers aren’t going to follow you, right? I doubt you will get anywhere close to that, but that remains to be seen.

    Of course I know that.

    I had exclusive access to something interesting that no one else had access to. I also did it at a time when there was far less competition than there is now for your viewing time.

    It all depends on the quality of the stuff I get.

  23. I say mix it up. Short is good for some projects, long better for others. Obviously content is the key.

    I just heard that Katherine Harris may be possessed by an evil spirit (see her campaign manager’s ringtone). Wouldn’t it be great to video her head spinning with yout cell phone and then share it with your friends and the world? Better yet, wouldn’t it be satisfying to catch that master of election fraud with her hand in the cookie jar? Or recording a Senator dissin’ our friends and family serving in Iraq? If you’ve got a video enabled cell phone, you can document anyone jacking with our votes.

    Speaking as a former Regional Field Director for Rock the Vote and a current consultant for Veeker, let’s serve notice to the powers-that-be that on this Election Day and every election in the future, Americans will protect the integrity of our democratic process. We will not sit idly by while reports of voter intimidation and faulty polling machines are talked about but not documented or resolved. Spread the word that anyone with a video enabled cell phone can help protect American democracy by recording short videos of polling place problems and sending them to vote@veeker.com thus publishing them immediately on http://www.veekthevote.com. Activists can also use this technology to talk to voters outside of polling places and document the most pressing motivations for voting.

  24. I say mix it up. Short is good for some projects, long better for others. Obviously content is the key.

    I just heard that Katherine Harris may be possessed by an evil spirit (see her campaign manager’s ringtone). Wouldn’t it be great to video her head spinning with yout cell phone and then share it with your friends and the world? Better yet, wouldn’t it be satisfying to catch that master of election fraud with her hand in the cookie jar? Or recording a Senator dissin’ our friends and family serving in Iraq? If you’ve got a video enabled cell phone, you can document anyone jacking with our votes.

    Speaking as a former Regional Field Director for Rock the Vote and a current consultant for Veeker, let’s serve notice to the powers-that-be that on this Election Day and every election in the future, Americans will protect the integrity of our democratic process. We will not sit idly by while reports of voter intimidation and faulty polling machines are talked about but not documented or resolved. Spread the word that anyone with a video enabled cell phone can help protect American democracy by recording short videos of polling place problems and sending them to vote@veeker.com thus publishing them immediately on http://www.veekthevote.com. Activists can also use this technology to talk to voters outside of polling places and document the most pressing motivations for voting.

  25. Editing helps, because it trades the producer’s time for the audience’s time. It makes your work more accessible to the audience.

    Deep engagement helps too — if the audience is already convinced you’ll give a better return on their greater investment in time. Summarizing a long interview provides a good entrypoint to the larger work.

    Business presentations have a full plan, an executive summary, and an elevator pitch. It helps audiences determine if they wish to spend more time.

    jd

  26. Editing helps, because it trades the producer’s time for the audience’s time. It makes your work more accessible to the audience.

    Deep engagement helps too — if the audience is already convinced you’ll give a better return on their greater investment in time. Summarizing a long interview provides a good entrypoint to the larger work.

    Business presentations have a full plan, an executive summary, and an elevator pitch. It helps audiences determine if they wish to spend more time.

    jd

  27. It is considered very fast compared to video professionals.

    Not this one. :) Ultimate S Multicam and slice and dice Vegas 7/Avid MC me, yeehahhhh. And actually ‘talking heads’ longer is far far easier, it’s the 30 second and 60 second spots that can take weeks, imho. But you have to ‘shoot to edit’ really, editing STARTS with the camerawork, people ALWAYS miss that step. If you don’t get the right footage, it might actually take weeks.

    But corporate edits seem to take weeks just based on 500 people offering input, seemingly takes that long just to arrive at an acceptable consensus. ;) But that’s not the worst, Wedding shoots are horrrrid, 50 differing family members, all wanting a differing take, and never arriving at any level of acceptable agreement. I’d take a complex corporate shoot any day over a simple Wedding. ;)

    boring encoding, compressing and dvd burning.

    It is boring yes, but a bad encode, with horrid compression and a bad DVD authoring can ruin the whole thing, no matter how good the direction and editing. I dunno if I’d sic students on that one, depends on the students I guess. :)

    As for the long vs. short, do both, niche audiences like long, mainstream like short. No need for any wars. Ratings are the tell all. I like a Digest, but then I like the the History Channel in-depth too. I guess it depends on personal tastes, something like the Photowalking and Print For Less can go on forever, but some Web 2.0 guy demoing some “killer new hot product” I’d grant 10 minutes tops, if that. So real tech (for me) = long. Web 2.0 fluff = short. Others might not feel the same, but the more selections on the Menu, and the more “channels on the cable”, the better.

  28. It is considered very fast compared to video professionals.

    Not this one. :) Ultimate S Multicam and slice and dice Vegas 7/Avid MC me, yeehahhhh. And actually ‘talking heads’ longer is far far easier, it’s the 30 second and 60 second spots that can take weeks, imho. But you have to ‘shoot to edit’ really, editing STARTS with the camerawork, people ALWAYS miss that step. If you don’t get the right footage, it might actually take weeks.

    But corporate edits seem to take weeks just based on 500 people offering input, seemingly takes that long just to arrive at an acceptable consensus. ;) But that’s not the worst, Wedding shoots are horrrrid, 50 differing family members, all wanting a differing take, and never arriving at any level of acceptable agreement. I’d take a complex corporate shoot any day over a simple Wedding. ;)

    boring encoding, compressing and dvd burning.

    It is boring yes, but a bad encode, with horrid compression and a bad DVD authoring can ruin the whole thing, no matter how good the direction and editing. I dunno if I’d sic students on that one, depends on the students I guess. :)

    As for the long vs. short, do both, niche audiences like long, mainstream like short. No need for any wars. Ratings are the tell all. I like a Digest, but then I like the the History Channel in-depth too. I guess it depends on personal tastes, something like the Photowalking and Print For Less can go on forever, but some Web 2.0 guy demoing some “killer new hot product” I’d grant 10 minutes tops, if that. So real tech (for me) = long. Web 2.0 fluff = short. Others might not feel the same, but the more selections on the Menu, and the more “channels on the cable”, the better.

Comments are closed.