Presenting videos

Stephen Curry’s FMD virus video post seems to have inspired a good deal of video activity on NN. Presentations have also inspired a few posts, including Martin Fenner’s and another from Stephen Curry .
In this context, a recent post from Brian Kelly Experiments With Video Blogging To Support Presentations may be of interest.
For those who are unfamiliar with Brian, I should explain that he is one of the UK’s national treasures. He is the UK Web Focus , a national Web coordinator post part-funded by JISC . He was responsible for installing one of the UK’s first web servers, all the way back in 1993 at Leeds University, and he has been an opinion leader in all things web-related ever since.
In this blog post he explains how he came to give a presentation by recorded video, but also asks whether videos should be left to the professionals.
I would argue that this is another case of disintermediation – the AV experts and videographers will remain the experts but as the technology develops so it becomes possible for those with lower-level skills to produce reasonable-looking work. Hopefully the professional videographers will help the rest of us to develop our skills, and give us pointers to good practice.
Finally, Brian mentions video micro-blogging. I suppose it had to happen.

Seesmic has been described as “the “Twitter of video” – you record a brief video giving your thoughts on a topic and people can respond, also using video.

Brian comments that:

this type of use addresses … the concern that the linear nature of audio and video tends to defy attempts at scanning the content

something that troubles me too.

About Frank Norman

I am a librarian in a biomedical research institute. I've been around a few years, long enough to know that exciting new things fall into the same familiar patterns. I'm interested in navigating a path for libraries as we slip from print through to electronic information resources.
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5 Responses to Presenting videos

  1. Stephen Curry says:

    Frank – thanks for the post and pointing out Brian Kelly’s blog – I will certainly check it out. But my immediate response to the question of whether video should be left to the professionals is a resounding NO! The technology is well within most people’s grasp now. However, as with PowerPoint, the secret in a good ‘show’ is not the software but the preparation beforehand.

  2. Frank Norman says:

    Stephen – I agree that the technology is within our grasp. But I think that non-technical skills and knowledge are needed too. That’s where some guidance from the pros can be useful.

  3. Stephen Curry says:

    I had a look at Brian Kelly’s page and a couple of his videos. He’s posted a number short ones (less than 2 min) on YouTube in which he talks – to his webcam – about blogging. For me these don’t quite improve on the experience of simply reading the text. He mentions that he writes his blogs in a conversational style – writing as he would speak – but the problem with the video is that he doesn’t seem to be speaking as he would speak. My impression is that he is reading from a sheet pinned to on side of the camera so his eyes never really engage with the audience.
    I think there’s certainly promise in the video medium for bloggers (and scientists) but you do want to try to work the advantages of video which can be more engaging that the written word, but not always (it takes effort). There’s also probably a tendency for most boggers to see themselves as writers – so there may be a reluctance to deviate from their preferred medium.

  4. Brian Kelly says:

    Hi Stephen
    You’re correct – I was reading a script. These video clips are intended for use in a half-day workshop which I can’t attend. The intention is that the workshop facilitators can use them to add some variety to the presentation. I wrote a script so that my colleagues would know what the clips were about – see

  5. Stephen Curry says:

    Cheers Brian – that explains the context in this particular case, though you can get autocue software (for a Mac). 😉
    But I thought you were also arguing that video can be used as a blogging medium? You noted that Seesmic had been described as the “Twitter of video”. I’m afraid I count myself as one of those who doesn’t get twitter and, while I certainly see potential in video on the web, I’m not sure that it is suited to replacing text in many situations. The inability to scan ahead is a major disadvantage.