Back in the olden days video online was so simple… chucked it up onto YouTube and share the link.
Those days have long gone. The web is a different place and people use different channels in different ways.
On Twitter and Facebook where you scroll through your timeline your attention span is shorter. On YouTube, where you can go looking for content on specific subjects it can be longer.
This is a list of the maximum length for content and also the optimum time based on research:
Other questions to ask
Of course, the length of your dependent on a few factors. ‘Is your audience using this channel?’ is a key question.
‘Is the video useful?’ is also a key question. Does it have sub-titles? Music? There’s a few other questions to ask but the optimum video length is a good starting point.
The last time I blogged the optimum a few months back people asked for the source of the research. So this time, here are some links to help you. Not all the channels have an optimum length. Periscope, for example.
LINKEDIN is the new kid on the block with native uploaded video. Five minutes is the most you can upload and there is no clear research on what is optimum. As a platform, I’d guess it falls between the 45 seconds of Twitter as video falls into the timeline. But often people post ‘how to’ videos that run beyond the YouTube max of three minutes.
There’s a number of other ways to present video I’ve not touched upon. VIMEO has fallen behind in recent years but still has fans and you can upload via VIMEO LIVE with a premium account. You can go live via YOUTUBE LIVE but there is little accessible guidance for the amateur. FLICKR can take video of up to 1GB but will only play back the first three minutes.
360 & VR Facebook and YouTube in particular are chasing this new way of shooting video but there is little out there on maximum and optimum upload times.
Useful? Not half as useful as the new round of ESSENTIAL VIDEO SKILLS FOR COMMS workshops in Edinburgh, Manchester, London and Birmingham. More here.
‘I love newspapers,’ wrote former newspaper editor Harold Evans a while back. ‘But I’m intoxicated by the speed and possibility of the internet.’
As a former journalist I know just where he’s coming from. The social web allows you to tell your story directly and in real time to people.
I’ve been banging on for a while about real time events that use Twitter. They’re a great way to use the web and the inescapable truth is that real time conversations – a kind of linked social – are going to become more common.
We’re not far off from being routine the fly-tipped rubbish reported on Twitter will be responded to on Twitter by the council with an update from a countryside ranger also online and in real time.
It’s been really fascinating to see how different ideas have emerged with real time events.
A few weeks back I was asked to Glasgow by the excellent Public Sector Customer Services Forum to talk about them.
Was the title ‘Real Time Social Media Campaigns Can Make Routine Tasks Sexy’ a bit bold? Maybe.
What was timely as it co-incided with the Scottish local government What We Do event which saw 28 out of 32 councils take part to tweet updates.
Since then,the public sector in Norfolk have done good things with an event and Louise Kidney, a passionate innovative officer for Blackburn with Darwen has kicked about successfully the #1515gov idea. The idea is for local government officers to informally tweet what they are doing at 3.15pm every day to give a small rolling snapshot of what we do. It’s a great idea.
But most importantly, I’m a big believer that anyone can do these sorts of things. Small or big. You don’t have to have a Phd from the University of Great Online ideas first. Have a bright idea. Try it out.
It’s fascinating seeing how these platforms evolve.
I’m looking forward to updating this and speaking on the same subject at the Epic Social Media for Public Sector South West event in Exeter on Thursday December 1. You can find out more here.
Back in 1997, the first Walsall Council website sported a dancing light bulb.
No, really. It did.
There’s also a notice telling people that the website was under construction (it’s slide number two on the presentation embedded in this post.) If you’re on a mobile device the embed may not be showing. If that’s the case the link is here.
We need to evolve, learn and innovate. Nothing demonstrates that better than the late 90s webpage frozen in time showing Billy the Bulb and one giant leap for a council website. Time has moved on and we need to too.
At the Socitm Learning from Better Connected event at Manchester there was plenty of examples of innovation.
Not least the forward-thinking webteam who ripped up the rule book and re-designed the liverpool.gov.uk website based on what people want rather than what officers think people want.
Here’s my preasentation that I’ve posted to Slideshare.
Included on it are:
Some stats on internet use.
Some stats on the mobile web.
A quick map of the Walsall media landscape 2011 and 2005.
A quick case study on engaging with the community through Flickr.
If William Wordsworth was alive today he’d be using Twitter.
Not the old stick-in-the-mud he became but the young man fired by revolution.
Why? Because he celebrated the English countryside through the media of the day.
How we think of the landscape was shaped by Wordsworth. Before him, mountains were frightful places. After? Beautiful. And Willie cashed in with an 1810 Guide to the Lakes that was the iphone app of its day.
Exploring how our countryside team could use social media made me trawl through some examples.
Whoever said places work can really well on social media were bang on. That’s especially true of parks and countryside. So how is social media being used by to promote the countryside? There’s some really good ideas in patches out there but nothing fundamentally game changing that makes you sit up and write verse. That says to me that there is plenty of potential.
Photography should be at the heart of what the public sector does with countryside and parks. Why? Because a picture tells a 1,000 words. Because they can bring a splash of green into someone’s front room or phone at one click. Criminally, many sites should be promoting the countryside relegate images to a postage stamp picture.
Here are 10 interesting uses:
1. The British Countryside Flickr group has more than 4,000 members and some amazing images. It’s a place where enthusiastic amateur photographers can share pictures and ideas.
2. Peak District National Park chief executive Jim Dixon leads from the front. He blogs about his job at www.jimdixon.wordpress.com and tweets through @peakchief. It’s a good mix of retweeting interesting content and puts a human face on an organisation.
3. Foursquare, Walsall Council added a landmark in a park as a location. The Pit Head sculpture in Walsall Wood was added to encourage people to visit and check-in. You can also make good use of ‘tips’ by adding advice.
4. On Twitter, @uknationalparks represents 15 UK national parks run a traditional Twitter feed with press releases, RTs and some conversation. With 2,000 followers it’s on 145 lists.
5. But you don’t have to be in a national park to do a goods job. In Wolverhampton, @wolvesparkies have a brilliantly engagingly conversational Twitter stream. There is passion, wit and information that make most councils seem the RSS press release machine that they are.
6. National Trust have an excellent Facebookprofile. You may get the impression that members are 65 and own a Land Rover. That doesn’t come across here. They observe one of the golden rules of social media. Use the language of the platform. It’s laid back and it’ll tell you when events are planned.
7. Even more relaxed is the quite new I Love Lake District National Park is quite brilliant. It allows RSS, it blogs and it really encourages interaction. Heck, they even encourage people to post to the wall so they can move shots into albums.
8. On YouTube, West Sussex County Council have a slick short film on tree wardens that deserves more than 45 views in five months. Or does this show how much take up there is on YouTube?
9. The rather wonderful parksandgardens.ac.uk is an ambitious online tool for images of 6,500 parks and gardens and the people who created and worked in them. @janetedavis flagged this up. It’s a project she worked on and she should be proud of it. There’s a school zone to to connect to young people too and is populated by google map addresses and photographs. Really and truly, council parks and countryside pages should look like this but mostly don’t.
10. Less a government project, or even social media Cumbria Live TV celebrate the landscape they work in utterly brilliantly. Slick and powerful broadcast quality three minute films do more than most to capture the jaw dropping awe of the fells. They self-host some brilliant films on a changing site. Check them out here.
EIGHT things you CAN do aside from write bad poetry about daffodils and shepherds called Michael…
1. A Facebook fan page to celebrate a park or open space. Call it I love Barr Beacon. Yes, the Friends group can use it as a meeting place. But naming it after the place not the organisation leaves the door open to the public too.
2. Give a countryside ranger a Twitter account. Use @hotelalpha9 as an inspiration. Let them update a few times a day with what they’ve been up to. Post mobile phone pictures too.
3. Despite a dearth of amateur good examples there’s potential in short films to promote countryside. You only have to point a camera at something photogenic for people to come over all Lake Poet.
4. Start a Flickr group to celebrate your patch of countryside. Walsall has 1,000 acres of parks and countryside with amazing views and vistas.
5. Start a blog. WordPress takes minutes to set-up and after messing around only a short time to master. Tell people what you are up to. Whack up a few images. Lovely. For no cost.
6. Make your countryside and parks pages a bit more web 2.0. Use mapping to set out a location. Use Flickr images – with permission – to showcase the place.
7. Add your parks and countryside to a geo-location site such as Foursquare. If the future of social media is location, location, location then venues, landmarks and places will score big.
8. Text. With more mobile phones in the UK than people sometimes the humble text message can be overlooked as part of the package of ways to connect with people. Most councils are also text enabled. Create info boards around a park or countryside with numbers to text to recieve info on what they can see. Change it for the seasons to make best use.
Newlands Valley, Lake District, UK: Dan Slee.
Wordsworth: Creative commons courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.