TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.


Trial and Error

Just Because Everyone Can Do a Video Doesn’t Mean Everyone Should

July 15, 2008 10:31 AM

I wonder if we’re going to have a Web video glut soon.

It seems everyone—every marketer, every business, every site—wants to start a video show. And while I would never want to discourage the growth and experimentation in Web video, I have to wonder if videos make sense for everyone.

Yes, I do believe in the power of video messaging. And I do believe in the democratization of Web video. So I say, “Try it!”

But you need to have a reason to do it. If you’re a marketer, you need a specific branding purpose behind the video. If you’re a personality, you need a shtick. If you’re a CEO, you need a focus for your show.

I had this discussion yesterday with attendees at the Metzger New Media Summit in Boulder, Colo. That’s a private conference produced by the Boulder public relations firm Metzger Associates to help marketers and public relations executives make better use of new media.

Doyle Albee, president of the firm, told me that he has explored whether it makes sense for his company to produce some sort of weekly webcast or Web series, sort of a “Metzger Minute.” It’s an interesting idea, he said, but right now it’s not in the cards. And that’s because there isn’t a reason to do one at the moment, he said.

I liked his response because it recognizes that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Or that you need to. Sometimes a blog is enough. Sometime a Web site is enough. And sometimes even just a phone call, memo or e-mail can convey the same point.


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Comments (4)

I just tweeted this thought, but I say no, we should not do video just because we can.

I think there's something about video that still feels "professional" or "high end." It seems to me that part of the rush to video is a rush for legitimacy, to be able to say "check me out, I don't just blog, I have a thing like a tv show."

As your article says, it has to be right for the brand and the specific message. I remember back ye olde days of the web when every damned consumer product company had to have some sort of game on their site - like anyone really needs to play a Heinz Ketchup Adventure or a Tide Detergent Mystery game. A little bit of the same thing could be happening now with video.


As a video content creator, I think the answer is yes. It's almost like asking if you should put images on your site, or text for that matter. Remember when people used to question if they needed a website? All of these things help give your audience a better picture of your company. And especially with video, you have the best medium available to tell your story. What makes you unique? How did you get here? What are you working on? What are you excited about? What gets you up in the morning?

Granted, it isn't easy to produce this kind of material, which is why is important to hook up with good, creative video pros. But this is no different than finding a good web designer, copywriter, etc. We're everywhere.

I was going to post a video reply, but I see you don't allow it :-)

Video is just a new medium to deliver messages on the web. With that being said, people should recognize that the medium will only be a powerful as the message trying to be communicated. Producing videos that are on target or brand will obviously provide more value than videos full of garbage with no true direction. Working for a broadband video platform, PermissionTV, I’ve noticed greater success stories come from customers with a solid focus on their messaging or brand which intern has allowed them to truly leverage the power of video online.

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