It’s always been an ambition of mine to make a film. A proper movie with characters, script, dialogue, a beginning and an end. Ok, I still haven’t done it. But with the help of YouTube I have moved closer to it.
This week with a colleague from Zerofiftyone I attended the Social Media Summit 2011 in Holborn along with around 200 other adherents of new media.
All of us twittered away to our hearts’ content before, during and after the conference. A friend of mine, Ben Lancaster (#benlancaster), picked up a tweet that said I was in Holborn and working around the corner suggested meeting for a pint.
We repaired to The Gunmakers in Clerkenwell (13 Eyre Street Hill, Clerkenwell EC1R 5ET – www.thegunmakers.co.uk). It, too, is social media savvy and had picked up a tweet from Ben that we were coming and welcomed me by name as we entered. The pub now follows me on Twitter (#thegunmakers) and I follow it. It worked, as the next day in the same vicinity with different people I went there again. By then it felt like home. Ok, better than home..
The Conference was brilliant. An array of great speakers followed one after the other. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare. Among the best was Bruce Daisley, who is Sales Director for YouTube & Display UK. In June 2010 New Media Age awarded Bruce ‘The Greatest Individual Contribution to New Media’.
He has worked in radio, spends his days selling open video as a medium and he uses humour to great effect. What’s not to like?
He delivered a disarmingly humorous talk rich in content and insight that started with a large knitted video screen of a Google home page with a space in it for Bruce’s face, which he obligingly placed in the hole. His Grandmother had knitted it for him. The audience, won over, obligingly disappeared into his pocket. After a few serious points, he played a succession of videos that show how YouTube is becoming a mainstream search engine platform. He is a passionate evangelist for video and convinced the audience that it is worth exploring. Consider these points:
- Video creates engagement with your community
- ‘The most creative communities are those that cultivate the greatest diversity.’ (Charles Landy: The Creative City)
- One-fifth of YouTube traffic comes from Facebook
- YouTube is the second most tweeted brand on Twitter
- 20% of consumption on YouTube is via mobile
- Mobile views trebled over the last year (the iPad effect)
- Video is creative, stimulating and open as a platform
- Video is 50% more likely to appear in SEO results
He threw in a gem amongst the humour. YouTube has adopted video processing software online that enables complete novices to create their own short animated films. You supply the dialogue and direct the facial expressions, choice of set and background music which are available in a wide palette of options, ready to go. Aside from slightly mechanical American voices and transatlantic drawl in the on-screen menus, it is possible to create highly sinuous, fluid action clips in less than an hour.
I know. I’ve done it. Using one of the platforms, Xtranormal Movie Maker, I made a short animated film entitled ‘The Floating Voter’ and uploaded it in about fifty minutes last night. Here’s the lowdown: The days are passing quickly before the political event of the Millenium – the Referendum on the new voting system. Two contemporary characters sit in a clean white office in Hoxton debating the issues of the day.
He is using politics as a means of speed dating. He is keen, anxious and supplicatory. She is savvy, cynical and unmoved. They represent the Zeitgeist. They could be you and me…
You can watch it here. It will probably make you laugh.