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Viral Videos and You

Nothing can replace a good book, but text has its limitations — especially on the Internet where content is rapidly evolving. A video paints a picture that text never can, no matter how gifted the author or expansive the reader’s imagination. That’s why I’ve been training myself in the fine art of video, both the editing and the shooting part. You should, too.

I admit I’m no Orson Welles, but that’s kinda the point. The barrier to entry is lowering dramatically: a $200 Flip video camera, a Mac with some video editing software, a bit of patience, and You Tube is all you need to be a “professional” video person. Even if you’re a professional in quotes, video these days is simple and has that homemade feel. Case in point:

A Sunday afternoon playing basketball with my husband can turn into something (arguably) entertaining and tell a story. Watching a mini movie sure beats telling someone, “We shot some hoops on Sunday in San Francisco at a park.”

(If you want to see more of my videos, the professional ones, many can be found on the Cisco Channels blog I manage.)

Filed under: stories, web 2.0, , , ,

A Note to My Dad About Twitter

When I talk to my dad about using Twitter and social media for work, I always get the inevitable: “Why do people use Twitter, anyway? What a waste of time. I mean, honestly, who really cares if you went to the gym or what you had for dinner?” That is true, no one cares if you went to the gym or had KFC for dinner.

But there are some things I do care about. For example, a couple of months ago when I was driving down Mission St. in San Francisco, I saw a bank with a huge hole in the window. Was it a robbery? A bomb? At home, I checked news sites and Googled…nothing. Then I turned to Twitter, typed in a few key search terms, and within moments saw reports from people who witnessed a Mercedes drive into the bank. (Luckily, no one was hurt.) Folks even posted pictures via Twitpic — a third-party Twitter app that lets you share photos. See, that’s useful.

Another example is a neighborhood restaurant that tweets its daily menu. C’mon, that’s pretty handy as well. And, if I want to know who’s tweeting on a particular topic, I can use third-party TweetDeck to search for tweets and monitor a given term for mentions in the Twitterverse.

In an increasingly ADD, online, information-overloaded world, Twitter helps us cut to the chase quickly. (And probably perpetuates my own ADD.) Not to mention that, as a writer, Twitter helps me be clear and concise, not wasting a single extra word or character.

So you see, dad, there are some useful Twitter applications. Follow me @alexkrasne to find out what I ate.

Filed under: web 2.0,

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