Wednesday, August 03, 2011

No Muck Messages: Can You Hack It?

I haven't posted in FOREVER ... but, will be starting up again in August at some point when I get really clear on my purpose and intention for this blog.

Meanwhile, what better way to break the silence than to share a post and the story of friends of ours. Their son, Sy, has a rare condition that in essence makes him allergic to ALL foods! Yes, you read that correctly!

While friends and family nosh on all the yummy stuff like pizza, hamburgers and birthday cakes, Sy has to sit by and watch while he consumes an icky medically formulated liquid diet!

Our church is taking the day to fast and pray for Sy - that God would heal him or change the world through Sy and his challenges.

Of course, we'd invite all believers to participate in whatever capacity you feel called. You can read more about Sy on his blog ...

No Muck Messages: Can You Hack It?: "Tomorrow, August 3, our community will be gathering around Silas and joining him on a 24-hour liquid diet fast. As we think about the place..."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Day 62 - Highlights Extreme Business Makeovers 2010

In case you couldn't tell ... for beginning just after Valentine's Day, my life begins to revolve around my annual Extreme Business Makeovers event. It's hard to describe just how special it is. I can only say that it's something you really have to experience for yourself.

If you haven't visited the site lately, you should hear some of the interviews that I've been posting on the blog there. Alisha Whiteway - aka AlishaTV - has been doing a great job interviewing the speakers who will be sharing with us at this year's event.

Here's another cool thing that I just received - a spotlight video announcement that just did about XBM2010 in their Bizz Buzz segment...

Hope I get a chance to see YOU at Extreme Business Makeovers 2010!

About This Chart: For those who haven't been following, I created this daily chart for the purpose of communicating and tracking some of my more important goals - publicly. You can read about it in THIS EARLIER POST.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 47 - Hot Videos You Can Create On Your Own (Part 2)

In Part 1, I introduced you to the great online tool, Animoto. A few of you even tried it out and sent me a link to the cool little videos you put together. GREAT job for taking action!

Now I'm going to take it a step further and share with you how you can use this powerful online tool to produce videos that have a truly professional look and feel.

Here's an example of one that I produced on Friday ...

As you can see, even though I used Animoto to do the actual production work on this video, it doesn't have a "me too" feel that a lot of these types of videos have. Here's the process:

1) Planning - No matter what technology you're using, putting together a video without planning is like picking up a Stratavarius violin without music and expecting to play a great concerto.

You need to determine, in advance, the Message you're trying to convey, the Sequence of your thoughts and images and the Call to Action you are going to leave your viewers with.

2) Content Gathering - Now that you know what and how you're communicating, it's time to get your content ready. And, this is where 95% of everyone who produces videos using Animoto or similar types of online programs fall flat ... because they use only the stock content available on those sites versus finding sources with fresh content.

I start with finding the soundtrack because the length of the song determines how many  images and slides I will be able to use in my presentation. I've found Pond5 to be an EXCELLENT source for royalty free music, images and even video clips. I paid $19.95 for the music clip that I used in the Extreme Business Makeovers video ad above. I believe the unique and energetic feel that it provided were well worth the investment.

After I select the music, I decide how I'm going to present the words in the presentation. For most, I will use the built in text input of Animoto. For others, however - like the slides in the Extreme Business Makeovers presentation that include pictures of the speakers - I create Powerpoint or Keynote slides and convert them to jpeg images to upload.

Finally, I source and select images. Hint here - incorporating an actual video clip somewhere in the presentation can really kick up the look of the video and make it feel less like an automated slide show.

I use Pond5 to find video clips. Rather than pay, per image, for actual photos, however, I use which has thousands upon thousands of clip art images and photos that you can use - royalty free - for a weekly, monthly or annual fee. Their search function makes it easy for me to find the images I am looking for.

3) Production - If you've done your job right on the first two steps, this one will be a breeze. THIS is where Animoto will save you hours over using standard video editing software. You simply upload the music, images, text slides and video clips. Then, type in any additional text and select which, if any, slides you want to highlight (meaning pause on longer).  Finally, select from 3 speeds for your clips to be displayed and click to render the video. 

Remember, if you aren't happy with how Animoto rendered your video, you can always click to remix it and it will create another version with different transitions - automatically!

I still use my iMovie or Final Edit for any videos I produce where I'm mixing in several pieces at once - like text, video and voiceovers, but for music and image driven videos for inspiration or advertising, Animoto literally saves me hours upon hours of final production time (and frankly does such a great job at analyzing the music and selecting the appropriate slide tempo and transitions, that it's better than I could likely do on my own).

Note: While the FREE Animoto service is great. I upgraded mine to the PRO status in order to have the ability to produce videos longer than one minute, create them in High Definition AND have them without Animoto's logo on them.

Free or Pro, the important thing is to give it a try ... put together a few videos that inspire or help others understand what you're all about. And remember, when communicating in person or in video, people will often forget what you say, but they seldom forget how you make them feel!