Is wild and crazy video what we want to watch?

By Ray Lane
June 6, 2009

 At the risk of stepping on some toes (and hopefully I don't), I wanted to make a comment about something that was mentioned at RE BarCamp this past week.  One of the sessions I attended was regarding using online video.  Being a professional videographer, I thought this would be a good one to go to.  Surprisingly, this session was not about using videos for home tours, it was about using video to improve your google ranking and using video as a way to get people to follow you on social networking sites.  Overall, I thought that the presentation was quite good, and my eyes were opened to some new possibilities regarding how to use vidoe in non-traditional ways.

One of the things they mentioned was that people want to watch unproduced, raw video of people essentially blogging with video.  They gave out their personal site, where they do a weekly video using an inexpensive camera, and no editing.  They also gave out the name of Ian Watt, who does a web show from his car while driving.  When I got home, I immediately checked out the videos of the people that presented these ideas, and was quite surprised at how bad the videos were.  The picture was terrible and the audio was worse.  Overall I found it unwatchable, and tuned out before I really go their message.  I then went and took a look at the Ian Watt videos.  What I found there was quite different.  While the videos had the appearance of a quick, amateur video, I don't think it is.  The audio is clear and crisp, the image is clean and stable (even though he's driving a car).  Overall, a nicely done video that I was willing to watch.  So I asked the presenters about a series of web videos that are very well produced and are the most successful viral campaign ever, Will it Blend.  Their response was to dismiss this particular campaign as just an anomoly.


The presenters also mentioned that if you do home tours, it is much better to do it yourself with a flip camera and just wander around swinging the camera up to show a light fixture, and talking away the whole time.  Now me personally, I have seen those videos, and they are again, almost unwatchable.  In the attempt to do-it-themselves, I really feel that they look unprofessional, make me want to turn away, and never actually show the property because the camera never stops moving all over the place.


So my question to everyone is this.  Do I have it all wrong?  Do people really want to watch bad video and listen to bad audio?  Do they really want to watch a home tour where the camera is all over the place?


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