Category Archives: social media

#MobileVideo Call To Arms

#mobilevideo

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have wasted 15 seconds.  For that matter, I think my teenage years were a study in wasting time.   Think of all the time you might waste in your day?  I bet you could find a few minutes that could be put to use to make a video.

The rewards will be great.  Making social media videos helps me refine my ideas and find new ones. I am able to take a risk on something that is very low stakes. I am able to find petty fame.  I get feedback from people who are interesting (and then loads of spam.)  Basically, there are a lot of returns for very little time.

There is also no wrong way to do it.  You might start my mimicking videos that you have seen. (But, be kind and credit your source.) You might start and make the video you have never seen.  Eventually, you might settle on your voice.  In the last few months, I have been focused on stop-motion craft.  It has become my voice.  I don’t know if that will stay that way.  There are a lot of new ideas sort of percolating in my head.

What is nice also, is that it lets you think physically.  You don’t need to storyboard or script.  You can just directly build your story in your app.

Certainly there are practical ways to think about social media (and below you will see many posts about it.)  But, in a big picture way, think of social media video as your chance to create as you wish.

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#mobilevideo 2015 overview

My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine.  Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here. 

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

 

 

 

#MobileVideo

#mobilevideo infographic

Social media video can be a powerful way to engage people. The statistics are staggering. This is one of those things that everybody is doing–and you should too.

It is direct and easily accessible.  A huge percentage of the globe can access these videos from anywhere.  (It might be helpful to remember that there are more cell phones that people on earth.)  Anyone can do it, and some of us can do it well.  This inherently democratic media can be useful to museums in many ways.

First and foremost, museum people get a chance to capture what they see in real-time to share with their audience.  Get a behind the scenes look at your aquarium’s fish doing the cancan? A picture is certainly not going to work.  (And, that is a video that could go viral fast.)

Second, when museum’s post videos, they are speaking to their audience in a language that their audience already speaks. 1.5 billion videos loop daily.  People are making these videos themselves and consuming them.  There is a powerful message when institutions agree to participate with their visitors where they are.

That said, institutions should be careful to make videos that seem authentic and appropriate.  An exhibition about the civil war might not be the venue for humor. While an exhibition in a children’s space about bodily function might result in videos that are fun for the whole family.

How do you get started? Now social media, including Instagram and Vine, have made it a lot easier.  You can import videos from your camera reel.  If you are really into it, you can make them in GoPro, follow a series of work arounds, and then import them.

I can’t say that I go through all that.  I usually shoot using Vine, and then save it to my camera reel by unclicking post to Vine, and then edit in VideoShop.  Then I reload my videos to Vine.  Vine and Instagram findability are fueled by #hashtags. So, go a little nuts with that.  It will help you be found.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine.  Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here. 

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Social Media Tips for Interns

photo

We were talking in the office about interns and social media.  Here are some of the thoughts I brought to that conversation.  Social media can be a powerful tool for connecting, potentially scaffolding for future job acquisition and fulfillment.  It can also be a means for future challenges with job acquisition.  So, a little guidance from mentors might be helpful.

Given how few jobs are available in the field, with the competition as it is, and the fact that most managers are tech savvy enough to give a little Google search of applicants a try, it would be bad management not to mentor your students.  You should offer mentorship for students in the best ways to comport themselves in the virtual environment.  If you don’t, it’s a little like knowing teens are having sex but not telling them how to put on a condom.

As managers, it is useful to start this conversation in a positive proactive way.  Share what has worked for you.  For me:

  • As a museum professional, I love the chance that social media gives to interact with the global environment.  I like when people tweet me back.  I love when institutions communicate back.  I love a repin.  I love a comment/ like on an Instagram account.  And, well, don’t let me start about Vine. I would encourage interns to be interactive, and tweet people back.  Favorite items that you have read/ seen.
  • Being in social media is a way to indicate to the museum world that you are an active participant.
  • Twitter is a real-time conversation.  So, you do need to tend it.  Check in periodically.  This makes the tool feel immediate.
  • Hash tags are a great way to connect to surprising people.  For Vine, I find that my hashtags bring me to surprising people.
  • In Twitter, include questions, when you have them.  People will answer them.  It is a tool to do real work, and people can help point you to new research.
  • I use Twitter and Pinterest as ways to track ideas that I want to keep track of.  (though hashtags help in both tools.)

 

As a manager, tell people when you might have screwed up.  And, share challenges that might come up.

  • There are real challenges about having a “work” account.  You will need to decide how much personal info is appropriate.  And, different social media services can brook different amount of personal sharing.  On Pinterest, you can have work and personal boards.  Your work colleagues can choose not to participate in your obsessions with Japanese furnishings; crafty banners; or juice cleanses. (I only have two of those by the way.) But, on Twitter, you might choose to have separate accounts for really personal stuff, or do that on Facebook.
  • Some museums are really serious about confidentiality.  Often all meetings notes, checklists, packing crates, etc. are confidential.  Photography rules are often very strict in galleries.  You need to conform to that.
  • Pictures are often the thing that can get you in trouble.  You might be shooting a selfie, thinking about your image instead of the background.  But, in the background, you might have a work that has yet to be released to the public.  So, if in doubt, ask.
  • Finally, remember social media is at its essence social.  It is a two way street.  When you say something, people can hear it.  This is not unlike being in a museum and saying something personal in the galleries.  The public can hear you.

 

Your social media presence should be an extension of yourself and the personal brand that you hope to project.  If you are a little irreverent, you account can show that.  If you are very studious, that too is fine.  If you are like many of us, and you are both studious and irreverent, well, then we should connect.

 

Vine Interface–An Orientation

Vine offers a clean interface, but that might mean you need a little extra orientation to get started.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Stop Motion Tips

I love anthropomorphizing things. Dancing bananas, singing teapots, talking shoes… So, this lifelong love is my excuse for loving the stop motion culture of Vines. I love the idea of potatoes up and becoming stamps without any human intervention. Or the fact that magic helped you make a silkscreen with drawing fluid.

Stop motion needs most of the frame to remain constant while aspects of the frame change incrementally. The illusion is better when many small increments of change are done in many shots. But, this requires patience and time. I can’t say I have either, but I have still been able to get some satisfying stop motion videos.

Here are a few tips to help you get started with stop motion:

You need something that keeps your phone still and in the same place. A tripod is best, but you can improvise, say with a book and tape.

Lighting can be a tell. Because stop motion takes a lot longer than 6 seconds, you might find yourself shooting frames over the span of hours. With strong light, say from a window, changes in the light will indicate long elapses of time. Artificial light remains constant, and creates a more seamless effect.

Framing devices help you with stop motion. If you are doing a craft video, a cutting board can serve not only as a constant and a framing device for the craft supplies above it.

Ghost, ghost, ghost. Patty E. has some good videos showing the ghost function. Essentially, it shows a faint image of the previous frame to serve as a guide for your current frame. Without it, you are creating stop motion blind to the previous frame.

Save time for your final shot. You are often so excited that you got everything in, and you tap just once for that final shot. But, in reality for a satisfying video, you really need to give that final shot at least double the time of any of your earlier increments. This of it as your final scene rather than just a shot. Let your viewers see your satisfaction rather than your exhaustion.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

Vine and Audio

In my mind, Vine is primarily visual. But, how can text, audio, and sound be included?

Sound and Audio:
You might be like me, and just accept ambient audio. In some instances, there is nothing you can do. Often, talking just becomes noise, particularly in stop motion compromised of many shots.

Sound, such as waves on the beach, can add ambiance to your video. If you want to embrace sound, consider using longer frames.

But, if you want to add sound to a narrative, touch the screen before the sound starts and wait until after the sound ends to let go. This might seem obvious, but I find myself always having to do this consciously.

If you aren’t the audio provider, make sure to provide your talent clear expectations and cues. And, accept that you might need to make many videos that you will throw away.

Text:
Text is challenging. People read at different speeds. Often 6 seconds is shorter than the time it takes to make sense of text. I haven’t found a good way to include huge volumes of text. One short word can be easy to start or end a frame. Even then, it is often useful to pair this with audio.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.

How can Museum Educators use Vine?

Interpretation is about sharing but also listening. Museum interpreters are information chefs. They take raw content, say scholarship, and then make something palatable out of it. After serving their delicacies, they listen for the feedback of the consumers. Using this feedback, they might refine their recipes. Social media allows visitors to make the interpretation about museum collections into a potluck.

Vine is a particularly useful tool to do this. First, Vine is a consumer product. Anyone with a smart phone can use it, and many of your visitors will have it on their devices. This makes it incredibly useful as a tool to use with visitors. Visitors and museum professionals have equal access to this tool. It can be a point of commonality.
Often museum educators seek to impart some information to a constituency. Content that might seem daunting, like making art with young children, can be shown in a non-threatening, playful manner. Process videos that are dead dreary in the length of YouTube are distilled into the essential steps. While you could certainly use a myriad of tools to describe the iconography of painting for AP art history students, in 6 seconds you can point out all the key points. Vine offers informality, speed of production, and ease of consumption. You are transmitting the content in a form that your end-user already consumers.

Vine is also very easy to use with visitors. Many of the Vines out there are not very good. The bar for content production is low, making the chances of doing better than average high. This is adds the accessibility of the media. Even young children can touch the screen. The investment in each video is low, so discarding videos doesn’t feel too painful. (Additionally, Vine has a useful editing feature that allows you to discard sections.) With children, Vine is an easy way to teach kids simple narrative. You can help them learn to pace and transition. This takes a little bit of workshopping, but once done, your youngest visitors have a tool to share their ideas alongside adults.

That said, many people with Vine on their devices are content consumers, not producers. You will need to help most visitors make Vines.

How can staff help visitors produce content?
1. Create prompts to jumpstart users creativity—like make a Vine of your favorite color
2. Set up Vine experiences. Have props ready to foster playfulness. Include backdrops and other materials that make this feel like a set.
3. During these experiences, or even at events, set up times to show visitors how to use Vine on their devices. This is something that interns can be quite good at doing.
4. Or, have your interns or staff make the vines, so that visitors can focus on their creative expression.

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My vines can be found here.

I have written a series of short posts about Vine. Enjoy:
Vine Video for Museums: Post 1
How can Museum Educators use Vine?
The Right Audience for Vine
Fostering Participation in Vines
Vine to Share the Museum Experience
Narrative in Vine
Looking at Art through Vine
Vine on Your Own
Vine Interface—An Orientation
Vine Basics
Vine and Audio
Stop Motion Tips

I produced these posts as notes in preparation for co-writing this paper for Museums and the Web 2014, with Alli Burness, @Alli_Burnie; Patty Edmonson, @Retrograde_D; and Chad Weinard, @caw_

Our presentation Vine feed is here.

Our workshop in April, 2014 sparked some good conversation, see the Storify.

Many of our participants made some wonderful Vines, check these out.