10 Ways Web Video is Unique

1. Authentic and audience are key.
With online video, quality still matters, but doing it in an authentic way that connects with your audience is the most essential quality. For example, see howDavid Pogue (NYTimes.com) and Walter Mossberg (Wall Street Journal) approach their videos.

2. Video is platform agnostic.
If a story has action and should be seen and heard, then video is the best choice. Newspapers, magazines, broadcast, and web-only publications are all doing video. See this fun sports story by the Star Ledger newspaper.

3. Simplicity can be the most powerful technique.
This simple video report by CJ Chivers of the New York Times takes the viewer to the front lines of a firefight in the Helmand province.

4.  Not confined by the TV schedule and commercial breaks.
This 8:33 video by student journalists would never make it on TV, but it’s better than many of the TV news stories about the Gulf Coast oil spill.

5. Rely less on voice-overs and stand-ups.
On the web, the audience doesn’t know – or particularly care – who the reporter is. The “in their own words” approach can often yield better video. See this profile of the ballpoint pen rapper by NewsWorks.org.

6. Cellphones will be there before the satellite truck and TV crew.
See Rowan students celebrate the night Osama Bin Laden is killed. In breaking news, being there is more important than quality.

7. It is increasingly a “one-man” or “one-woman” gig.
See this ad for Philly.com sports interns. “Note: This is not a writing job.” It’s building and updating web pages, creating photo galleries and videos. Basic knowledge of Final Cut and video editing is a plus. Here is an example of kind of work interns are doing. This intern shoots, does stand-up, edits, and posts online – all in a few hours.

8. It can be non-linear.
The user decides where to begin and end in this Waterlife documentary about the Great Lakes eco-system.

9. Everyone is a content creator. If you want to be a “pro,” you have to be good.
“It would take 72 hours to watch all the videos uploaded to YouTube every minute by would-be commentators, comedians, cosmetologists and various other content creators all hoping for a breakout hit.” (NYTimes.com article)

10. It can be more experimental and creative.
See this video created to accompany a NPR RadioLab episode and podcast, called Words.

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