YouTube for Business part 1

YouTube!

Everyone knows what it is and what  it’s for.  A free method of putting video content online to be shared with everyone! And that is really what web video for business is about, uploading your content for all to see.

With the ongoing development of YouTube which now sees 24 hours of video being uploaded every minute globally, YouTube has proven itself as a reliable, easy to use business tool!

But what makes YouTube so great and why should business owners make use of it?

Well opinion is divided as to the best ways of putting video content online! You could embed the file yourself as lines of code that allow the user to effectively download it from your site. The problem with this is what file format do you use to make it quick to download? Nobody likes waiting. Then you have to think, can every computer play the file type I’m offering ? No good uploading a .WMV (windows media video) if your customer surfs the web on a Mac.

Alternatively a more popular route used by many of our Video Production Nottingham clients is to create a flash file and embed a flash player. Flash files are great. They’re small and yet play at a high enough quality to provide acceptable results. Better still Flash is cross platform, meaning 98% of the world’s computers can access and view the file.

But what’s the down side here? Well, whoever makes your video has to do the maths and encode a video that’ll be alright on the night! For a video production company this is no sweat, but for user generated content it can be difficult to get it right i.e. it is small enough for a quick play, whilst retaining a high enough bit rate to look good. It’s never good when you click play and are treated to ten minutes of buffering whilst a circular icon rotates over and over and over…

The next option is external hosting. External hosting is uploading your video content to a website that hosts your video and allows you to embed a video player into your existing website. These services often provide quick playing, high quality videos on demand. The down side? None except you usually have to pay for this privilege. If you want to host your video for a year, the costs can add up!

This is why YouTube can be fantastic for user generated content because it takes all the pain away. In the past your web video producers had to bear in mind that online audiences have different types of internet connection. To cater for everyone, a lower quality file, that was usually tiny was uploaded so that low bandwidth users could access the video content.

However those brainiacs at YouTube took this into account. The complex coding means that no matter what file type you upload to YouTube, even HD files, the video will be converted and adapted to suit any audience. Next time you’re on YouTube click on the 360p or 480p icon on the bottom right and see what other qualities you can view the video at! This means no matter how good or bad your internet connection is the video is still playable.

With YouTube being entirely flash driven, nearly everyone can watch the video! That means you can upload with confidence knowing your customers will be able to watch what’s going on! Brilliant. Just like any social media tool, it’s all about being able to share information easily with lots of people. YouTube ticks this box. What’s more, YouTube videos don’t have to stay on YouTube! The embedding options are amazing; you can easily embed the YouTube video onto your website by just following the simple instructions once you’ve uploaded content! Incredible!

Check back soon for part 2 of YouTube for business.

P.S Try Reading this aloud, after saying YouTube so many times it kind of looses it’s meaning…

A Star Media Award Nomination!

There’s a lot of hard work goes in to making our Video Production Nottingham team the best it can be. That’s why it was fantastic news to be nominated for an award from the Nottingham Evening Post Business Awards 2010 in the New Business of the Year category! Hooray!

As you may know, at A Star Media ‘We Make Films’ and so it came as a surprise to be filmed ourselves for the awards ceremony. A film crew came to our office to film us doing what we do best, making films. So quite literally they filmed us, filming!

It’s always a pleasure to meet other filmmakers and find out about how they work, after all you can never stop learning! Needless to say after a spot of filming and a cup of coffee we all started talking cameras and lenses.

Katrina Atherton showing off her acting talent by pretending to take a phone call as part of the video production for our nomination video!

When the going gets tough, most of us grumble before we get going

Running a business isn’t always easy. Sometimes people don’t pay on time, deadlines are tight, and you’re responsible for keeping everything running smoothly.

Saying that, we wouldn’t be running our own business if we hated it would we? And while some things can get us down, the rewards of having great clients and doing what we love every day is well worth it.

This week we’ve been working with a fantastic project in Derby called Women’s Work, they help female substance misusers involved in street sex work. We spent the day there on Monday, including going out from 10pm to midnight on their outreach programme, offering a hot drink, help and advice to women working on the streets.

Street sex workers in Derby get support from Women's Work

It really wasn’t what we expected, and the women who accessed the service were so open about their experiences and really frank with what they encounter from day to day, from mental illness, drugs, domestic violence and contact with the police.

These women really were vulnerable, and stuck in a cycle of drugs and prostitution which saw them working nightly on the streets, selling sex for as little as £10.

We came away with huge respect for the people at Women’s Work who are tackling issues that most of us like to avoid, and being upbeat and inspirational at the same time.

So next time it gets tough, the computer crashes, or my phone battery dies half way through a call I’ll probably still complain, but I’m going to try harder to appreciate what I’ve got.