Online Video Practice — Some Research

Online video is any video that is published top the Internet via various services. YouTube, Stan, Netflix, Instagram and Facebook are just a few of the examples. Each of these services has different affordances though — for example, platforms such as Youtube, Instagram, Vimeo, Facebook and Twitter are places where users can upload their own content as well as consume that which others have created. Netflix and Stan, however, are services where we can watch professionally made TV shows and films, but where we are unable to upload our own content.

Online video practices tend to be far more fragmented and brief than traditional television and film, with a limited (or no) editing process, because these online platforms tend to lend themselves to fragmented viewing — other videos are right at our fingertips and there’s not much we have to do to get to them. One of these practices is ‘vlogging’, probably most commonly seen on YouTube. It prides itself on not looking professional — instead, they tend to be hastily put together with simple jump cuts rather than more detailed editing. This creates issues sometimes when some creates an ‘inauthentic’ vlog — when the person who’s involved seems fake, or when too much effort is seen to have been put into the video. The LonelyGirl15 experiment by filmmakers Mesh Flinders and Miles Beckett encountered this issue when they were making some of their vlogs — they latched onto the unprofessional and amateur nature of vlogs that had been having widespread success, despite their previous experience as filmmakers. They attempted to make this amateur-style content but the videos were initially condemned for being inauthentic and ‘too professional.’

In Nickelson’s article “The Secrets of Successful Social Media”, he asserted that video became an integral form of content across all major platforms and explained some practical tips about how to create effective, high-performing videos according to six different platforms.

  • Firstly, in Facebook, we should upload videos natively, rather than share a link connected to other website. And since Facebook videos autoplay, it would be better to use subtitles to show your video is good enough without sound.
  • Secondly, in Instagram, since it’s a more personal platform, we should include the content that can humanize our brand image in 15 seconds. And the videos with behind-the-scenes content will make viewers far more attentive and willing to come back again to watch more.
  • Thirdly, Snapchat is valuable enough since it’s exclusive content that we cannot see anywhere else. To make these replayable content, we can use vertical interface, and raw content created on the fly.
  • Fourth, in Twitter, we should feature people early in the first few seconds. It will be better if they’re influencers. Also, we have to show them how it can be used in real life and give viewers guidance about what to do after watching.
  • Fifth, in Vine, users are looking for entertainng videos. So, to create effective Vine videos, we can use stop motion and other special effects to make it fun. Also, we should incorporate humorous, comedy elements into it.
  • Lastly, in the case of Youtube, we have to make videos so relatable and insightful that people want to share them irresistibly. Also, people turn to Youtube to learn something. If it contains some educational information, such as ‘DIY or ‘how to’, it can be an opportunity to engage more viewers.

Joon Ian Wong mentioned that people’s large demand for online video has reformed the internet in the article “The Internet Has Been Quietly Rewired, and Video Is the Reason Why.” It starts from free video interruption which is parallel to the internet’s main traffic routes and that makes people tend to spend most of their time viewing online videos instead of physical televisions. This to some extent flattens the internet, for the hierarchy of producing contents online was ignored which leads to more power of contents owners and the conflicts between web’s biggest company and legacy carriers who own the pipes.

Then, the author also put forward the drawbacks of digital video: leaving some people behind, leaving some users under served, as well as the fact that the cost is high. Users at this time can be content creators and the web is now totally decentralized. These content owners benefit from TCP which helps decrease the congestion of video. Finally, the author focus on the future of digital video — internet communication will shrink because of more demand of video, however the problem of how to popularize that needs to be figured out.

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