W7 readings summaries

Reading 1 — How streaming video changed the shape of the internet (Bradley)

For over a decade, video has been rapidly expanding in terms of its proportion of total internet bandwidth, and by 2020 could account for 90% of all internet traffic. A major reason for this is because content delivery networks (CDNs) have made video content much more consumable — before 2005, when YouTube was founded, video content was low quality and internet connections couldn’t handle the amount of data required to stream high-resolution video.

CDNs place video content at the “edges” of the network, so instead of one central repository of data there are multiple nodes that can be accessed depending on the user’s needs. Video data is transferred to these node servers before deployment of the content, so multiple copies of the data exist all around the world. Users download their nearest copy of the data, which greatly reduces travel time and increases reliability.

The rise of YouTube post-2005 coincided with the explosion of internet bandwidth. (Although, technological determinists would ask whether the improvement in infrastructure caused video to take over the web, or if the inherent popularity of video necessitated improvements in infrastructure.) CDNs have turned the previously egalitarian internet network back into a centralised “flattened” system where major players like Netflix and Google dominate through private networks. Now, however, there is less reliance on major “backbone” internet providers, taking power away from them in favour of content creators and distributors.

There are some significant downsides to this network structure. Major internet players are no longer incentivised to ensure the health of the internet as a whole, just their own section of it. If other parts of the internet go dark, since it doesn’t affect the major content providers they have less reason to invest money and effort into innovative network technologies that improve internet reliability for all. Multiple competing networks also means less collaboration, less resource-sharing and increased costs for all. Smaller ISPs, who can’t afford the equipment or bandwidth to become node servers for major distributors like Netflix or Google, may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage because of their inability to provide the internet video experience customers expect. This system favours major, established ISPs and reduces diversity and competition at every level.

In the future, as content providers and distributors invest heavily in ISP businesses or partner only with large ISPs with terms that favour the distributor, poor people, rural populations, and even the internet as a whole could be adversely affected.

Reading 2 — The secrets of successful social media videos (Lan)

The article shows the secrets to write a successful content on social media platform such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Vine, and Youtube.

Facebook:

  • The secrets through successful Facebook status will be about the content of a video. It should go native, Focus on the first few seconds, Consider the (silent) context, opt for shorter videos, answer a particular question, tag an interesting headline and have the ability to call for the viewer’s actions.
  • The right target audiences and useful tools such as Facebook Live and 360 video will raise the effectiveness of Facebook marketing.

Instagram:

  • Tips are “behind-the-scene” content, humanize the brand and showcase the product experience.
  • A good Instagram video would be the content and the music combine into something interesting but short.

Snapchat:

Marketing at Snapchat is not easy so the tips are:

  • Use “the fear of missing out”, inspire action, be brief, go vertical and get real(time)

Twitter:

  • A Twitter marketing video should draw people in with people, showcase the product’s benefits, add drama, tell a story, find an influential partners, mobile-access ability and call to action.
  • A good Twitter video would connect and engage rather than publish.

Vine:

  • Using perfect stop motion, explain how to do it detailedly and engagingly, getting creative and entertaining would be useful.

Youtube:

  • Tips for useful marketing, the video should irresistibly shareable, Teach viewers, Opt for longer videos, Call viewers to action.
  • A good video for Youtube marketing is the combination of storytelling, images and sound.

Reading 3 — Online media practice (Khanh)

The videos watched were about making content online specifically online videos. It is estimated that video now accounts for up to a whopping 70% of all internet traffic and could possibly make its way up to 90% by 2020!

Online video has become a lot more prominent and widespread due to the ever evolving technological advances in cameras, phones and editing softwares. Publishing it online is also extremely easy now through many applications that have their own editing and publishing software. The production time is also a lot shorter with the skill gap closing as we make more technological advances. Anyone can upload videos to vimeo, youtube, facebook, vine, instagram etc. however only industry made videos can be published onto certain platforms like stan or netflix.

Online videos are videos published to the internet via a platform like vimeo/youtube or through applications like vine/instagram. The difference between these platforms and the applications are that the videos submitted through the platforms are usually following a cinema production style whereas videos produced by these apps are more casual and seem like a day in the life snippet.

The more popular video style is what’s called a vlog. It is described as a talking head speaking straight to camera covering personal politics or showcasing one’s personal life. It has become increasingly popular and mainstream due to its simplicity. Even film makers have tried to emulate this simplistic casual approach to video making.

One of the main reasons why online video such as vlogs have become more popular is the fragmented nature of these videos. They are short and punchy, usually viewed on youtube. It’s much shorter than a television show and people like that. A study conducted showed that videos under 21 seconds are more effective. This is what makes videos on facebook, vine and instagram that much more effective.

Facebook videos often have text subtitles as sound doesn’t play until you press on the video. These videos are usually accompanied by text and have links to other contents. They try to capture your attention quickly with subtitles in frame and catchy or clickbait text.

Instagram videos allow you to see a window into someone’s life through instagram stories or the actual post. It’s less professional than youtube videos however it’s more of a quick glance into someone’s life. Some could say more authentic and less staged/written than a youtube video.

Vine is the ultimate platform where videos are just 6 seconds short. This is almost similar to snapchat. An even shorter window to see into someone’s life. Online media allows you to simultaneously see many vines at once and this could create a story or display an idea or concept in a way traditional videos cannot.