In the US at least, this appears to be the year of the Internet Presidency, and this trend got me thinking about ways that that you might use Internet video to improve you universe.

  • Post A Video Resume- There’s something powerful of matching a face to a name, but it’s even stronger if you can come off decent on camera. Get your video camera or your digital camera out, consider your surroundings (background matters), and make sure people can see (good lighting) and hear (either the camera is close enough of use an off-camera microphone) you. Don’t tell people everything you’ve ever done. Focus instead on the most important thing you want people to come away thinking about you when they see the video.
  • Make Your Own Instructional Videos- Do you have a team of people working on something tricky? Would moving pictures help the situation? Try making a film that conveys the desired outcome. Have fun with it. But remember: the Internet has a long memory, and searching YouTube for instructional videos usually nets some really awful (read: funny) results. (Remember that some services like Blip.TV allow you to mark videos as private or friends-only.
  • Make Family Video “Cards”- Letters and cards are nice, but shooting a few minutes of smiles and waves and well wishes with a video camera goes a long way. The Holidays are an easy mark for this kind of idea, but you can do it for birthdays or just random “thinking of you” moments, where a visit isn’t possible. Sure, Grandma might not know how to watch Internet TV (unless she’s Millie Garfield), but theres usually some wonderful relative who will share the movie with her. And you can always mail a DVD if that’s easier.
  • Post Blog News or Company News- There are often announcements to be made in life and in business. Why not use video to make it even more memorable. Sometimes, it’s the “behind the scenes” things we see that endear us to a person or a company more than the public face of it all. I think that video makes for a stronger “relationship,” should that be a desired outcome. Adding a face to an otherwise text-heavy site gives people more to feast upon with regards to the information you provide them. Do people talk about bookstore grosses on the opening weekend of a book? No. They talk about movies. Because they are VISUAL and people crave that input, even when they love the book more than the movie.
  • Improve Your Online Sales- Selling something through eBay or Craigslist? Point to a video of the product as well as snaps. Sometimes, seeing a video clip of something you’re selling is that little bit more compelling. It might even establish more of a relationship between you and the prospective buyer, if that’s of value.

Using Internet video for everything is as silly as using a blog for everything, and there are certainly times when audio is better than video, and times when text is better than both. I read TONS more blogs in a day than I watch videoblogs or Internet TV, and it’s my JOB to watch Internet TV (at least a part of it). So, I’m not saying video fixes everything. But if you’re not even considering its uses and implications, why not? What might creating and posting videos do for your business, organization, or personal situation?

— Chris Brogan is Community Developer for Video on the Net, a conference about the impact of broadband Internet on the future of TV, Film, and Broadcasting. He keeps a blog at [chrisbrogan.com].

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