Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Grumpy truth-seeking about preps and video

More than a week after the end of Independence High's historic winning football streak, I sought video to embed here or share on Facebook.

Apparently, WBTV has a channel on Youtube. People can subscribe. They can leave comments and even get real live answers to their comments from real live people. OMG.

They didn't use audio and video of the actual game, so emotion and excitement are a bit lacking. With this report, they missed what former Observer Sports Editor Gary Schwab calls "The Moment."

So did we. We're moving ahead with talking heads video on preps, but without the visual and audio to capture the moment, how many hits are we actually drawing? And then getting to return?

Amateurs for the opposing team captured the audio and video, and displayed it on Youtube below. Warning: it's one minute and 15 seconds of jubilant fans shouting. Certainly captures emotion, though I get a glitch with 14 seconds remaining to play in the video.

Note: I can't embed video from our new video setup at, but I can email or Digg a video. Allentown (a Tribune site) has the email capability as well, but no embedding. Were we hoping for embedding capability with new video software? Should we just spend time and (very little) money on setting up our own Youtube channel and linking back to ourselves like WBTV?

Adding to grumpiness: In looking around, I see video ads in Charlotte for Lending Tree and Bojangles. Comparing Kansas City: They have intrusive, tacky, looping ads for car dealers, including ... they in no way compare to the elegance of the online French Peugeot ad I saw recently. And I sure hope those companies are paying, and not just giving us "reader contributed" videos to see what they can get for free.
Who is this "channel" and technology for?

Adding to grumpiness II: In looking around in Charlotte, I cannot find a trace of our good videos and stuff related to the history of school integration, even though we had an update Sunday. Only way to find it is to search for the writer, Tommy Tomlinson, and get a link off his stories. You have to know it's there, and who wrote the story, to be able to find it.


Rich said...

I thought the original Dorothy Counts video could get traction on a site such as YouTube. Although, such a placement wouldn't add hits directly, if we added a frame with some sort of refer back to (or even added a bug to the entire video), we might get clicks. Alas, nothing came of my suggestion, and I didn't really press it further.

I don't really know much about posting to YouTube, but I'd think once we've made a movie, it wouldn't be hard to post it, or a teaser video, on such a site.

Amy F. said...

Posting to YouTube is one of the easiest things you can do online - part of what makes it so popular, I suppose.

Lots of media outlets have their own YouTube channels or screen names or whatever; shouldn't be too hard to start one for the Observer. These other outlets use YouTube in addition to their own Web sites, of course. But even if a YouTube hit doesn't pay off for advertisers on, it helps build the brand. And if we see we're getting thousands hits on YouTube, that's when we figure out a way to migrate those visitors to

And I agree, Andria; I have had difficulty finding video on our Web site on a few occasions. And frustrated users give up. We don't want that, certainly. For starters, we could add a line of description under the link to each video - it can be difficult to figure out the content from the titles alone.

Leslie Wilkinson said...

Why not add a Charlotte Observer to YouTube? Would we run into copyright issues? Bah... copyright and the web... so hard to track anyway right?

We could do with Observer video what Eye is generating on Facebook and MySpace. Why not?... Wonder what Peter W. and Dee Dee would have to say?

Amy F. said...

Yep, lots of other media outlets are doing just that:


Al Jazeera


Universal Music Group

National Geographic

The Sun


College Humor

Wall Street Journal