YouTube turns six – with mind-blowing reach
“YouTube is celebrating its sixth birthday this month, and the Google subsidiary is doing it partly by sharing some big numbers that underscore its overwhelming dominance in the online video streaming space,” says TechCrunch blog. YouTube is now delivering a staggering 3 billion viewings a day, with 48 hours of new video being uploaded each minute (double the amount this time last year). Check TechCrunch’s analysis of the stats.
Our visual age
Our new digital communication age is highly visual. The video clip has almost become the default means of effective communication, and therefore is essential in evangelism …
- This is why TruthMedia.com have switched the emphasis within their PowertoChange outreach site from text to video.
- This is why YesHEIs.com was launched this year, to enable Facebook users to post a growing range of appropriate conversation-starting video clips onto their pages with one click.
- This is why Global Short Video Film Network are developing conversation-starting video clips.
- This is why Mobile Advance encourages the use of downloaded video clips on mobile phones, for evangelism in the Majority World.
- This is why Visual Story Network advocates the use of storytelling in the context of video.
Why is the video clip so important?
- It’s visual and therefore memorable.
- It can be shared with one click on Facebook, Twitter, email, or embedded into blogs and web-pages, and discussed face-to-face using downloads on a mobile phone.
- It’s an ideal medium for storytelling.
- Jesus used storytelling, not bible exposition, to reach outsiders. None of his parables embedded the entire gospel – instead they communicated byte-sized elements of truth, in a conversation-starting, thought-provoking, open-ended, contextualized, visual story. (Visual in the sense that a good storyteller paints a visual picture in the minds of the hearers.)
But surely I need lots of training and expensive equipment?
There’s free training and editing software available – and like most things, we learn by doing. Even an average digital camera or high-end smart phone can produce very acceptable video: watch the videos here, all shot on mobiles.
Check these Top 10 Video Production Tips. Among them: Keep It Short. 5 minutes is plenty long enough for most purposes. 3 minutes often better. Less is more. Watch how tv adverts can tell an entire story in 30 seconds, with much of the message embedded in the visual action, sets, and facial expressions, rather than the dialogue. (Not that outreach video should have the sense and feel of an advert, but we must learn from the experts of this storytelling style.)
Creatives, youth groups, missions – let’s start making clips!
Churches, why not demonstrate how to embed YesHEIs.com and Global Short Film Network video clips into Facebook with one click. A 5-minute live-web digital-projector session during a service will help members understand just how easy it is.
Free ebooks – last call
Last call to get free e-book downloads during May Digital Outreach Month – for instance Netcasters, Craig von Buseck’s valuable study of the opportunities of digital evangelism, and God Space, Doug Pollock’s vital explanation of non-formulaic, non-preachy, non-offputting conversational evangelism, equally applicable to online and offline sharing, and many more.
The highly-recommended Coffee Shop Conversations: Making the Most of Spiritual Small Talk is now available, as a free Kindle download. Sorry, this download offer only applies to US residents accessing the Amazon US site, and not, as I had hoped, worldwide. If you try to access it from other countries, and use the one-click download, you will be charged the normal price. Don’t click the download button unless you can see the price showing as 0.00 – unless of course you want to pay for the book.
Note: if you do not have a Kindle, you can still download Kindle books. Just install the free software from Amazon onto your computer, Android device or iPhone, and you are ready to go. Amazon offers a number of free classic titles, and these are surprisingly easy to read even on a mobile phone.
Please tell others on Facebook and Twitter
Please tell others about these books, using these ready-made one-click links for Facebook and Twitter. (You can change the hashtag in your tweet to reflect any interest group or community you belong to.)
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