QIK REPORTS 20,000 views of pocket media video clips that I've uploaded to Qik.com/topgold and in the 18 months and 100 comments that have elapsed since I download Qik onto my Nokia E90, I've learned some things about making pocket media that will be shared on our BSc in Creative Multimedia at Tipperary Institute. Many of these tips come from people who have made their living writing, recording, producing and syndicating rich media for their careers. Along with Mike Kiely, I'm writing the core elements of my Qik experience into a curriculum guide that will serve as the foundation of Business Video Fundamentals, a short course we'll run for anyone interested in spending a weekend in South Tipperary. I used to be a guy who was happy with the written word, until I watched how engrossed our 18-month-old daughter got while watching short 90-second clips of herself, her extended family and her environment. I can tell that she wants to make Qik clips too and I'm getting a pint-sized classroom set up with a throwaway cameraphone that she can use when making clips from her buggy.
Get your keyframes right. I wouldn't dream of starting or stopping a video clip without knowing where I was going to begin recording and where I wanted to terminate the recording. I normally work with short clips in mind, varying camera angles to create the illusion of a second camera when the clip gets produced. When doing documentary work, I think it's important to have off-white cards containing product information, URLs, or complementary information. A lot of this keyframe analysis also assumes there's some sort of script, mental or written, that can be followed.
Get your power right. I have to have four bars of power on my Nokia E90 before I start recording because if the phone is recording and transmitting, it's using a lot of energy. And in my case, three bars quickly becomes "low battery" since the final third of battery power seems to go faster than the top third of a fully-charged battery. When the video is finished and the clip upstreamed, the back of the phone should not be hot. If it's warm to the touch, it means either a persistent network connection is happening or a video process did not release itself.
Get your connection right. It's not worth trying to make a Qik clip with a weak or nonexistent data connection. I've tried that several times, assuming the phone would catch up, but all that happens is the upstreaming breaks. Then Qik tries to stitch broken streams together. Then Qik loses the title of the clip and if you have a live or loyal audience, they get frustrated waiting for clips that may be deleted or rearranged on the server. My most tedious moments have occurred when I failed to ensure the Qik server was talking to my phone with a viable data connection.
Get your archive copy. I download from Qik through its mobile side, via RSS or through an Sothink Web Video Downloader. I have converted some of the Qik clips into 3GP files for Facebook and Flickr. I've pulled some clips down for local storage, catalogued by event and genre. I've also stripped the audio from several Qik clips and used the audio for podcasts, like Dan York does with his camera.
Get your syndication right. I'm not good at cross-publishing nor do I get a lot of bounce from my Qik clips. On some days, I've recorded 500 views of a single clip but that's because someone like Pat Phelan or Jackie Danicki pointed out my work to their followers. On my own, a small posse (fewer than 40 people) watch my Qik clips on the same day as I record the videos. However, Qik keeps my work in its archive and that means that over time my clips can attract more than 1000 views. As many readers would predict, my Qik Sunday News clips attract the most loyal audience, pushing many of those clips above 200 views within a month of them being recorded.