New being a relatively loose term. My paper started video just after I got there in 2006, so about four years worth of newness.
The hardest thing for me hasn’t been the actual work. I love doing anything for our Web site, from videos to map to interactive infographics. These are the things I’m passionate about because often I feel these are the best and clearest ways to tell a story.
The hard thing is waiting for anyone to notice.
With video, there are always metrics to let you know just how little your community cares about your work. Clicks, time spent watching, total forwards or any other measure that will tell you that for the most part, no one is watching. Recently that’s been changing with a new metric I’ve been tracking.
That measure is people offering to give me money for what I did.
It’s been slow, but I’ve been noticing over the last nine months or so a surge in people calling or e-mailing to see if they can get a copy of our videos. Since I work in high school sports a lot, this mostly comes from the parents of athletes or coaches or principals at the school.
What I’m hearing is that this is going into a scrapbook or played at an assembly or in the case of one of our teams that just won a state championship, in their time capsule.
For as long as there has been print publications, there has been adoring parents who clipped articles and posted them on whatever passed for the refrigerator. As computers and external hard drives become large enough (and people are getting more used to shooting and storing their own digital videos) they are becoming the refrigerator.
Parents are becoming more tech-savvy, either by experience or attrition, and they are learning to expect that as the newspaper of record, we will have a story, photos and video on anything their children do.
Much of what we do on the Web focuses on the immediacy of the medium. we’re often told to get content, especially videos, up quick and dirty.
This isn’t always the right decision and in the case of how our community is using my sports video I think it’s the wrong approach.
These videos are becoming a record of the event in more of a historical sense. People are watching them not to get the latest news but to relive, days later in many cases, something big for them.
When I do sports stuff I try to add titles, voice-overs and anything I can to make it seem more ESPN and less like something a parent might have shot. They’ve already seen that.
It adds a lot of time. I often don’t get home from a football Friday until 3 a.m. I worked during both time changes these last few months (which conveniently evened up my lost hours).
Now when I go around changing the office clocks I’ll have a little more faith that the extra time is really worth it.