Published May 06, 2009 by Gregg Schieve
I'm thinking that about 130 years ago, in 1876, a bunch of guys (yes, "guys" since women probably weren't allowed to think about these things back then) were sitting around a coffee house talking about this new fangeled device called the "tel-lee-fone". They were most likely complaining, "Why would I ever need one of those things?" Or better yet, "If I feel like talkin' to someone, I'll just go over to their house and TALK TO THEM!"
My how things have changed. Now, using a cheap, disposable cell phone, we can call from almost anywhere in the world to almost anywhere in the world. We can "twitter" our most personal thoughts to our "followers". With a single mouse click, we can post photos or videos of our birthday party to an Internet web site that the entire world can view. Within minutes, we can upload a video that is watchable on a hand-held electronic device the size of deck of cards. Today we have a myriad of ways to communicate. But, are we communicating any more effectively than we did person-to-person 130 years ago?
As video professionals do we get caught up in the technology and forget about producing a compelling message? Do the messages we produce get lost in the blizzard of communications? My point is, messages that aren't relevant to the viewer or that don't communicate a feeling or an emotion will be ineffective no mater how they are delivered. How many of us have suffered through long, boring videos on YouTube wondering "what's the point of this?" because there is no point. Likewise, there are commercials on TV everyday that leave us scratching or heads. We can communicate in hundreds of new and exciting ways but if there's no story, viewers will be turned off and miss the intended message. The key is obviously to produce a compelling message. The delivery mechanism should be secondary. Technology is great if used effectively to deliver a compelling message. Just look at the positive changes the tel-lee-fone has made in our lives.