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Optional Blog: ADL 310 ‘Zen of Social Media Reflections’

Throughout the past week and a half I’ve referred to Shama Kabani’s ‘The Zen of Social Media’ several times. I think this is a very good ‘introduction to social media’ book. This book isn’t flashy at all, and interestingly, it’s mainly text. There are a few charts and diagrams and snapshot photos of Shama’s social media pages, or example pages of other social media users. The entire book, 248 pages, is in black and grey font. It is simply written and very easy to understand. Its ‘new-age’ front cover with the meditating businessman-yogi portrays a ‘softer selling’ approach which may be comforting to those who are keen to use social media but reluctant to implement to market their ideas or products.

I like her sincere tone, and her commitment to ethics throughout the social media process is evident. Even her marketing advice comes across as professional, and much of it from her professional experiences.

I would recommend this book to anyone with a limited social media background or to those who want a more in depth understanding of social media marketing to promote or advance their business or interests.



ADL 310: Essential Post – Usefulness of video in my work context


In Shama Kabani’s the ‘zen of social media marketing’ – chapter 11, the title is “Video – The Most Powerful Social Medium”. If video is the fastest growing media, we should ask, is there an industry where video will not be useful?

Promoting safety messages such as no cell phone use while driving can be an arduous process. Just ask law enforcement or emergency room staff. Implementing a culture of safety takes time. The average person must hear the message over seven times before they remember it, and must act it out over 20 times before the behaviour is established as routine.

Videos are definitely useful in corporate safety programs and also part of online safety certificate programs.

When emergencies occur in our city such as the 2013 floods, or emergencies brought on by the floods such as the CP train derailment, safety messages for evacuation or shelter-in-place could be delivered through previously prepared videos.

( http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/derailed-tankers-pulled-from-calgary-bridge-1.1366763 )

Searching the Calgary websites, I found one example of a public safety video produced by the City of Calgary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjxnVWW_qY0

Hmmmm…there’s probably room in Calgary for more public safety messages delivered by video!

ADL 310 Comment on Family Adrift’s Video Review

One of my favourite  videos reviewed by ADL310ers came from Sherry Sian.  Of the two videos Sherry presented in her blog “Going Beyond Do-it-Yourself Videos to Professional Applications” the ‘Reindeer Herders, GIS and Land Use Planning’ stands out for its clarity, beautiful visuals and general appeal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEtZiNalniU&#038

Land use planning policy, which typically can be quite complex, was respectfully presented with all stakeholders input. The use of video was especially effective considering the geography, culture, reindeer husbandry and number of stakeholders.

Thanks Sherry!

Essential Post: ADL 310 Comments on Creating a Video

I’m grateful for our ADL310 course. I know I wouldn’t have taken on the video challenge without Bonita and Bob at our heels…:-).

Once again, I spent hours trying produce, reproduce and publish the video. Early in ADL310, Bonita asked how we learn. I know I take longer than the average person. I need to work and rework the material over and over again. Repetition is my friend! I can dodge taking on new challenges because the onerous work involved in learning. But, I’m grateful when the curtain is lifted and knowledge gained.

I don’t see myself becoming a videographer but I see many applications in many industries for the ‘challenged’ learner, and others, in producing visual images that will cement key messages and build foundations. Moving forward…

One way


http://heatherd.podomatic.com/entry/2014-05-19T18_51_06-07_00Bike Photo 2

It was a pleasure to work on this video.
I always struggle to find a topic that fits the course intent, my interest, time constraints etc. But, at this time of the year I’m anxious to get outdoors and thought I could brush up on my cycling skills.
I used VideoScribe / Sparkol’s free version. All music and images are from VideoScribe. I did find a limited number of images with the free version as compared to the tutorials.
The program was easy to load and work with but I found as I added images to existing text etc, it was harder to match up the screen size. Overall, it’s a pretty easy program and was a lot of fun making this video!

Ladies, thanks for providing a glimpse into your lives!

JulieADL310 – http://reasonstosmile.podomatic.com/entry/2014-05-17T09_25_16-07_00
I loved Julie’s video…very cute and I was familiar with some of the Videoscribe’s techniques.

Kathy adl310 – http://kathyadl310.podomatic.com/entry/2014-05-14T10_34_45-07_00
You are very brave Kathy but also talented. Great photos and sound quality!

Drive-by-quilter – http://drivebyquilter.podomatic.com/entry/2014-05-11T19_19_36-07_00
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again…your comments have helped me the most. Thanks again!

Family Adrift http://familyadrift.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/treating-family-like-it-matters/
Well done Sherry. Hopefully you and your family had a wonderful weekend!

I recently started riding my bike in busy traffic areas. While I do attempt to ride in the bike lane, typically about 20% of my journey is on city roads. I chose the ‘biking in the city’ theme to brush up on my riding skills and also in celebration of Calgary finally losing our snow, and soon, our gravel.

These videos were chosen because of their number of views, video length (less than 5 minutes), sound quality and safety-focused content.

1. How to bike in the city (tips for the bicycle curious)

This 4.05 minute video by Rosalie Miller is super easy to watch and enjoy. Rosalie is an engaging young woman who produced a video for cyclists who may not have experience riding on city roads.

The video was shot in Seattle and published June 18, 2013. The then Seattle mayor, Mike McGinn, also a cyclist, makes two guest appearances. The video cast is mainly young adults, but this video has wide appeal for all ages.

The audio consists of street noise and youthful up-beat music. Throughout the video, all how-to-cycle-in-the-city instructional information and descriptions are provided in text. The video pace is relaxing. Even the ‘cautionary’ instructions such as ‘watch the door-zone’ are not so jarring as to take you away from easy viewing.

This video has good visual and sound quality. The content addresses helmet use, arm signals and safe riding procedures. The video content is appropriate for people just starting to ride their bike in busy areas.

I enjoyed this video and so did more than 70,000 other viewers.

2. Life in the Bike Lane – Getting Around the City by Bike

This video was produced by Amy Pearl and has much less ‘how to’ content than Rosalie’s video. I picked this video to review because it was filmed in New York in the summer of 2010 and it at first glance it was appealing.

Amy’s 1.59 minute video is more of a documentary than an instructional video. There is quite a bit of movement in this video. Cyclists provide live comments on why they enjoy riding in New York and how to maintain safety (walkers don’t walk in the bike lane, cyclists won’t bike in the walk lane).

The interviewer is not seen or heard. The visual quality is good. It appears the sound is recorded with a microphone as there is background street noise but it doesn’t interfere with sound from the interviewees.

The video was viewed by over 2520 viewers.

3. Bike riding in traffic:

‘Bike riding in traffic’ was produced by Steve with Howdini.com. This video is about riding safely in traffic. Steve’s delivery is good and I appreciate his entire focus is on safety.

Steve is the sole cast member, and the video is shot in one indoor location. There is no physical movement during the 2.28 minute video, but the camera angle changes 10 times every 6 to 30 seconds in attempt to retain the viewer’s interest.

This video was released on July 16, 2009 and viewed by over 113,000 viewers.

The three videos were very different from the perspective of engaging the viewer. Shama Kabani author of “the zen of social media marketing”, suggests to retain viewer’s interest, the video length should be less than 2 minutes. While the length of the video ‘how to bike in the city’ was much longer than the other two videos, it was also the most engaging. Again, Shama Kabani’s recommended video components to holding the viewer’s interest is to keep things moving by changing camera angle, image or scene, and also keep the video content real and transparent.

Rosalie was successful in keeping her video content real with her inclusion of friends and the Seattle mayor. Movement was kept to a steady pace, her key messages were clear, and her use of repetition helped the viewer retained the information.

As a cyclist looking for safe-riding information to increase my safety, all three video’s had slightly different content which I will incorporate into my produced video.