Video for your Websites

Add video to enrich or supplant printed texts.

New communication technologies enable authors to incorporate streaming multimedia into their webs.

Writers may provide video to:

  1. Underscore the content of the print text, illustrating key concepts.  For example, an agency hoping to secure funds for hungry people could show video of their living conditions.
  2. Illustrate the content of the printed text.  A researcher could provide video of people he or she interviewed.  A technical writer could provide a screen-movie to show users how to complete instructions.
  3. Inform or persuade people who respond more positively to an engaging speaker than printed texts.

Video Formats

Currently, three “players” are available for free that can play digital movies on your computer:

  1. Windows Media Player.  This player is a Microsoft tool so it prefers the Microsoft format (.avi), yet it will play movies in a variety of formats, including Quicktime.
  2. Real Player. When you got to Real.Com’s site, you may need to hunt around for a while before finding the free Real Player.
  3. Quicktime Player. Although Quicktime was originally designed to play Macintosh-platform movies, it now plays Windows-oriented movies as well.

Examples Online Video

As computers begin to become more entertainment devices, users will increasingly look for good video from their computers. Eventually, video will become more integrated into writing spaces. Below are some videos used for pedagogical purposes.

  1. Taylor’s Student Projects. Includes many student-produced documentaries.
  2. Writing Instruction Videos. Watch practices and listen to experts in the field of teaching writing.
  3. House Hippo Movie. Created by Concerned Children’s Advertisers, this movie is designed to teach students to be critical of TV advertising and Web sources.
  4. Health Video. See videos on hundreds of health issues.
  5. Microsoft Screen Movies. Screen movies show users how to use software.

As with any other design element, too many videos can be distracting so make sure you test your videos (including placement, length, and speed of loading) with your test audience.  Also, make sure you check periodically to make sure your videos are still available.

If you are including your own videos, the “shaky” approach isn’t great so use a tripod to keep your camera steady.  Double check the audio as some video cameras are better than others.  Make sure to avoid quick shifts of the camera as they make the audience dizzy and they may click out of your video.  Lastly, periodically update your videos to keep your pages fresh.  There are many free online websites that can help you edit your videos.  Search with your web browser to find them and test them before using them on your material.