Blogger’s Choice: Embedding video into keynote

by Valerie Heruska

I just finished three 50-minute presentations to the Resident Assistants at Boston University. My presentation was on Digital Identity and Social Media and how they can build the community both offline and online. I think the presentation went really well and a lot of them asked me how long it took for me to put together. I answered them and told them that it took me a few hours. Truth be told, every presentation I put together takes time and planning, and this one was no different. It was about 30 slides and included embedding videos into keynote.

Full disclosure, I had no idea how to embed videos into keynote. I was searching all over the place and I wasn’t comfortable downloading anything shady off the internet – I’m still suffering from PTSD from the time I downloaded a game key and it was an actual virus and it made my computer shut down- but I digress. I found a nifty website (not sure if it’s legal) called Clip Converter, which will convert video from YouTube into a .mov format for you to use in Keynote. It was super easy to use and so easy once the files were converted.

So hopefully, you find this useful! If you know of another way to embed video into keynote, please leave a comment!

Advertisements
Blogger’s Choice: Embedding video into keynote

Linkage Love: Upcoming Trends in Social Media

By Anitra Cottledge

I had a great conversation recently with some colleagues about ways to utilize technology and social media to communicate about your office or department. This is one of my favorite topics, so I had plenty to say. We talked about topics and strategies that have probably been mentioned before: create a social media policy for your office (building upon your institution’s policy if they have one), be strategic about what you post, develop a social media schedule, and track your engagement via social media, i.e., make a monthly note of how many followers, hits, likes you have. Pay attention to what’s working and what’s not working and be willing to evolve. Remember that social media and technology are just new(er) mechanisms of outreach.

The other thing that we talked about was deciding which social media platforms to use and why. I went through our usage of particular platforms (at this point, we are utilizing a lot of social media with the exception of Tumblr, because we don’t have a need for it. This past year, we started using Pinterest, and are playing with some different ways to use it and integrate it with our other communication vehicles.

What came up is that technology moves so quickly, and before you can blink, there’s a new platform on the horizon. Here are a few upcoming trends and/or platforms to watch out for:

  • (The Incredible) Shrinking Videos – Are you using Vine to make short, 6-minute, looping videos that you can share with friends via a mobile app? Wired Mag on how Vine is the next (current?) thing.
  • Embracing the Visual – I don’t know how this is necessarily new, because it seems to me (in an anecdotal way) that people already utilize visual imagery to engage audiences via things like Instagram, Pinterest, infographics, and using more photo and video on Facebook. Nonetheless, if you haven’t given this idea some thought in relation to your social media strategy, now is the time to reframe and rethink.
  • Going Mobile – I am starting to see more mobile versions of websites, and have recently gotten involved in trying to optimize a site’s information for mobile use.  Considering the large amounts of people who access the web via smartphone, considering mobile design or responsive design is important.

These are just a few things that I’m thinking and reading about. What are trends that you’re noticing?

Linkage Love: Upcoming Trends in Social Media

Highlight an App: Vine

by Jennifer Keegin

Vine is a new app that lets you take 6 second videos and share them via Twitter and/or Facebook. You can follow others like you do with Instagram. Others can follow you. The trick is to come up with interesting videos that are only six seconds long.

Here’s an example from me:

Not the most exciting video, but showed the company that was selling the furniture and I convinced someone else to demo for me. It’s fun once you remember to hold your finger down as you tape, release to stop. Lots of stop motion happening here when you explore other videos. I love the travel section. Of course there’s selfies and food and cats and all the other types of videos you would imagine. Definitely worth checking out especially since it’s a free app.

Here are some more articles about Vine:

How to use Vine and other video apps for marketing.
Twitter’s Vine App Will Make Social SEO Campaigns More Awesome.

Highlight an App: Vine

Best Practices (Tech and Otherwise) for Annual Reports

By Brenda Bethman

Disclaimer: I SWEAR that the primary reason for this post is NOT shameless self-promotion, although I do admit that that might be a strong secondary reason (besides you have to admit that our video annual report does really rock). In fact, it is so great that I am going to embed it here instead of burying it at the end. If you want to know how you, too, can create an awesome annual report (whether print or video), read on after the video.

It’s June in higher ed which means the students are gone (or back from summer school), orientation is in full swing (or about to me), vacations are (hopefully) happening — and it is very likely that you are working on an annual report of your office’s activities in academic year 2011-12. Here at the UMKC Women’s Center, we just finished our annual report so I wanted to share some tips for best practices for annual reports while it’s fresh in my mind.

All year round. First, remember that working on your annual report actually begins NOW (or whenever your new fiscal / reporting year starts). We use Excel spreadsheets, updated weekly, to track all of our numbers. It is soooooo much easier to pull those numbers out of a spreadsheet at the end of the year than it is to scramble to remember how many people came to your ice cream social in August. Similarly, if it gets to be May or June and you find yourself without high-quality photos or video to use for your report, you will be in trouble — make sure that you are taking photos and/or shooting video at every event during the year. And don’t think you can take too much — the more stuff you have to choose from at report time, the better.

Track everything. And I mean everything — in our weekly reports that get fed into the spreadsheet, we track not only the events we held and how many folks attended, but also number of visitors, phone calls, emails, advocacy hours, volunteer hours, blog/website hits, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, YouTube views, etc. You name it, we track it. Everyone is competing for fewer resources — the more data you have to back up your claim of having a broad impact, the more credible your request for resources is.

Align with the bigger mission. A couple of years ago, we changed up the format of our annual report so that all programs and events are aligned with the goals of the University’s and Division’s strategic plans. Doing so helps the higher administration understand where the Women’s Center fits in the big picture and how what we do ultimately supports UMKC’s mission and goals. That’s what you want them to remember.

Invest in the equipment. Annual reports can be simple Word documents or high-gloss publications produced with quality publishing software or even a video (more on that below). If you decide to go the fancy route, be sure you have the equipment (hardware and software) you need. At a minimum, that means a camera capable of taking high-res, print quality photos, a video camera (if you want to do a video), and publishing software. Do NOT, I repeat do NOT, think you can get away with a Publisher template. It will be ugly and we will know and mock you. Seriously. A plain text report is better than something ugly from Publisher. (And yes, I know I’m getting judge-y there, so sue me. I care deeply about design).

Acknowledge and share. Do you have collaborators, donors, volunteers, other partners? The annual report is the place to acknowledge them — and then let them know. Everyone loves to see their name in print (believe me, I know — we’ve had phone calls from folks we inadvertently left out), so if you’ve included them, send them a copy. They’ll thank you. More importantly, they’ll remember you and think fondly of you, which means they might just work with you again when you need them.

Consider a video. If you have the time and resources, consider making a video of your annual report. We started this a couple of years ago and it’s been a huge hit because people just love video. It also allows for greater distribution — we can’t afford to print endless copies of the print version of the report. And while we can, and do, send out a link to a PDF, a lot of people might not bother to open and read the file. Many of them will take 4 minutes to watch a video, though. It’s also handy for class presentations and at orientation. Instead of standing in front of a group talking, I show them the video — it’s much more effective at capturing their attention. It also comes in handy for those family members who ask “What is it exactly that you do, anyway?” Just show them the video! For more tips on how to make a video, see my earlier post.

Those are my tips for creating a fabulous annual report. If you have more to share, please leave them in the comments. And happy reporting!

Best Practices (Tech and Otherwise) for Annual Reports

So You Wanna Be a Video Producer?

As anyone who works with students (or, well, anyone really, but students in particular) knows, if you want to grab their attention, a video is a good way to do so. There are a couple of ways to do video. One way is to grab a Flip (or other cheap camera now that the Flip is no more), your smartphone, or your point-and-shoot with video, grab some footage, and put it up on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or your other preferred social network. The immediacy of that is great and can be a good way to engage your followers.

Sometimes, though, you need something that’s more professional and polished. I’ve noticed, however, that when that’s the case, a lot of don’t know how to begin or what to do. Having just produced four videos for our the 40th Anniversary of our women’s center, I learned a lot about what to do and share my tips with you here (note that this scenario assumes that you shot your own footage and photos and then hired someone to edit it for you. You can also hire someone to do the shooting for you, use stock photos and/or edit yourself).

But first, a bit of shameless self-promotion in the form of one of the final products:

And now, here’s how we got to that final product:

  1. If you’re doing the shooting, invest in good equipment (camera, video camera, tripod, microphone). If you have a film or media department on campus, they can help you with recommendations and/or equipment loans. They can also sometimes provide studio space for indoor shoots.
  2. If you’re editing the video yourself, decide what software you need and purchase it. iMovie, Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are all solid choices (although iMovie is the most consumer-oriented of the bunch) that shouldn’t cost you back too much depending on your campus’ licensing agreements.
  3. Watch out for compatibility issues between different video formats and Macs/PCs. Check that you know what format you need before you start importing and working on files. At the beginning of our project, we had some issues transferring video clips that had been imported on a Mac to a PC. It worked out, but a little research ahead of time would have helped.
  4. Shoot a LOT of footage, much, much more than you think you will need. A huge amount of what we shot was unusable, but we were okay because we had much more than we needed.
  5. If you are going to ask someone to regurgitate a lot of text, cue cards are your friends.
  6. Go through and cull the photos / video *before* sending to an editor. It saves both of you time and money if you give your editor material to work with that s/he knows is already approved. Otherwise, you end up having to edit out things later.
  7. When hiring an editor, look for someone who tells you “no edit is too small.”
  8. If you are going to use music with your video, keep it legal. YouTube has a page on copyright issues and Mashable has a good article on how to find legal music for your videos.
  9. Finally, be warned that producing quality videos is a LOT of work. Granted, we had a lot of material (we made three promotional videos and one that highlighted four of the 40th Anniversary events we’ve held this year), but I spent the better part of a few weekends going through and choosing videos and photos for the videos and then making edits to send to our editor. Not to mention the time we spent at photo and video shoots to gather the raw material. It was fun also, but it’s time-consuming work.
What tips do you have for producing videos? 


  1. If you’re doing the shooting, invest in good equipment (camera, video camera, tripod, microphone). If you have a film or media department on campus, they can help you with recommendations and/or equipment loans. They can also sometimes provide studio space for indoor shoots.
  2. If you’re editing the video yourself, decide what software you need and purchase it. iMovie, Sony Vegas Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro are all solid choices (although iMovie is the most consumer-oriented of the bunch) that shouldn’t cost you back too much depending on your campus’ licensing agreements.
  3. Watch out for compatibility issues between different video formats and Macs/PCs. Check that you know what format you need before you start importing and working on files. At the beginning of our project, we had some issues transferring video clips that had been imported on a Mac to a PC. It worked out, but a little research ahead of time would have helped.
  4. Shoot a LOT of footage, much, much more than you think you will need. A huge amount of what we shot was unusable, but we were okay because we had much more than we needed.
  5. If you are going to ask someone to regurgitate a lot of text, cue cards are your friends.
  6. Go through and cull the photos / video *before* sending to an editor. It saves both of you time and money if you give your editor material to work with that s/he knows is already approved. Otherwise, you end up having to edit out things later.
  7. When hiring an editor, look for someone who tells you “no edit is too small.”
  8. If you are going to use music with your video, keep it legal. YouTube has a page on copyright issues and Mashable has a good article on how to find legal music for your videos.
  9. Finally, be warned that producing quality videos is a LOT of work. Granted, we had a lot of material (we made three promotional videos and one that highlighted four of the 40th Anniversary events we’ve held this year), but I spent the better part of a few weekends going through and choosing videos and photos for the videos and then making edits to send to our editor. Not to mention the time we spent at photo and video shoots to gather the raw material. It was fun also, but it’s time-consuming work.
So You Wanna Be a Video Producer?