All posts for “ourwork”


Client Video: Windows

Posted by: leelefever on November 18, 2008- 4:00pm

Categories: client work, Explanation, microsoft, ourwork, paperworks, plainenglish


Common Craft was hired by Microsoft to help explain the new Windows  We were so excited to work with a local organization on a project that highlights a new direction for the company. Share this video with this code:

Introducing: The Common Craft Explainer Network

Posted by: leelefever on November 16, 2008- 4:00pm

Categories: network, ourwork, producers, thissite


A few weeks ago, we posted "Seeking Producers of Video Explanations" and wrote: We see an opportunity for a win-win.  Every day, we receive multiple emails from organizations that are looking for custom explanatory videos... The opportunity we see is to create a way, through our website, to help organizations find video producers who can be hired to produce custom videos. Since that time, we've been working on a project to bring this idea to life.  It's called the Common Craft Explainer... Continue Reading

What is an Explanation?

Posted by: leelefever on November 12, 2008- 4:00pm

Categories: Explanation, feedback, openthread, ourwork, thisite


Sachi and I been talking about this and we're curious what you think.  What is an explanation? What are the skills required to be a good explainer?  What makes a good explanation?

Client Video: Ford Sync in Plain English

Posted by: leelefever on November 2, 2008- 4:00pm

Categories: clientproduction, ourwork, paperworks, plainenglish, video


We were hired by Ford Motor Company and Social Media Group to produce this video about Sync - a Microsoft technology that uses voice activation to control cell phones and mp3 players. In learning about the technology, we became fans of Sync, especially now that you can get a ticket in Washington State for holding a phone while driving.  

What To Do About Copy-Cats?

Posted by: leelefever on October 15, 2008- 5:00pm

Categories: feedback, legal, ourwork, thissite


For quite a while now, we’ve been flattered to see others create videos that appear very similar to ours. In many cases, these are positive videos that are used as classroom exercises.  We encourage others in the education world to create Common Craft-inspired videos. Of course, some producers have taken the idea in new directions and mediums, which we also encourage. Further, some producers choose to publicly attribute Common Craft for inspiring their work - and we deeply appreciate this kind... Continue Reading

Interview with Principled Innovation

Posted by: leelefever on September 24, 2008- 5:00pm

Categories: business, buzz, interview, ourwork


Yesterday I had a great talk/interview with Jeff DeCagna of Principled Innovation for his P.I. Podcast.  We talked about the Common Craft story, but also about "Being Lightweight", based on the recent series of posts. Big thanks to Jeff for the invitation.  Have a listen on Jeff's site.

Building a New Foundation for Common Craft

Posted by: leelefever on September 22, 2008- 5:00pm

Categories: business, legal, ourwork, strategy, video


For the last few months, we've been "foundation building."  For us, this means taking the time to focus on the business behind Common Craft and how we communicate our business to you. Our goal is clarity - if we are clear about the exact business that we run, then we're more able to illustrate our value to potential customers. It's hard work and something we're excited to see come to fruition. Now that it's in place, we can really focus on videos. The elements of the foundation: Licenses -... Continue Reading

Making the Election Video: Behind the Scenes

Posted by: leelefever on September 1, 2008- 5:00pm

Categories: Behind the Scenes, election, government, home, lessons, ourwork, video


People often ask for a look at how we make the videos. When we were putting together the the "Electing a US President" video, I made a special point to take photos of the process. Here's how it works: Every video starts with a script. If there is "secret sauce" it happens in writing the script because the script drives the video. We use Google Docs to collaborate until we feel like the script is close to finished. Then, we start looking at a thumbnail storyboard. I draw the scenes for the... Continue Reading

Custom Video: Google Reader in Plain English

Posted by: leelefever on August 25, 2008- 5:00pm

Categories: clientproduction, google, ourwork, rss, video


The Google Reader team hired us to create this one minute introduction to Google Reader. Our other videos for Google include: Google Docs Mobile Maps (My Location) Google Apps with Salesforce View all of our custom client productions.

The Demand for "Explainers" and The Giant Pool of Money

Posted by: leelefever on August 18, 2008- 5:00pm

Categories: Explanation, journalism, news, ourwork


Jay Rosen has written article that I could quote 1000 times.  It's called National Explainer: A Job for Journalists on the Demand Side of News.  It focuses on the huge success of an episode of "This American Life" called The Giant Pool of Money, which serves to explain the US mortgage crisis. This episode has been downloaded 50,000 times more than any other episide.  Why?  Because the producers (Ira Glass and Alex Blumberg) focused on explanation instead of information. When we talk about... Continue Reading