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
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.
Our big transition is almost complete and we need your help. The new Store is up, we're finishing up the last custom projects and now is the time to plan what videos we'll offer in the Store over the next year. We have lots of ideas, but we really want to know what you think. We want to make videos that: Help professionals and educators increase awareness and create change at work Have a positive impact on the Web A good example of this is our video "Wikis in Plain English", which is part... Continue Reading
In honor of the start of the Beijing Olympics, we've decided to make it "China Week" here on the Common Craft blog. In a lot of ways, China was where we first started to experiment with video. We bought our first video camera (a Sony DCR - PC 1000) in Hong Kong, just before spending about a month in mainland China in 2006. Over the time in China, we edited and posted our first "real" videos. This week, we'll share a few of those videos and some stories from our time there. It's stuff you... Continue Reading
I'm not sure how this happened, but there is an error in the original version of the "Electing a US President" video. The original version says that there are 3 congressional districts in Kansas. As we discovered today, via a nice email from Gerry Deman of Kansas, there are actually 4 districts. Here's what we're doing about it:We have created a new, corrected version of the video. It's embedded below and we have replaced the video on the original blog entry (and embed code) with this new... Continue Reading
This evening we've taken the wraps off the new CommonCraft.com and we'd love your feedback and help. The biggest change is the new and improved video Store, which is fashioned after the shopping experience on sites like NetFlix. As I've said before, we see the Store as the centerpiece of our future business and we're so excited to have a foundation on which we can build. To go with the new Store, we've made a video (below) that explains the way our video licensing works. "Common Craft... Continue Reading
Apparently, May 1st is RSS Awareness Day! I had no idea such a day existed, but it has it's own site at RSSday.org . Thanks to the nice folks at dailyblogtips.com for making our RSS in Plain English video part of the site - and day for that matter. I agree that RSS is one of those special technologies. It has the potential to positively impact virtually every Internet user at no cost. A big problem is awareness - it's hard for people to see how it could impact them until they give it a try.... Continue Reading
A couple of weeks ago, we announced The Common Craft Store. It was a pretty soft roll-out, but was a huge moment for us. Not only did it mark the end of a lot of preparation, but a new business model. So far, so good. Plus, the more-ready-for-prime-time Store will soon be coming to an Internet near you. A big part of preparing to open the Store was making new versions of each video in both Windows (.wmv) and Mac (.mov) formats. This gave us a chance to make improvements across the library... Continue Reading
What is the point where many projects get off track? We think it's when decision making becomes a burden. Indecision, lack of ownership and unclear reasoning often means stasis and frustration. Over the past year, and likely through traveling together, Sachi and I have evolved a system that helps us be productive without wasting time. It's a system of ownership - of being personally accountable for the small decisions that contribute to the overall goal. Early in the process, we talk a lot... Continue Reading
Via Laughing Squid and Andy Baio at Waxy.org, who is creating digitized version of old VHS tapes. This makes me wonder if people, 12 years from now, will look back at our videos and laugh, saying "Hah! Can you imagine? That's what they thought blogs and RSS were all about! Sheesh!"