All posts for “business”


Updated: The issue described below has been resolved. You can read about it here. While we are happy to be an inspiration for educators and individuals, sometimes we see examples of commercial organizations that choose to make videos that cause potential confusion. When a video uses paper cut-outs on a whiteboard and "in Plain English" in the title, people may mistake it for part of the Common Craft video series. This confusion compromises the hard work we've put into building the Common Craft... Continue Reading

Introducing the New

Posted by: leelefever on May 17, 2009- 5:00pm

Topic: thissite

Categories: business, feedback


A few months back, we made re-thinking our web site a top priority. We needed a better way to organize, display and sell our videos. At the same time, we saw an opportunity for our website to feel like a Common Craft video. Today is the official launch of the new and we can barely contain ourselves. A few things: 1. We need your help. As with anything new, bugs, typos, and issues of all sorts are expected. Please contact us, or leave a comment here if you see anything out of... Continue Reading

Editors in Brief: Common Craft Article in Seattle Magazine

Posted by: leelefever on May 5, 2009- 5:00pm

Topic: buzz

Categories: business, buzz, ourwork, personal, press, seattle


A few months ago, we spent an afternoon with Jamie Friddle, a writer for Seattle Magazine, who was putting together a story on Common Craft. We were so excited. A few weeks later a photographer came to take pictures. As Sachi will tell you, the process added a layer of anxiety to her day over the next few months. What would the article say? What photos would they use? I'm happy to report that the anxiety was all for naught. The 4 page feature appears in the May 2009 issue of Seattle Magazine... Continue Reading

5 Ways the New Will Be Different

Posted by: leelefever on April 21, 2009- 5:00pm


Categories: business, design, language, thissite


We've re-thought our website from the ground up and soon you'll see the all the changes we're making.  For now though, I want to highlight a few things that make a big difference. 1. A Focus on the Business. This may be the best way to explain how the focus has changed: The current Common Craft site says "WE HAVE A BLOG - and we sell videos" The *new* Common Craft  site says "WE SELL VIDEOS - and we have a blog" It's true - the new site is more closely aligned with the goal of finding, viewing... Continue Reading

Meet Splainers - The Newest Member of Our Explainer Network

Posted by: leelefever on March 1, 2009- 4:00pm


Categories: business, explainers, network


I recently wrote about a project called the Common Craft Explainer Network.  The big idea is to help connect prospects looking for custom explanatory videos with talented producers. I'm excited to report that we now have 4 members of the Explainer Network. Our newest member is Splainers - a small company from Issaquah, WA just around the corner from Seattle that specializes in simple presentations that use 3D modeling.  Splainers joins great group of talented producers who not only make... Continue Reading

Eleven Common Craft Kindle Books for Your New Kindle

Posted by: leelefever on February 22, 2009- 4:00pm


Categories: business, ebook, Explanation, kindle


Sometimes we think about our videos not as videos, but little lessons. Whether you watch them in a video, or read the script with visuals, the messaging should be just as effective.  This is where we got the idea for our Common Craft Kindle books.  If someone has a Kindle wireless reading device and wants to learn about Twitter or the basics of Investing money, they should be able to spend a couple of bucks and get up to speed in a few minutes.  More about our Kindle Books here. As of... Continue Reading

Online Videos, Testimonials and Conversion Rates

Posted by: leelefever on February 19, 2009- 4:00pm


Categories: business, marketing, statistics, video


It's too easy to just put up a web page and hope for the best. I can certainly attest to this practice for most of Common Craft's existence. However, as we've moved into ecommerce and built some traffic, I've become much more data oriented and learned more about things like "conversions" and "A/B testing." Many web-based businesses have the same goal: drive traffic to your web site and then convert that traffic into some desired action.  This is called conversion - converting traffic to... Continue Reading

How "Twitter in Plain English" Gained 2.6 Million Views

Posted by: leelefever on February 18, 2009- 4:00pm


Categories: business, dotsub, stats, twitter, video


A year ago today, I was writing the script for the video "Twitter in Plain English."  A year later, the video has over 2.6 million views, thanks to a bit of collaboration between a handful of companies. Here's how: We decided to make "Twitter in Plain English" for the same reason we made "RSS in Plain English " - it was a concept with huge potential that needed a better explanation. We wanted people to understand a resource that we value. Twitter, Inc. didn't hire us to create the video and... Continue Reading

A Model for Applying Common Craft Videos

Posted by: leelefever on February 8, 2009- 4:00pm


Categories: AtoZ, business, education, ourwork, thissite, videos


People often ask how our presentation quality videos are used in professional and educational settings. From talking to educators and influencers, we've learned that our videos are often used to introduce a subject - to get everyone on the same page at the beginning of a class, workshop, etc. Recently, as part of our planning for 2009, we came up with a model that helps tell this story.  We call it the A-to-Z Scale. The scale represents the path to learning a subject. On the left side are... Continue Reading

How Education Became Our Focus

Posted by: leelefever on January 25, 2009- 4:00pm


Categories: business, education, future, ourwork


I'm a big believer that every business needs to understand exactly what business they are in - and for us, this has been a journey.  I'm confident, through months of discussion and testing, that we've defined this direction for Common Craft.  Here is what we learned: I started Common Craft in 2003 to do consulting.  It was just me and I provided consulting services.  Once we started making videos, we were hired to make custom videos.  Again, we were a services business.  In the summer of 2007,... Continue Reading