As you may know, we've published a number "in Plain English" videos over the last year or two that are related to Social Media. Taken together, there are 9 of them on subjects from Wikis to Twitter. We've learned along the way that:
1) Professionals like you find these videos useful for introducing social media concepts to others.
2) You would prefer to use "Presentation Quality" versions that are downloadable and look great on screens of all types.
3) You love quantity discounts.
To serve all these needs, we've created the Social Media 9 Pack, which offers all 9 of our Social Media videos for the price of 7 videos. For individuals, that's about US$132 for all 9, for 3 years. Of course, the same videos are available as a "Site License" for entire organizations as well.
As you may have seen, the Common Craft Store has a section for merchandise that is looking pretty minimal at the moment. At the same time, we often get requests for t-shirts. Hopefully, we're about to solve this problem.
We've created a new "assignment" on a website called Pixish. Using Pixish, we can describe an image we need and have a community of creative people submit their ideas. The creator of the winning images win "rewards" - often money, links, etc.
We're hoping to identify 2-3 images that we can put on t-shirts and other fun things that are offered in our store. If you're creative and want to participate, please do. The details are here.
We're offering $200US to the winners, plus some link-love from this blog. The assignment ends on September 15th.
What would you like to see on a Common Craft t-shirt?
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 Licensing in Plain English" also appears on the Store's front page.
Share this video using this code:
You'll also see that the site has a similar but improved interface.
We'd love your help!
With Reporting Problems...
As you know, we don't have "testers" or "QA professionals." If you see anything unexpected or erroneous, please do report it. You can leave a comment here or contact us. With Building Awareness...
We've heard positive feedback from Store customers and we're very confident in our product, but awareness remains as our biggest challenge. People know the videos, but few understand that we offer them for licensed use in the workplace.
This is where you can help. We would be forever indebted if you could help us spread the word. The next time you talk to someone who says "I need an easy way to teach people at my company about social media", you might mention our Store. Of course, blog posts and tweets help too. :)
Ultimately, our potential rides on the Store's success. As it succeeds, we can devote more and more of our time to creating a growing library videos that are useful for non-commercial purposes on the Web and licensed use in the workplace.
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 - especially to our first few videos, which has sound and color issues.
The first example is a major update for the "licensed version" of RSS in Plain English video, which is only available in the Store. We recorded a new voice-over and re-edited it to be more efficient and have improved color. The content is nearly identical to the original, free version. Below is the updated, licensed version:
The second example is CFL Light Bulbs in Plain English (formerly New Light Bulbs in Plain English). When we originally published it, it did not contain a warning about mercury and disposing of the bulbs properly. This new version of the video contains a mercury warning. This updated video is now available in both free and licensed versions. Below is the updated, free version:
As I wrote recently, we've been thinking a lot about Common Craft's future. In the coming year, Sachi and I want to make even more videos for you - videos that are useful, both on the Web and in the workplace. We've recently created a new resource that will hopefully help us get there.
The Store is the home for "licensed versions" of our videos. Licensed versions contain the same messaging and content as the free versions, but are improved for the workplace.
Download video files immediately after purchase (credit card, paypal)
Higher resolution (640 X 480 - better for projection screens)
Less promotion (no Common Craft Show branding)
Provided in Quicktime (.mov) for Mac, and Windows Media (.wmv) formats
Individual - Unlimited use by an individual Site - Unlimited use for a single location of an organization
We have also re-edited and re-recorded the voiceovers for the RSS and Wiki videos.
The Store is a direct response to emails we receive nearly every day asking for permission to use our videos in the workplace. By licensing our videos, we are removing any worries about permission and appropriate use. Influencers and educators now have a resource for downloading and using the videos in presentations, meetings, Intranets, trainings, etc. What about the free versions?
All of our videos will now be provided in two forms, Free and Licensed. This may help:
We are committed to maintaining the free and open nature of our videos on the public Web. The free versions will be provided under a Creative Commons 3.0 (non-commercial) license. These videos will continue to appear on the Common Craft Show, on video hosts like You Tube and will remain open for use by individuals, schools, non-profits, etc.
By opening the Store, we are creating a channel for professionals who need videos that are easier to access and more appropriate for use in professional/commercial situations.
Our hope is that the Store will allow us to focus more energy on producing videos for the Common Craft Show - videos that will be open to bloggers and the Web, but also for licensed use in the workplace.