Category Archives: YouTube

Speaking like Jobs – Presentation tips from 10 years ago

Exactly 10 years ago this week, Steve Jobs took to the stage –a technique he would go on to perfect — to launch the iPod Shuffle.

That was Jan 11th, 2005.

I often do ‘anniversary’ events in my class, to get young people to think about where we are now, in relation to where we and the technologies we take for granted were once at. After all, this is a Computer and Technology Lab, and I don’t want to get into the trap of always featuring today’s shiny new object, or the hottest new parlor trick in digital media. We often need context, and it tends to fly by when we refresh our feeds, doesn’t it?

Back to Jobs. His presentation trick was to use insanely simple devices. Well rehearsed, and well timed but simple. Which made him very different from his tech contemporaries, who revel in Silicon Valley argot. (Yes, I listen to ‘This Week in Tech, to catch up with the other kind of tech-talk!)

Listen to how he works up the crowd, and keeps them hanging on for that characteristic”One more thing.”  Fast forward to 1:35, and see what I mean.

  • He uses words like ‘noodled’ (He “noodled on it” not “researched it”)
  • He uses unexpected pauses, and slows down and speeds up suddenly
  • He uses home-spun images – comparing the iPod Shuffle to a pack of gum, and contrasting it with four quarters

Notice how he also stays away from big words, using words like “easy”, “simple,” “thing,” etc. (And yet, peppering his presentation with keywords!)

Even if there was no YouTube, I bet we would still listen to it.


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Remembering Jeret Peterson

The sad news today from Park City, Utah brings memories of some work I did with a  client in Park City last year.

I was working with former Olympian, Sean Smith who, in a few days before he left for Vancouver, learned the ins and outs of sending in video podcasts from his phone. Online and off, he brought me up to speed about the different categories, and whom to watch. He would upload the videos and I would post them within minutes to the blog, for my client.

Jeret “Speedy” Peterson was a name that kept popping up as Sean was confident that the ‘Hurricane’ would certainly earn Jeret a medal. It did.

Below is a short clip of Sean’s excitement about the Speedy.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Peterson family. Your son was truly a legend!

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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in Social Media, YouTube


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Digital media’s unpaved road

I get asked often how I would handle a situation in an organization that uses a smattering of digital media. The easy answer would be “It depends.”

Not to be facetious, but it not only depends on the passion and the inclination to wade into the confusing digital communication environment (using strategies around incorporating Slideshare, Twitpic, AudioBoo, MediaWiki, UStream etc).

It depends on the people on your team who have an appetite for this. Not everyone feels comfortable in this environment. I sometimes talk of one of the most cynical team members in an organization who has become a pro in using digital media. His concern (“I don’t need to know what someone is having for lunch” – a famous knock on Twitter users) was that it might be  a waste of time for him and the organization.

It helped that the organization thought differently, and it was my job to inspire him and others like him to take this unpaved road. Watch how Sean Smith, became a citizen reporter out of Vancouver, using nothing more than an Android phone. And yes, he began tweeting too, but not about his lunch menu!

Welcome to the discomfort zone!

If you’re in media relations or marketing, or even if you’re running a department that has nothing to do with PR, that road beckons. It’s still rugged, and may never be the smooth ‘superhighway’ we were once promised. But the traffic is building up.  No you don’t have to be a pro at producing videos, or writing blog posts. (That’s why citizen journalists have become such an essential part of the news cycle.) But you and your team do have valuable knowledge that’s worth sharing. “Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department,” someone –perhaps Seth Godin–once noted. Ditto for PR and customer service. Ditto for content creation, and digital marketing communications.

Welcome to the unpaved road.

Stop worrying about the technology, and start thinking of participating.


Your World News Video Channel

I am a big user of UStream, and of course YouTube and Vimeo.



But did you know you could create your own ‘World News’ video channel?

Check it out here, and take a look at some of my videos here.

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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Social Media, World Events, YouTube



Anti-commercial on library throws ‘Spice’ on dry subject

Who would want to make a commercial to promote a library? Videos of city centers and golf courses have built-in stories that are easy to tap into. But a library? They end up being like this! Or, for heaven’s sake, this –with slogans and beauty shots devoid of a story line!

So this commercial, which borrows heavily from the effects we have come to expect in Old Spice genre, is a lot of fun. OK, maybe they could have not been so liberal about stealing the copy approach ( “look at your man, now back to me, now back at your man…”) but I guess that’s what genius is, sometimes,”standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Shameless rip-off, or brilliant homage to a meme before it burns out?

Not everything this group does is that way, though. Take a look at this video on Roman citizenship, that is another way of spicing up a dry subject, even with with the standard Professor talking head.


Yesterday’s Webinar on YouTube

Gary Campbell and I shot this a video on the morning of the webinar, to use it before the event, and also as the content for the channel we created during the session.

Obviously there was a lot we would have liked to fix –lighting, for instance– but this was itself a demo of how to produce a video with a short deadline, with minimal editing.

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Posted by on August 27, 2010 in Public Radius, Workshops, YouTube


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Passport to ‘Digital Citizenship’ Webinars next week

Really happy to announce a series of Web conferences that I will be starting next week for the U.S Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Webinar on social media - US Embassy, Colombo Sri LankaThis follows a digital video conference I conducted last year for the U.S.E, in association with the US State Department.

These six workshops –Webinars– are designed to be more interactive; the majority of participants will be at one location in Colombo. They were selected based on their application and response to a survey on the state of social media in Sri Lanka.

We are covering the usual suspects: Blogs, social networking, micro-blogging, video sharing and social search.  The attendees are from diverse backgrounds: advertising, corporate communications, government, web-based businesses, management, universities, media and non-profits.

Presenters: To make these sessions more focused and relevant I have brought on board some top practitioners to co-present with me. They are:

Dan Wool, a corporate communications and PR consultant for APS, a large electric utility in Arizona. Dan co-founded one of the world’s top blogs on public relations, marketing and social media.

Steve England, Chief Technology Office of MobileSoft, an advocate of on-demand digital printing who advises large tech companies and international advertising agencies on interactive marketing.

Gary Campbell, a communications manager at Arizona State University, a former print journalist turned digital, who has led numerous university training sessions in social media.

I will also bring in a few ‘surprise’ guests who will pop-in with some real-world examples of how they are using a particular strategy in their communication!


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