From Creating Passionate Users - "How to be an expert"

So the world conspired to encourage me to attempt to learn a new skill – Video. What lead me to foolishly believe I could learn to put videos on the web?

  1. Last week I read an interesting article about students using cell phones for video.
  2. I was chatting with Cesar Brea who has big plans to install a blue screen and do video interviews.
  3. I wrote a post on Revver a profit sharing video hosting service.
  4. I also have a shiny new cell phone, the Motorola Q, and it does make videos.

So how did it go?

Well I do have 3 videos up on YouTube:

As videos they suck, but that’s ok. It was fun to make them and I believe I could get better at the actual video creation.

The learning process really sucked though.

First there is learning how to get your phone to get into video mode and start and stop a video. I didn't expect a walk in the park here but it wasn't too bad. Without opening the manual I was able to get the Q to record a video after 5 minutes of futzing with it.

Now there is uploading. This is where things really started to suck. First I had to get the video off of the phone. There did not seem to be an intuitive way to do this, but the Q runs Windows Mobile and being a Windows power user I was eventually able to navigate to the folder on the Q they were stored in and copy them to my hard drive.

The files are in 3g2 format and it turns out I didn't have anything on my computer that plays 3g2 format. Real Player acted like it did but gave me an error. So I spent a bunch of time upgrading Real, and it still didn't work. Windows Media Player doesn't work either but at least it didn't tease me and make me think it would. The phone only runs Windows Mobile, why would I possibility believe that Windows Media Player would play something produced by a Windows Mobile device?

Revver says they support 3g2 format so I try uploading it. But their up loader doesn't see 3g2 files. So I try their Java upload program, still no luck. At this point I wonder if my files are corrupt or something. Nothing is working, and mostly it's incomprehensible errors.

Next I try YouTube. And guess what you get for a billion dollars??? They can actually upload and play the 3g2 file my phone produces. However, just as I thought maybe I had found a site that didn't suck, I saw the link "Upload directly from your mobile device".

Ah ha!! Someone gets it. What I want is to shoot a little video and upload it before I even get home so that the 4 people in the universe who care about the cat I am cat sitting can see the video of their little angel. What a wonderful world it is!

However, it doesn’t seem to work. I've tried emailing, MMS, and text from my phone to the email address they provide. I've tried emailing from my desk top. Nothing happens, just goes into the abyss.

So it's been a weekend of working on my empathy with my users as I've tried to learn new tools while living in the "Suck Zone".

If you are looking for advice on video blogging go ask someone who doesn’t suck; I suspect I'm going to be a "drop-out". I think I'll stick to WinkCasting!

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