The Buggles sang that video killed the radio star, but when it comes to creating content, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t progressed past the written word. To be honest, I can’t really be doing with podcasts. When I’m listening to music I can be dancing, reading, writing, chatting. But when it comes to listening to someone talking from my speaker or headphones, I don’t quite know what to do with my eyes.
So you might reasonably expect that video would be my thing? Well, up until this week, not really. I don’t find it as convenient as reading when I’m out and about, and let’s be honest, some people’s videos can take some time to get to the point. And I don’t have the kind of patience that can tolerate much in the way of ‘I’m so excited to be here, would you like to hear all about my day from hell/life history/adorable children/cute dog/funny thing my cat did earlier, before we get to the reason you’re watching at some point in the quite distant future’.
Of course as a content creator, I know that diversifying the content I produce is a good thing. And as a learning professional, I know that different people prefer to receive information in different ways. So it would not be unreasonable to expect me to be incorporating this knowledge into the way I run my business. But I’ve resisted. I’ve had my reasons: it’s too technical – despite the fact I’ve learned how to do some quite complex web based stuff; I don’t have the right place to film – despite having a house with rooms; I don’t have the right equipment – even though a professional videographer filmed me answering FAQ for my website using a professional camera, lighting, microphone, editing etc, and none of these have seen the light of day; because my face doesn’t look the way I expect it to – ie the way it did when I was twenty! Maybe I’d be okay sticking to the written word? I am a writer after all.
I was happy in this writerly bubble, until… Periscope. Oh no! A really cool video tool! How could I not get on board?! I bought a wee tripod and a lapel microphone and got ready to launch. But I froze. I couldn’t do it. I kept putting it off and letting it slide down my To Do list. I’d say I was going to go live at such and such an event, and then chicken out. I found all sorts of excuses: what would I talk about, who would be interested, what if I used up all my good ideas really quickly, how often should I do it, what if nobody tuned in, what if nobody engaged with me, what if they thought my video was rubbish.
And then, out of the blue, Sandra Pilarczyk’s Fearless Visibility Challenge popped up into my Facebook Newsfeed. A free, five-day challenge, which would involve recording a video every day and sharing it in the Facebook Group. And so I signed up. Every day this week I’ve recorded a video and even posted some of them to The Write Angles Facebook Page. And it’s worked. I still feel a bit nervous, but I’m much more confident in front of the camera, and I don’t even care that I don’t look like I did when I was twenty! Well, not much, anyway. So you can expect to see more of me on video and on Periscope. If you’re on Periscope, you can follow me on @samdounis.