Web videos, ibooks and production values

In the learning and development space we tend to be very excited about how new technologies allow things to happen faster without the need to go through middle men.  (Remember ‘disintermediation’? That was such a 2001 word.

There are often two levels of response to this. One is an obsession with the technology and its various features. (Great example: web seminars that gratuitously include polls, because …. well because they can.)

Another response is often to drive straight to the content, forgetting that those middle men we cut out often added value in terms of the quality of production. Want an example? Just see most self published books. There’s usually something that isn’t quite right. It could be the typography, page layout, running heads or something else, but unless you’re a publisher you couldn’t put your finger on it. You just know as a reader that it feels as if something’s missing.

So it’s a pleasure to read/watch a self-published book which actually looks good. As it happens, it also contains useful information, too, on web videos, and does a good job of including video into the fabric of the book.

The ibook I’m talking about is So You Think You Need Web Video, Huh? For my money the ‘Huh?’ is a down-with-kidz step too far, but the content is good. I certainly learnt plenty from it, even if I had to upgrade my iPad 1 to IOS 5 to read it.

‘Book’ is a rather a grand term for this offering. It’s 17 pages long, and is full of video and links and it’s free. That is the way the books of the future are going – short, useful and often with an additional function. In this case the book is part of a series that will do a good job promoting the author, former BBC presenter Angela Lamont, founder of web-video company Newsbyte.

As well as being useful, though, there was something else I liked about this book: the production values. It doesn’t feel like anything’s missing.

(Disclosure: I have no financial interest in this book, Newsbyte, or any associated activities.)

One response to “Web videos, ibooks and production values

  1. I agree that DIY content creation can lack the polish of professionals, but how much does that really matter for knowledge transfer purposes? My focus is on applying Lean methods to knowledge transfer and one of the biggest Lean ‘wastes’ in training is delay, meaning the time gap between someone needing to know something and when they learn it. The polish of professional editing, typesetting, etc all require time and increase delay. My question is ‘How does that professional polish directly help learners perform better on the job?’. In most cases it doesn’t. I’ve personally learned many new things from YouTube vids, blogs, discussion forums and colleagues.

    Arguing the other side, I’d say that gross misspellings, grammatical errors, jittery camera work, inaudible sound, poor organization, etc can decrease the content’s ‘credibility’ (a Lean learning value) and make people less likely to finish the content or believe and apply it, no matter how accurate it is.

    Yes, trainers (and execs for that matter) get obsessed with the latest tech toys for their own sake. Again from a Lean perspective, technology must reduce training wastes and increase learning value. How much it does this is an excellent way to assess if a particular technology is right for a particular situation.

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