Posts Tagged web video

Video as a simple story; short and easy. Say hello to “video storytelling”

Friday, January 11th, 2013 | Permalink

Video has changed the way we remember, share, and view the world. What I am referring to is video storytelling and it is a new genre of video… or web video to be precise.

Video in the sense of hollywood, big budgets, and years of training will never die… nor would I ever want it to (I love going to the movies!). But it is important to realize and take advantage of professional video’s little brother; video storytelling. It is far less than full-feature films, far less than short films, and less still than brief documentaries. It lives online and is the marriage of advancing technology and a person’s natural creativity.

Smart phones have allowed better and better photos (so much so that many of us have laid to rest our beloved point-and-shoot cameras). Similarly, smart phones and inexpensive camcorders enable us all to create high quality short videos for sharing online. These videos are each a story: a story of a vacation, a birthday, a nonprofit fundraiser, or a weekly update. Thanks to advancements in the way we record, edit, and share video we are able to tell previously untold stories and share them in new and engaging ways.

This perfect storm of a persons raw creative talent and new technologies is what let’s dabble is all about. We empower you to create video stories and share them online. The skills needed are commonly unknown and unpracticed, but they are easy to learn and easy to master. With a little know-how you can write a script, shoot the video, edit the video, and share it online in a few hours.

If you would like to learn more or are interested in learning the skills I spoke of, then you are in luck; we can teach you, for free. Using…. drumroll please… short web videos. Learning video through video, it’s a brave new world.

The following video outlines the new advancing technologies. It discusses why the ability to shoot, edit, and publish video is now easier and more inexpensive than ever.

The means to make a video is the tip of the iceberg, the impact comes from looking at how we can use it. Moreover, since the cost of producing video has dropped dramatically, we can use it in ways previously never considered: training videos, video grant proposals, custom thank-you videos to generous donors, or program updates. This video outlines what web video means for nonprofits, how it can change the way they share their mission, their successes, and their future.

Finally, researching new equipment to buy can be mind-numbing with so many options and endless reviews; it can be over-whelming. Therefore, when you are asking yourself: what equipment do I need, what are the options, and how much does it all cost? Have no fear, we did the homework, this video answers those questions and more.

To learn more visit or send us an email:

ChicagoNonProfit hosts The NonProfit Resource Fair

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 | Permalink

On Tuesday November 9th, from 4pm to 7pm, ChicagoNonProfit hosted over 25 resources that are:

“nonprofit ‘friendly’ vendors that have experience working with non-profit organizations and can work with limited budgets.”

let’s dabble was in attendance, front and center! The event was fabulous with a variety of vendors showcasing what they did best. Whether it was web video, accounting, catering, branding, or event services, there were a variety of knowledgable people there to answer any and all questions.

Still interested in how it went? Wish you could see a video of the event? Well, you’re in luck, let’s dabble was there with camcorders in hand. Check out the minute long video above.

If you enjoyed the music in the video you can always support the artist and purchase That Was Just A Dream by Cut Copy.

NonProfit Resource Fair

Photo by: Adam Daniels

Social Media the Tool, not the Solution

Friday, October 22nd, 2010 | Permalink

Recently, I came across a question regarding how to best use social media for a nonprofit organization. The subsequent replies and comments were enough to make anyones head spin. I believe this was due to the false mantra that we’ve all heard, “you need to get on social media, because once you do, the gates to nirvana will open and you will find floods of people just waiting for you!”

Over and over again, I hear the confusion of “I’m here! What am I supposed to do now?”

This confusion is due to the notion that social media is the solution. I argue that it is but a tool.

Social media is a simple way of referring to computer programs that allow people to interact and converse in a variety of ways. It is a form of “media” that has a “social” component. That social component is what makes it so powerful. Suddenly I am able to respond to the “media” that is presented to me rather than just receiving it.

This is all well and good, but what about the question. How should a nonprofit organization use social media? I regret to inform you that I will be answering a question with a question. What does your organization want to do?

Are you trying to organize a future event? Distribute information to volunteers? Show donors the successes you’ve had this year?

If you know how you’d like to make improvements to your organization, your chances of finding a social media tool to get you there will sky rocket. So first determine what “solution” you’d like to achieve, then go find the “tool” that will help you get there.

On a final note, don’t forget the content. Your organization is full of amazing people and amazing stories. Make your social media dabblings more engaging by going beyond words and photographs by including web video. And if you need help putting the video together, gimme a call, it’s what I do.

How Web Video Powers Global Innovation

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010 | Permalink

TEDTalks are online videos shared to provide visitors with “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Not to take the words out of their mouth, they describe it as:

"…a simple attempt to share what happens at TED with the world. Under the moniker “ideas worth spreading,” talks were released online. They rapidly attracted a global audience in the millions."

Their talks cover topics from technology to entertainment to design and so much more. Just released this September is a discussion from July of 2010 by Chris Anderson discussing how web video powers global innovation. This caught my attention to say the least. I absolutely loved his thoughts and ideas regarding online video, they are inline with our vision at let’s dabble in so many ways. Chris described the importance of online video and it’s impact on TEDTalks by saying,

"Why do people like watching TEDTalks? …there is alot more being transferred than just words, and its in that nonverbal portion. There’s some serious magic…"

It is so true, the power of web video to share a story, to emotionally connect with the viewer, and to change the way we see the world is incredible. He went on to discuss how online video is changing how people can inspire one another,

"…reading and writing are actually relatively recent inventions, face-to-face communication has been fine-tuned by millions of years of evolution, that’s what has made it into the mysterious, powerful thing it is. Someone speaks, there’s resonance in all those receiving brains, the whole group acts together."

What he is highlighting is how for millennia we as a species have been using body language, the oldest form of communication, to communicate and how it is lost in the written word. However, thanks to the advent of online video, it is finally back in the spotlight.

Before I provide you with the video to watch at your leisure, I have to quote Chris Anderson one more time,

"What I’m excited about or what I think is under-reported is the significance of the rise of online video. This is the technology that will allow the rest of the worlds talents to be shared digitally; thereby, launching a whole new cycle of crowd-accelerated innovation…"

"Who’s the teacher? You’re the teacher. You are part of the crowd that may be about to launch the biggest learning cycle in human history. – Chris Anderson"

Love SEO? Then you better love video!

Monday, August 30th, 2010 | Permalink

Search Engine Journal

Search Engine Journal posted a recent article discussing the importance of online video and incorporating that video into your website or blog. The article entitled, “If You Care about SEO, You Need to Know about Video” was written by Yaniv Axen.

I love the opening Q and A.

"Q: Do you have video on your website?

A: The only right answers are, “yes” or “we will soon.” "

His points are simple and direct. In 2007 Google integrated video into its universal search offering. This leads to websites with video being favored over those without. The result increases their search-based traffic. He further supports this concept with hard numbers. In 2008, only 18% of the top 50 retailers were using video. In 2009, 68% were using video. That is a 375% increase!

The prevalence of online video has changed the way google provides search results. When searches are made on Google, 40% of the time a video is in the results.

After providing the statistics on the importance of video, Yaniv then discusses the six things you need to know when concerning search engine optimization (SEO) and video.

1) Video creation, and especially web video, is not resource intensive as it once was.

2) Embedding a video on a website is insufficient for affecting SEO. Online retailers need to cover their entire product line with videos that match keywords to better target specific customers.

3) Video should not be static. Keep them as up to date so that they are consistently in first place on universal search engines.

4) Don’t stop at the video. The title matters, the description matters, and very important but often over-looked are the metadata and tags. Remember that having the video searchable is of the utmost importance. A video is of no use if it is never found and watched.

5) Videos need sitemaps. Sitemaps aid in publishing information from one central location and make it easier for search engines to find you.

6) YouTube is not just funny pet videos. It’s just that simple. Online video is a powerful way to engage people.

If you follow this blog regularly, then you know that I am nonprofit focused and that this post is more “business” focused. The connection is to replace “products” with your mission. Instead of providing videos about that latest product line, think about a video about your latest update to how you are achieving your mission. How are you changing peoples lives, the community, or the environment. Web video can be used throughout the organization. It is much more than one video on the homepage. Have videos of your events and fundraisers on their own page. Have video testimonials from your volunteers and staff about the work they do. The videos will not only share your story, but they will increase your SEO as well.

…just about anything, using twitter, in 12 easy steps

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010 | Permalink

Social Media Club

The Social Media Club defines their mission as connecting the worlds media makers to advance media literacy, promote industry standards, and encourage ethical behavior while sharing their lessons learned. Local chapters are located throughout the country but I am here to discuss the Chicago chapter which hosted a meeting with The British Council during their visit for the TN2020.

The British Council was present for the Annual Transatlantic Network 2020 Summit, otherwise known as TN2020. The theme of this years summit was “Using Technology to Create Social Change.” Speakers addressed the crowd on topics of online video, using twitter for fundraising, the future of social media, and “how to stop the Mexican Congress from doing just about anything by using twitter, in twelve easy steps.” (yes, that was an actual title haha)

The talks are a great collection of how social media is being used in a variety of ways around the world. Luckily for you, I was there with the camera in my pocket just in case; gotta love small, inexpensive camcorders.

Below is a short web video of the event, and if you are interested in what they all have to say, I highly recommend watching all the speakers give their talks.

Ken ya Dream?

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 | Permalink

Ken ya Dream is the vision of students at Cupertino High School. They have raised money throughout their years in high school to help a school in Kenya expand their facility. The money they would normally raise to cover the cost of their senior prom was instead put toward their goal…to raise $100,000.

For that, I tip my hat. The beauty and selflessness expressed by these students is calming to say the least. No good deed goes unnoticed? Right?

Well, it looks like it’s getting some attention. Dell held a competition for high schools to win a $100,000 superprom. The students at Cupertino High saw this as more than an opportunity to have the prom of dreams, but rather as way to meet their goal.

Words for Haiti

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 | Permalink

The earthquake that shook the people, the city, and the very life in Haiti has ended it’s terrible fury, but the out-pouring of support needs to continue. We have all sent aid and kept them in our thoughts and hearts, but if we share our thoughts, prayers, and hopes maybe we can make a stronger difference yet.

let’s dabble with the help of GiveForward went out to share the thoughts and hopes of Chicago with the people in Haiti. The web video below is the result.

Visit the YouTube page and add a comment or a video response, add your Words for Haiti, share your thoughts and hopes, and together we can tell them that they are not alone, the world is with them, and that the outpouring of help is far from over.

Social Media: Fad or Revolution

Monday, November 9th, 2009 | Permalink

So in stumbling upon a blog post discussing the video below, I have to agree with the opening comment about getting “chills”.

The post discusses the infancy of social media and some of the common ideas revolving around it: self-proclaimed experts or consultants, is it a fad, and the notion of twitter or facebook-aholics; we all know one.

However, the “chills” that I mentioned did not come from merely reading about social media, but rather from this video compilation. Enjoy.

Hey, nonprofits! Want to learn how to make your own web videos for YouTube?

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009 | Permalink

If your nonprofit has ever entertained the idea of creating web videos for YouTube or your website, you’re in luck! let’s dabble recently launched our video tutorial program that teaches nonprofits how to do just that.

To learn more, click the video below:

Peruse the full list of video tutorials and some free samples, here.

Or for more information, feel free to contact us at