These days many of us telecommute – we work from a home office, or we work from a location that is far, far away from our clients. Our clients and colleagues may know us as a voice on the phone, and an e-mail correspondent. A number of you, my goffgrafix.com and intuitive-websites.com clients, I have never met face to face.
Putting a video on your website is a great way to form a personal connection with your website’s visitors and with your clients. And so, to practice what I preach, I have decided to experiment with different media so that I can teach you what I learn. With the content management systems that I have programmed for you all, adding a video to your website can be very easy and inexpensive – even free, if you already have a webcam.
For my first adventure into video recording, I purchased an inexpensive webcam from <a href=”http://logitech.com” title=”Logitech.com” target=”_blank”>http://logitech.com</a>. This is a devise that plugs into the USB port of my computer. Now, when I launch my ichat program (I am on a mac), there is a little camera icon as opposed to a phone icon, and if I click on that camera icon, on my computer screen, I can view what the camera is pointing to. You can use a webcam with skype and <a href=”http://dashboard.aim.com/aim”>aim</a> as well. This logitech cam does not integrate with my iMovie software, however, it probably would integrate with movie editing software on a windows machine.
My webcam is perched on the top of my computer and is pointing at me. This was a bit of a shock at first, to tell you the truth. Working from a home office, I had become accustomed to being hidden, reclusive. How many of us who work at home, stumble from bed to our computers and check our email before even brushing our teeth in the morning? and before you know it, you are busy working away in your pajamas. Using a webcam invites people into your private space. Now, all of you can see through this window on my computer, that my home office is cluttered, and that I work in an environment of creative chaos.
If you want a more formal and professional video presentation for your webpage, I suggest that you put some sort of screen or blank wall behind yourself. However, a webcam is an informal tool at best.
I purchased a software from <a href=”http://ecamm.com” target=”_blank”>http://ecamm.com</a> that records video conferencing, and I used that to record myself talking. I also experimented with using <a href=”http://www.ambrosiasw.com/utilities/snapzprox/” target=”_blank”>SnapZ Pro X software</a> which can record my desktop. On a windows machine, I could use <a href=”http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.asp” target=”_blank”>Camtasia Studio</a> to record the video conference.
I did some quick editing of the recording in iMovie HD, and then uploaded it to google. If you are on a windows machine, you can edit with windows movie maker, a free software. Once uploaded, google generated the code that I needed to embed the video into my website.
This is a really easy way to make an informal video to put on your website.
Keep in mind that any video that you upload to google or youtube.com is going to be distributed throughout the internet – so use that to your advantage. Put your website address on your video. Introduce yourself and your services. Having your videos in the public domain can be a form of grass roots marketing, if done correctly.