70% of the internet is video… time to develop your video making skills?

The wonderful Dan Slee and Darren Caveney of Comms2point0 have mentioned a few times in their blogs and rather wonderful weekly email that 70% of the internet is video. Each time I’ve read this I’ve wondered “is that because video files take up more space than text files?” (my understanding of the internet being rather rudimentary). Today I wanted to let you know about the NetSquared Midlands Meet-up on 16 May at which Dan will be describing the changing landscape of what is shared online and offering some tips on getting to grips with video making. So I decided to look up that 70% statistic as I wanted to understand it.

I learned from this article and similar ones that the statistic is probably from data provided by a North American broadband services company about home broadband internet usage during peak evening hours. The article is titled “Streaming Video Now Accounts for 70 Percent of Broadband Usage”, which is perhaps a bit misleading, but hey, it’s a headline and needed to be snappy. So the statistic is about what is streamed. Plus, the categorisation ‘video’ includes what I still think of as ‘TV’ – Netflix streaming takes a whopping 37% share of the broadband usage.

Which is not to say that we shouldn’t be getting to grips with video. Dan makes some great points in this succinct list of 7 things you need to know about video in 2016. The important ones for me in terms of ways that we can use social media to connect, communicate and collaborate are:

  • Video on the web is no longer just YouTube
    Once posting it to the 11-year-old social site and then sharing the link was enough. Not anymore. More than 500 million people watch Facebook video every day, according to Facebook.
  • Anyone can shoot video if their phone is good enough
    Go to your camera. Click the video option. Point your camera. Record. There you go. Done. If you have a smartphone you can do it.
  • The best video is of real people and not in an office
    Shoot footage of real people doing real things. They’ll be more interesting and they’ll also have friends, relatives, aunts and uncles who have Facebook profiles they’ll like and share that video on.

So why not take the opportunity to spend an evening with Dan Slee and the equally knowledgable NetSquared Midlands organisers Pauline Roche and Paul Webster, and get to grips with video? The NetSquared meet-up is on Monday 16 May, 6.30-8.30pm at Impact Hub Birmingham in Digbeth.

And what better to end this post with but a video? This is a beautiful video about Bread2Share, a successful Dudley social enterprise, made by the talented Simon of Reel Eyes Films, another social enterprise.

Bostin Beginnings

twitter bird logo with speech bubble saying '#tweet on the street @dudleyccg"

from Dudley CCG’s Facebook page

BostinCamp got off to a fantastic start on Wednesday. 29 people from all sorts of organisations with all sorts of roles and interests spent a couple of hours after work discussing and learning about social media use by a charity, by the NHS and by local government.

You can see the line-up from the launch event here, all the tweets and photos from the evening are all archived on Storify here.

In a nutshell, we talked about:

  • Cake (of course!)
  • The link between design (e.g. of promotional posters) and social media as a means of sharing them
  • The importance of saying thank you to people who support what you do
  • Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group‘s blend of listening to local people’s views on healthcare (Feet on the Street) and sharing them through video voxpops and twitter (#tweetonthestreet)
  • Whether GPs should tweet about health issues
  • Why we should trust frontline staff to use social media, and the fact that people trust frontline staff more than CEOs and government officials nowadays (Dan Slee shared a link to this fascinating article which draws on the Edelman Trust Barometer on the brilliant comms2point0 site.
  • Dudley Council being one of 3 local authorities in England involved in a research bid which will

     map and analyse the use of social media by the involved local authorities in order to learn about how this impacts or could impact on the engagement of citizens, including young people.

  • Curry (all good camps lead to a good curry)

CCG FB

There were quite a few useful links shared, and #bostincamp reached far beyond Dudley thanks to those tweeting from the event. All the links and discussions are in the Storify archive.

Thanks to the Secret Coffee Club for hosting BostinCamp, and Marc and Callum for serving us delicious drinks. And thanks to everyone who came along or joined in on twitter – you made the evening truly bostin!

Dudley Council social media use celebrated in White Paper

Image of Best by West Midlands 2013 publication front cover

An event held at The Public in West Bromwich on Friday bought together people who work in and around local councils in the West Midlands to highlight social media activity which has the potential to’ transform the way that citizens see and interact with council services and officers’. Jan Britton, Chief Executive of Sandwell Council says in the introduction to Best by West Midlands 2013: A White Paper on Social Media in Local Government:

‘Councils across the West Midlands are increasingly using social media channels to communicate and engage with customers, citizens and communities. We believe that councils are doing some amazing things not only to improve the skills of their staff and expand their knowledge but more importantly, to enhance relationships with and among their communities.’

Two examples of Dudley Council activity are highlighted in the White Paper and on the Best by West Midlands website. The first is Dudley Council’s Flickr site on which over 1600 photos have been shared to date. Jason Whyley from Dudley Council explains in the case study that:

‘Probably our biggest success with flickr, to date, has been around the building of community pride and has included working other privately run interest groups within the borough.  We have used flickr to profile good news stories that come directly from the community, for example, a sketch book collection found by a member of the public in a charity shop that contained some great borough paintings from Edward Fox. Setting up local history interest groups, such as the borough’s links to the Titanic anchor, adding images from the borough’s archive relating to our proud heritage, and featuring interviews with former business owners.’

Dudley Council’s use of social media to support the Making it Real social care work is also featured as a case study.

Why a White Paper? As was explained on Friday, ‘a white paper is an authoritative report or guide helping readers to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision’ (source: wikipedia). The people behind this one (Dan Slee and Darren Caveney of Comms2point0 and Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands) wanted to bring the great work going on in the West Midlands above the radar, and lay down a marker of progress by 2013.

Useful links

(image: Best by West Midlands 2013 publication cover taken by Lorna Prescott)