Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Social Video. Marketers imagination or the next trend?

No word quite enraptures businesses and post modernism media type, whilst befuddling traditionalists than the word "Social Media".

Harder to define, its description falls somewhere between the spread of information based on networks of consent and intra correspondence between ambient friendships.

Social media is the emperor's clothes, apparently. You really can see and marketers unable to contain their glee now preface every conversation with "social" as a panacea to deliver. How antisocial we must have been a priori 2005.

Take Twitter, Tumblr, Four squares, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest, blogging and knit them all together and you're there.

Except social media experts will proclaim it's more than connecting the dots when singing for your supper. Each possesses a unique set of codes. Twitter is as much about finding great links to share, as it is revealing how unorthodox your life is.

Being resourceful, means understanding the power of presence and volume. That is being there on the conscious of your followers perennially, as well as generating that presence by your voluminous data, unless you're a celeb.

Unsurprising then, as tweeted by @MonicaSarkar, that Nokia states that social video is next in line for the magic stardust treatment.

Social video! It sounds like an oxymoron. Video by its very nature is meant to be shared, generally.

We go to the cinema to watch a film - social.  Crowd sourcing video is by its very nature social. Who can forget Eric Whitacre's Social Choir in 2010 which I spoke about participatory social media.

 Two years on what's changed?

Pedagogically do we know any more? Philosophically or thematically are we any wiser? Where does social end or even render video or film a uniquely different entity?

Social Video 

For my money I would posit, it lies in the connotative "call to arms" quality of the film.

Take these five  films: Super Size Me, Fahrenheit 9/11, An Inconvenient Truth, and Kony2012, and Triumph of the Will byLeni Riefenstahl. The latter mobilised a country and its footage has been used just as prominently by producers anti its messsage.

What they all have in common is a social message, as opposed to the classic Hollywood traditionalist film or concert cinema of Transformers. With the exception of Kony on my list, the others, in spite of their social good require you to fork out a princely sum of money to watch.

Kony 2012, as many other videos I have not mentioned ooze social because we're able to share their social message in their entirety.

But this is where we need to take stock. Video can become social by dint of it being shared and so for that reason alone almost every video on Youtube is social, which is a poor argument. Or as alluded to there is something inherent in the content that mobilises us.

If the latter is the case then social video has a more prominent Achilles. It cost. Good video relies on resources i.e. money and time to make.

That's because, though we may all get there one day, at present the art of making video, good video along the lines of the aforementioned is not the same as firing off a tweet, but is an artistic endeavour.

So whilst Nokia may have hit on the next best iteration of social, it's not as easy as it appears.

However, and that's a small however, whilst on this blog and I speak about the art of breaking rules to make videos, there are patterns and rhetorical strategies that go into making good social video.

For that though I'd urge you take a look at this popular post on a semiotic breakdown of Kony2012.