Viewfinder: Video Newsletters

Before we know it, video will accompany every kind of written text available, from newspapers to junk e-mail. In the next few years, video editing software packages may come bundled with Microsoft Windows or perhaps as a module within Microsoft Office. In that same time frame, new PCs will come with recordable DVD drives as a standard option. The Internet connection to the average home will be fast enough to provide high-quality streaming video that rivals or exceeds current broadcast standards. Once these events take place, people will be as free to communicate via TV as they now do via text.

Every published newsletter will have a video counterpart. I personally subscribe to a newsletter for Jack Russell Terriers because my dog (Deen) is of that breed. The pictures in the newsletter are small, black and white and very grainy. The newsletter includes stories about recent competitions in which these dogs run through a maze or compete to find things hidden in tunnels. I have never attended one of these dog competitions, so the text and photos are all I have to help me imagine what it must be like. I am trying to determine if I should train Deen in these areas so he can compete someday. Soon the video counterpart to the Jack Russell Terriers Newsletter will better enable me to engage in this highly specific pursuit. (Unfortunately, Deen can’t appreciate the newsletter at all, but the video counterpart might work for him.)

I might receive the video counterpart of the Jack Russell Terriers Newsletter from the Internet, streamed to my computer on demand, or I might receive it via the Internet as an e-mail attachment. If the JRT Videoletter is over 1 gigabyte, I might receive it via the US Postal mail on a DVD. This hardcopy option would allow me to store the JRT Videoletter for later reference without consuming any storage space on my PC.

The current editor of the Jack Russell Terriers Newsletter is probably not a person that knows how to make video today. In a few years, he’ll have to learn how to shoot/edit video or he’ll have to rely on someone else to produce the JRT Videoletter. This is an interesting opportunity for all people who currently make video. Every newsletter will need someone to produce its corresponding videoletter.

There are many other items besides newsletters that we read regularly–newspapers, for example. Area newspapers carry quite a bit more content on local news than local TV news programs. Television air time is more precious than newsprint. As a result, most local news appears in newspapers rather than on TV. In a few years I predict that newspaper publishers will distribute the local news content via video.

Another text-based item that we sometimes read is junk mail. On one occasion, I received a CD in the mail with video on it. This will be much more typical in the years to come. Most of us already receive too much junk e-mail or "spam," but I have yet to receive one with a video attachment.

I subscribe to dozens and dozens of magazines. Some of them come polybagged with CDs, occasionally containing video clips. Soon, each niche magazine publisher, including Videomaker, will produce video content to replace or augment the text-based content.

Some book publishers currently include CDs with the purchase of certain books. In the near future, more book publishers will consider this idea. Today, producing and distributing video is costly; as a result, only the mass-market book publishers are including CDs. Soon, even niche publishers of goldfish books will include video with their titles.

What does all this mean to you? The opportunity to produce video as a part of an occupation is about to explode. Keep refining your skills and be ready to increase your income.

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