The opportunity cost of photo opp’s – Social Media election Ep2

Abbott - a photo opportunity waiting to go wrong

Fairfax photographer Alex Ellinghausen captured this moment when, well, I am yet to hear any good explanation for what is happening.

As you can imagine, the bizarre photo has been gratefully received by political junkies on social media, myself included. Its is simply Abbott meeting a family as he toured a factory.

But if Rudd is a chronic nerd, Abbott is an expert at gawk. The leader of the Liberal Party seems to have a knack for leaving his mouth gaping, for showing his bare chest and for looking down his nose at journalists. To these skills, we can now add hair-sniffing.

If you re-live that horrendous minute of silence Abbott shared with Channel 7’s Mark Riley, you’ll notice Abbott can make at least two of those mistakes at once.

By this point, we must assume that no amount of media training will solve the dilemmas Tony brings to media appearances. His avoidance of an interview with Leigh Sales – he was eventually interviewed by Sales’s colleague Chris Uhlman after months of requests – suggests that the presence of women only exacerbates his problems.

The critics of Abbott on Reddit enjoy hashing over the moment, again on 7.30 Report, when he let his guard down and conceded some speeches are fudged, not a true reflection of his position, not ‘gospel truth’.

Go on, re-live it. The nodding?! Why is he nodding!

I feel certain that to meet Abbott is to encounter a man with good social skills but a poor sense of personal space. He may have more in common with Mark Latham than Kevin Rudd.

Abbott even reminds me of Bob Hawke, with his tendency to “aaahhhh” his way out of answering any question quickly.

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It is time for One Nation to change their name to FacePalm.

Stephanie Banister, the One Nation candidate for the Queensland seat of Rankin has become this week’s real political star.

The only thing more astounding than her factual errors are the basting she has received from international media.

I can see Islam from my house

I can see Islam from my house

The Huffington Post's take on our own gaffetastic candidate

The Huffington Post’s take on our own gaffetastic candidate

SMall Brooklyn zine HEEB even picked up the story

SMall Brooklyn zine HEEB even picked up the story

This kind of merciless mocking could have happened just as dramatically without the great amplifier of social media, yet social media has enabled a few new angles to keep this rather entertaining story alive…

But unlike Palin, Banister’s gaffe tape is being cut short…

Vinstagram: social media blessing or curse?

As millions of users jump on the latest social network feature – 6 and 15 second shareable videos – I’m wondering, how will this change the landscape of sharing? The skills needed to make a compelling video seems to be beyond most of us. So will our experience of social media be diminished? Do we actually want to watch these super-shortform videos as much as we enjoy browsing photos? Will our friends’ content be worth the wait to download?

When I heard about the addition of video to Instagram, I thought that Facebook needed to compete with Twitter’s bite-sized-video-sharing juggernaut Vine, but on the other hand, a photo app with video… wouldn’t that be like Twinings getting into the coffee business?

Instagram is a marvel. The simple app reminded us of what we appreciate about the still image, and it arrived just as digital cameras and smartphones seemed to be reducing all our precious moments to a flat, faded and blurry picture.

Now, video looks set to go the same way. With seamless sharing across social networks, we’ll soon be showing our friends where we are with a panorama, not just a single frame. There’ll be crappy, wind-blown audio, dimly-lit party videos and clips of cats being cute.

Screen Shot 2013-06-22 at 12.52.41 AM

Then there is the time limit – 6 seconds on Vine and now 15-seconds on Instagram. Expect to see sentences cut short, holiday panoramas that pan too quickly and people talking at an absurd speed to describe what’s happening.

I find it difficult to create compelling content within such a short timeframe. Vine’s six-second restriction limits any genuine storytelling and instead encourages videos that lie on a spectrum of spontaneous to trivial. Vine seems to acknowledge the challenge by recommending posts which are usually excellent examples of stop-motion animations, a very time-consuming process most of us will never master.

I believe 15-seconds may be the sweet spot. And some reports claim it’s no accident that it’s also the length of short TV commercials. It certainly holds more hope than 6-second movie trailers, like this Wolverine clip (epileptics beware) that WIRED calls a ‘tweaser’.

Perhaps this insanely concentrated format is ideal for a generation bred on 140 characters, acronyms and snapchats. Did you know that on average, nearly 20% of the audience that starts watching a given video clip will abandon it within the first 10 seconds of playback? What’s more, a slow 3G connection kills all the spontaneity. Viewers start to leave after waiting just two seconds.

Working with a brand, I know that brands often need even longer to tease a piece of broadcast content effectively. So I’m loving the extension that lesser known competitor TOUT gives to brands who sign up for their app. It’s well built, offers video uploading from your camera gallery, sharing across all networks and some editing.

I prefer the still image and a caption, personally.

Stop Press: Twinings IS in the coffee business. But let’s not encourage them.

me tweeting

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