Monday, November 30, 2009

Tips for the Media Creators

Below are some suggestions for you about your projects.

1. As with the book review, revisions are a good idea. This is not one and done. You can send me a partial for my reaction. That's fine. Unlike the book review, where I suggested you read other book reviews as a model, there is no model here. So we make it up as we go along. A couple of you after class said you were thinking about 4 minutes for the presentation. (I had in mind about 2 - 2.5 minutes). I don't know how to resolve this in an objective way, so the question I'll pose is does the presentation draw the viewer in?

2. On that question economists teach - there's no accounting for taste. So I expect you to differ in your way of answering that question. And I think for generational if not other reasons (those likely matter too) my taste will be quite different from yours. You should still try to please yourself in making your creation, I just want to state the obvious, that I may react to it differently than you anticipate.

3. Also, regarding mental models, I think it might be helpful for you to consider TV commercials (if you watch any TV) or short YouTube videos (if you watch any of those) and which ones you like and why you find them affective. My favorites from the last several years have been the Guinness commercials with the cardboard cutout figures using the expression "brilliant" as a way to frame the ideas. I thought those were funny, economical in production, and to the point. Our genre is different, but you might borrow from commercials you like what values you are trying to deliver on in your piece.

Now some points on the technology itself.

1. We said you'd hyperlink each image to its source. We want to give attribution if at all possible.
2. Putting a border around images is optional to meet your own aesthetic, but I personally like them as a way to distinguish the image from the background.

3. Assuming you are using slideshare - the music file has to be somewhere else on the Web (like in your Netfiles account). Then you need to let slideshare know about its location.

4. There is a question of whether you build the narrative first and match a song to it or if it you have the song and build a narrative that fits it. I believe in some iteration on that. You might struggle a bit if you build a complete narrative and then try to find a song to match it.

And some points on Copyright/Fair Use

1. You have a fair use argument to make about using copyrighted content without seeking permission from the copyright owner. What you are making is for an educational reason. Your creation also likely won't have any impact whatsoever on the market for the content that you use.

2. For the images, you have a better case if you have many different sources than all from one source.

3. Don't use images that have a watermark on them. Don't take a screen shot of an image where the poster has gone to some effort to make the image hard to copy (disabling the right click function.)

4. For the music, finding free, instrumental only versions of familiar songs may be a bit of a challenge. Time is money (even for students who don't have very much money). A single song purchase is not that expensive.

5. If you use the song for your presentation, but otherwise don't try to redistribute to others, you are probably ok.

6. I've told some or all of you about music in the public domain, which is fine, but it might be less recognizable. So you might not communicate as well by choosing it. If you can find well recognized public domain music that communicates the message you want, you've got a goldmine. It might very well exist but could take some time to find.

Good luck.


  1. Prof Arvan, how do we do captions on slideshare?


  2. For slideshare, put the captions (really subtitles in this case) right into the PowerPoint, below your images.