Chuck Fadely left a really good comment on my post about video illustration yesterday. I thought some of the points deserved a broader airing.
He like the concept of clip video but to make it work, he thinks you need the following
You need a CMS that allows you to embed video clips in the story.
You need video hosting that feeds your clips quickly and reliably.
You need producers to link your stories and multimedia components.
And its the first point that most vexes Chuck. For Chuck the CMS is as much a control on the kind of content you can produce as it is a way of distributing it.
In the old days, your press configuration and capacity determined how many sections you had and when press turn was.
Now, your CMS and your server bandwidth put similar constraints on video.
If you made the decision to use a separate video player that can handle your bandwidth, you also decided to commit to making stand-alone video stories that don’t need the context of the story. They go hand-in-hand.
It’s a really, really good point.
News at the speed of the help desk
In the past I’ve picked up on people who have bypassed the restrictions of a CMS by using technology like blogs to get the functionality they need. But when you are a set-up the size of Chuck’s, it ain’t that easy.
There are far too many newsrooms that have to put a request in writing to get new features on a site. ‘Take a ticket and support will be in touch”. Imagine if everytime you wanted to change a headline you had to put a request in writing to a sub.
Is your CMS fit for purpose.
So maybe I need to add to my things to think about in the coming year. As well as pushing for better metrics perhaps we should all be asking does our CMS do the job? If no, things need to change.
Let’s be realistic. I’m not suggesting that systems are ripped out and started again. I don’t like the idea of channeling video off to dedicated sections of the site. I understand the technical and economic reasons for doing so.
But perhaps the rough and ready approach of ‘daily prophet’ video might suit a micro-site/newsblog style of approach which means you can use an open source cms/blog framework to serve the content.
That said. It’s still worth getting more involved with your cms and how it’s developed. That doesn’t have to be as technical as the way it handles video.
In the first instance it may just be wresting some control back from IT or some central system. Asking if you can change the template in the newsroom? Can you add elements to pages?
If not, why not.