Cross-Country Support for Hopecam.org

In the process of producing videos, I have often been in the company of accomplished and extraordinary people.  Most of them adults.  Most of them professionals.  In the latest Pawpro Media video release we are highlighting the children of Hopecam who are, or have been, homebound and isolated by treatment for life threatening illnesses.  It’s hard to not be impressed by their composure and strength.

For ten years Hopecam.org  has supplied computers, cameras, hardware and any technical support necessary to connect these children with their school friends.  Founder, Len Forkas, took on the mission to address this often overlooked, yet critical, aspect of long-term medical treatment for children after watching his son suffer with leukemia, and the painful emotional separation from his classmates at the age of nine.  Often these children are separated from their friends for a year or more while being treated, which can have a significant effect on their psychological and physical well-being.  The risk of a complicating infection is just too great.

Ride Across American fundraising Link:

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/lenforkas/rideacrossamericaraam

To hear former Hopecam user, Daniel, now 13 years old, recall his initial thoughts of being diagnosed with cancer, wondering how long he has to live, wondering whether he will ever see his friends again isn’t a topic of which we expect a child to be conversent.  And his mother, Donna, recalling how she worried about how to “. . . keep him whole” in the process.  But these children and families are forever changed by this event.

With Len’s participation this coming June in the famed cross-country cycling event, Race Across America, Hopecam hopes to reach more children and make more people aware of childhood cancer, Hopecam and the need for this connection in the lives of the children and families isolated by intensive medical treatment.  Please help Hopecam raise $150,000 in 2012 to carry out this mission.  Visit Hopecam.org to donate today.

Pawpro Loves GoPro

Perhaps it’s just the Valentine’s Day spirit, but I’ve got to say I just love the shots that come out of the GoPro Hero. The first Pawpro project to include GoPro footage is for Hopecam.org where we’ll focus on the founder’s upcoming cross-country bicycle trek in the famed Race Across America. Of course the Bicycle lends itself to some interesting angles, and the wide array of GoPro mounts oblige almost any angle.

This is just a sample of the possible shots. I’m sure there will be many other applications of its footage down the road. Just another tool that Pawpro can utilize to tell whatever story you need to tell.

Adjusting the Focus on Business use of Video in a 24/7 World–Videotaping Conferences, Presentations, and Instruction.

Vision a little blurry on the importance of Web video content

If your vision is a little blurry on how video and multimedia applies to your business or Web site and social media strategy, let me bring things into focus. First and foremost, research now consistently shows that over 50% of consumers begin their search for products or services online. In this new consumer world any individual business is just a few clicks away from a new client, or nothing at all. The first few seconds and the first impressions of a browsing consumer will either engage and provide the needed information, or it will send him away frustrated and looking for the answers elsewhere.

Company Web sites have also become a convenient and economical way for companies to engage and inform their own employees. It’s an easy oversight, but don’t forget, employees are no different from clients in that they all appreciate convenience.

Videotaping business conferences and presentations is nothing new. However, making these recordings accessible on company Web sites or other public video sharing sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Go Daddy is now less of a trend, and more a necessity. Plus, these days it’s easy to manage who can and can’t see this content.

Information sharing and the growing demand for accessible, intra-company content of all kinds has become an expectation rather than a high-end luxury. As employees and companies, small and large, manage the 24/7 world, online video content feeds the need for employers and employees alike. It’s also a cost-effective option as it reduces or removes the need to hold the same meeting in multiple locations or regions. Hold the meeting once, share the information and its content as many times as necessary.

Educational Connections Video

Video also allows the message to be crafted and controlled so it’s uniformly sent and received, which is equally important whether the target is an employee or a client. It’s never been easier to incorporate PowerPoint presentations, Web site and computer screen navigation into a clean video format as the market of creative applications allowing their inclusion grows.

Here are two examples of the application of video in business.

Pawpro Chats-up OccupyDC

On Wednesday, before the rain and cold hit, I drove down to McPherson Square to talk to the residents of OccupyDC. I met Anthony and Annika.

Anthony
Annika of OccupyDC

Anthony is from Maryland, and Annika made her way to DC from Denver, Colorado hoping to be a part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but she’s now pleased to have landed at DC’s Occupy.

Similar to most participants of the Occupy Movement, they are here because of their mutual dissatisfaction with the political, federal, and financial systems in the U.S. Corporate greed and its subsequent influence over the political system is a common theme voiced. Occupy participants, the so-called 99%, who have seen their incomes, jobs, and wealth diminish over the last decade, have been called together by various online rally cries, fueled by common frustrations. They are protesting against representatives, corporations, and economic inequalities with the wealthiest 1% of Americans who have seen their incomes, in some cases, grow at triple the rate of the 99-percenters.

There is an Occupy presence in Atlanta, Oakland, LA, West Virginia, Tennessee, Rhode Island and Boston just to highlight a few.  In some areas the squatters are clashing with local police or politicians.  Notably in Tennessee a magistrate would not enforce a curfew against the Occupiers imposed by the state’s Republican governor saying there was no authority to establish a curfew at the location.

Click to view video.

Some have characterized these groups as ex-hippies looking for a reason to commune, and, or conspiracy theorists hungry for a controversy. While I’ll admit many do have a hippie-like appearance, I wonder how it would be possible to look like anything else when  living in the elements 24/7; and does that characterization somehow detract from their complaints?  If you look like a hippie your opinion doesn’t count?  The criticism does seem to have that intent.  Anthony and Annika certainly appeared genuine in their resolve to affect change,  and withstand the environmental elements headed their way.  I heard many vow to fight against any Republican efforts to marginalize the protests and protesters, and any Democratic efforts to hijack the movement for their own political gain.

The Roots of My Photography

photo by Kenneth A. Linn

For many years I have been exploring my ancestry, and I recently made an interesting discovery. It appears my love for almost all things related to photography may run in the family.  My grandfather’s cousin, my first cousin twice removed, was, and is, a relatively well-known photographer in New York whose work is still sought by collectors and galleries. His name was Kenneth A. Linn and he studied and taught at The Clarence H. White School of Photography in New York City which was the first school to teach photography as an art form.

Allen and Sadie Linn

Photographic collections from this prestigious school, which operated from 1914 to 1942, are held in the Library of Congress and in private collections such as the Coville Collection. This small school is credited with producing some of the most celebrated photographers of the 20th Century who were innovative in their approach to this evolving and emerging medium, which incorporated design, aesthetics and illustration.  I wonder what their reaction would be to today’s imagery, and the viral, visual bombardment from the television and the Internet?

Kenneth A. Linn

Kenneth A. Linn was the son of Allen and Sadie Linn.  Allen was a silk salesman in New York and Sadie, formerly Sadie Neafie McCollough, came from a well-to-do family, I’m told.  My side of the family through Robert A. Linn, Allen’s brother,  stayed in Ohio and West Virginia selling life insurance–need I say more!

Since being given my first old camera I’ve loved the sound of the shutter.  I would walk around taking pretend photos, no film in the camera, just to hear the shutter movement.  Somehow even though the direct lineage should have made me a salesman, I got the photo gene.

Experience The American Odyssey Relay

Click Photo to view
American Odyssey Relay Video

What a fun project this has been for me.  Experience The American Odyssey Relay, a thirty-six hour, 200 mile relay race including exhausted runners, smelly vans, comical and authentic moments, but most of all, tons of fun along the way.  Teams run day and night through some of the most historic and scenic countryside in PA, MD, WV, VA and DC.

A second video highlighting team t-shirts, van decorations, a.k.a VanGos, and general good-natured, craziness will be released very, very soon.

Pawpro to Cover American Odyssey Relay III

Pawpro received the call of running relay organizer Bob Fleshner to shoot the third annual running of The American Odyssey Relay, a 200 plus mile foot race from Gettysburg, PA to Washington, DC. This will be 36 non-stop, exhausting hours of movement for the runners and teams, as well as Pawpro’s video crews. The race begins April 29 and ends on April 30. americanodysseyrelay.com

This race traverses some of the region’s most beautiful and historic landscapes including the battlefields of Gettysburg and Antietam, two covered bridges, Harpers Ferry National Park, the spring foliage emerging along the C&O Canal, Georgetown, and culminates in the Nation’s Capital alongside the monuments and the Potomac River.

Runners will face many challenges including one ear-popping leg called Andrea’s Ascent with a six-mile, 1171 ft. ascent. Former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty participated in 2009 and 2010. So far, there are 126 teams registered, and there’s still time to sign-up.

Pawpro will produce a series of marketing and informational videos with inspirational stories and images from the race. Good luck racers, and bottoms-up energy drinks for the videographers!

Business Benefits of an Inbound Marketing Strategy Via Video, Blogging and Social Media.

Pawpro Media Video

The benefits of inbound marketing via blogs, social media, content publishing, and search engine optimization grows stronger with each passing year, and statistics now show it surpassing outbound marketing both in effectiveness and cost per lead.   A recent survey of 644 companies entitled, The State of Inbound Marketing, shows a shift in marketing budgets away from the conventional outbound tactics of direct mailings, phone solicitations, and print marketing.
Instead, companies are opting for marketing sources that bring in customers who are actively looking for information about their products online.  The Internet has become the vehicle of choice and convenience driven by consumers searching for products and services through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  And, all of these approaches utilize multimedia to increase organic search results and pull-in active consumers.

This survey distributed by HubSpot showed that the more companies directed their efforts towards inbound marketing, the greater the reward in the form of more leads at a lower cost per lead.  Specifically the data showed that outbound marketing efforts cost $373 per lead, while inbound marketing efforts cost $143 per lead.  In a struggling economy this is a price differential which has not gone unnoticed by businesses.  In the survey, most companies said they plan to expand their use of inbound marketing in 2011 because of past successes in this arena.  In fact, 27% of these companies consider blogging, social media usage critical to their businesses, and 85% dubbed these mediums either “useful”, “important”, or “critical”.

Pawpro Media produces high quality, creative videos that motivate and cause consumers to respond.  Video is a critical and cost-effective element in an inbound marketing strategy.

Pawpro Hears and Sees the Whos of Horton’s Kids

What’s that sound? It’s not coming from a dust speck, people! It’s coming from the great efforts of Horton’s Kids, a Capitol Hill based organization which provides tutoring and support to students and families of the lowest-performing schools of Ward 8 in Washington, DC. Pawpro Media will be producing a series of videos for this great organization led by Brenda Chamberlain, and founded by Karin Walser. It’s only fitting that we make this announcement on Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

While filling her car with gas in 1989, Karin had a chance encounter with a group of children from this troubled area of our nation’s capital, and it inspired her to recognize their need as well as their presence in the shadow of her everyday life working on Capitol Hill. It was as if they were calling out, We are here! We are here! We are here! just as the tiny Who’s in Who-ville did in the infamous Dr. Suess book, Horton Hears a Who.

For 20 years Horton’s Kids has advocated, transported, and enriched the lives of these neediest of children with educational tutoring, mentoring as well as the basic necessities of food and clothing when necessary. Horton’s Kids’ work is funded entirely by donations. Please visit hortonskids.org/donate.html if you would like to make a donation.

Pawpro pays a visit to Library of Congress Open House

Great Hall

Monday Pawpro took advantage of the biannual open house offered in the Main Reading Room of  The Library of Congress within the Thomas Jefferson Building just across the street from the U.S. Capitol.  What a great space surrounded by an ever-growing collection of print materials so vast it boggles the mind.  The Library of Congress calls it, ” . . . the world’s largest repository of knowledge and creativity, with 145 million items in its collections . . .”  I overheard one employee saying the collection grows by 10,000 pieces daily!  And, yes they still have a functioning card catalog which has become less of a research tool and more of a historical relic for young visitors.

One room of the card catalogue
Main Reading Room

One twenty-something aged girl proudly boasted of using a card catalog once in her short-lived,  past.  Never fear all volumes and collections are now searchable in a digital directory that took 12 years to complete, which might be the definitive data entry hell.

One of the major attractions is the personal library of Thomas Jefferson provided by the former president as a replacement following the burning of the congressional library during the War of 1812.  Of the 6,000 plus books in the collection, some 2,000 are the actual books Jefferson possessed.  The others were lost in subsequent fires in 19th Century.  The impressive site is preserved behind glass enclosed, climate controlled bookshelves, so visitors make walk around on all sides.  The collection is augmented by a series of kiosks, which describe the intimate details of the collection such as the gifted book from John Adams with a handwritten note to Jefferson following a period of estrangement between the two Founding Fathers.