Content Development: Vizify

Use:  Increased engagement by making users feel more connected to staff; branding tool for advertisers

Vizify is a free tool that creates slide show biographies based on your social media activity.  The easy-to-use tool assembles tweets, LinkedIn profile data, Facebook activity and Foursquare activity to automatically create a video slide show.  You can also add “Vizcards” (sort of a personal infographic), quotes, factoids and photos. The presentation can be easily edited before making live.  Mine — created in about 90 seconds — is here.

A new feature creates an actual video based on your Twitter activity, including tweets, photos and video.  Mine was too boring to show here.

Media companies could use the tool to help better connect users to personalities (reporters, broadcasters, etc.) or as part of a backgrounder for people in the news (provided they have created a Vizify video).  Because the data assembled is all from publicly available sources, perhaps Vizify someday will allow media to build videos of third-parties.   I can also envision using the tool as an added branding vehicle for advertisers.

More:

The Next Web: Vizify joins forces with Twitter, now you can create an instant ‘movie trailer’ bio in no time at all

TechCrunch: Visual Identity Platform Vizify Launches Out Of Beta, Now Lets You Share Graphics Via Social Media Cards

GeekWire: Show your quirky side: Vizify unveils new bite-sized infographics just about you

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Video: ParaShoot

Use:  “Always-on” video recording for covering news events and capturing unexpected moments

ParaShoot is a small, HD camera that hangs from the user’s neck and can be set to record video automatically and share wirelessly.  The 720p camera can record video while reporters are covering an event, picking up b-roll footage or capturing an unexpected moment if the reporter’s main camera is not currently rolling.  (Storage is limited to about an hour’s worth of video, but it does include an internal SD memory slot).  ParaShoot also offers an app that can be used to control the camera, including shooting interval and sharing.

(Another alternative, of course,  is Google Glass which will also allow you to shoot video on the fly without having to whip out and set up you mobile camera.)

The company is raising money through Kickstarter (they need to raise $260,000 by July 23) and will reserve a device for $129 to early backers.

More:

Mashable: Use ParaShoot to Capture Your Life on Video

Video: Videolicious

Use:  Increase user engagement by easily creating stories with photos or video clips on your mobile device; inexpensively provide advertisers with more compelling video messaging

Videolicious is an iOS-based app that allows you to easily put together a video or photo presentation from media on your mobile device.   You select the media elements you want to include (in the order you want them to appear) and can add narration, music, logos, etc.  The service is free for personal use, $5 per month for basic business and $10 a month for premium service.

The Washington Post used Videolicious to, among other things, quickly create a video interview the creator of a robotic vehicle at CES.  Here’s another example. Coldwell Banker agents’ use the tool to easily create narrated videos of homes.

More:

Poynter: Videolicious: One way reporters can make and file decent videos from their iPhones

TechCrunch: Videolicious Relaunches Its App For Mobile Video Editing, Raises $1.4 Million From Amazon And Others

HootSuite: Video Storytelling Using Videolicious

Video: Google Slomo

Use:  Increase user engagement through enhanced video storytelling

Google recently announced the addition of a tool that will allow anyone to convert a regular video into a slow motion video on YouTube.  You can determine if the video plays at half speed, quarter speed or eighth speed and maintains the resolution of the original video.  The tool is available through YouTube’s Video Editor.

You can see how news organizations without a lot of video resources could use this tool to help users zero in on activity in a live action video such as a high-school football game (see this example of Miami Heat highlights) or crime captured on a security camera.

More:

The Next Web: Google now lets anyone turn their YouTube upload into a slow motion video

The Verge: YouTube adds automatic slow motion tool to its video editing suite

Search Engine Watch: YouTube Slow Motion Tool Helps Turn Videos Into Epic Moments

Roundup: Tools for Writers and Journalists

Following are links to several columns with recommendations for various apps and tools to help journalists and writers navigate digital content creation, curation and sharing.

Five types of content curation tools for journalists

A list of 10 curation tools which journalists can use to collect multimedia content from across the web, organized by type.

“For those of us with a tight budget, little tech know-how, and even less time, there is still hope for adding multimedia into your communications plans. In not much time at all, you can produce a powerful photo slideshow or video with some fairly simple tools.”

Top 5 Apps for Authors

“Authors these days are more than authors. We must not only write, but edit, organize, blog, friend, tweet, connect, converse, advise, reciprocate, share and share again. These five apps (and I mean “apps” beyond the mobile-only kind) help me streamline these tasks so that I can spend more time actually writing and sell more books.”

10 digital tools journalists can use to improve their reporting, storytelling

“Digital tools help produce quality content online, but it can be tough figuring out where to start. Here are 10 online tools that can help improve journalists’ reporting and storytelling, and engage readers in multimedia.”

New Digital Tools for Journalists: 10 to Learn

“I asked Knight’s Michael Maness and the Journalism and Media Innovation team what tools journalists should be learning. In time, the tool tutorials will get to all of them. Here’s Maness’ list.”

Video: Soo Meta

Use: Increase user engagement; expose users to additional content; enhance advertiser messages

Soo Meta, which has been described as Storify for online video, allows publishers to easily mix videos with still images, text, links, music, polls, RSS feeds and other video.  It was developed by Hungarian-based DragonTape and is available as a mobile app and WordPress plugin.  Soo Meta charges a nominal monthly fee for the “professional” version of the application. A sample video on the Soo Meta site (showing the creation of life-size Lego version of a Star Wars X-Fighter) showcases the technology’s capabilities.

As online video viewing continues to explode, this type of technology will allow media company content to stand out (given the volume of other content that can be integrated). It also can help generate elusive video ad revenue by providing advertisers with more engaging messaging possibilities beyond flat video ads.

More:

paidContent: Soo Meta, the Storify for online video storytelling, launches to the public

The Next Web: Soo Meta: A new way to tell multimedia stories online that’s ideal for journalists or teachers