Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Balancing productivity gains

The technology is simply great at letting ordinary mortals do things that just a little while ago would have taken a whole army of specialists. Take a look at this 1-min video showing off the GPS Locator tool from the StarfishCI app.

Previously we'd have needed to bring in a specialist company; but now with a bit of software and a good video camera, tripod and some other bits, we can produce the whole thing in-house.

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That saves us heaps of time; and quite a lot of cash; and gives us the flexibility to experiment with content and get things just as we want them, without running up a bill with a team that's on the meter.

And the results? Good enough - Absolutely not as good as the professionals would do; but good enough for this stage of things.

However, the down-side to all this astonishing productivity is the sheer range of skills that one has to pick up, fast: It's amazing to me how much there is to get right: lighting, sound levels, camera angles, script, content, file format conversion from Sony camera ultimately to mp4, editing, mixing the audio backing track, getting sound levels for that right, adding captions, titles, closed captioning, uploading to YouTube, keywords ... on and on!!

Not many people can work effectively across each of these disciplines; and there's a huge amount of trial and error involved in the learning process.

So the trade-off is time and there is a huge, hidden, cost associated with these productivity tools; fortunately masked by the fact that, mostly, this is fun - when I'm working to my schedules and not someone else's!
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