It’s so Hard to Not Say Everything
My library has a new mobile app and this week it was finally approved for inclusion in the Apple App Store, making it available for all smartphones. My colleagues and I have been working on developing promotional materials for the app, which included the video you can see below.
Making the video wasn’t technically very difficult, since iMovie makes it pretty easy to add text and other effects, like the panning over the photos. But it was difficult nonetheless. We decided to keep the video short and only focus on one feature; that the app is available for all data-enabled mobile devices.
I finished a draft of the video on Tuesday and showed to my colleague who developed the the app with Boopsie. While we both liked the look of the video, I was uneasy. The video doesn’t actually say anything about the content or tools in the app and it just didn’t seem finished. I wondered whether we might need to better explain the message of the video and why we were showing all these librarians with their phones.
Thankfully, reason prevailed, and we left out any additional text (though the “your” in the second bit of text did get an outline for emphasis) and did not even try to describe the app. We can always make another video later or write blog posts describing the neat features of the app. This may even be more effective marketing, as it gives us multiple opportunities to talk about the app on our social media accounts.
While this all make sense when I write it out, it still feels counter-intuitive. I want to explain all about the app, just like I’d love to explain to undergrads at the reference desk all the details of using our article databases when they only want an article or two because their teacher said they had to cite them in a paper. Where does this come from? I think it’s an enthusiasm for information seeking that doesn’t seem to be shared among the general population. But I think it may also be a lack of confidence in my own ability to explain without lengthy prose and a wealth of details. Plus, showing is so much harder than just telling. Keeping to the relevant details is a skill I’m still developing.
Anyway, I do love how this video turned out, which is probably my true motive for writing this post. Most of the videos I make are screencasts in an article database or the catalog and this is infinitely for fun, especially since it includes music. Don’t watch the video too much though. That song gets stuck in your head!