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Video Never Did Kill the Radio Star, Did It?

When I started as a magazine editor more than 15 years ago, I worked on one magazine, and my job consisted of writing news, editing all content and attending trade shows. Today, the magazine world has changed. In addition to those responsibilities, editors on magazines today also keep up their Web sites with fresh news and content, put together e-newsletters, record podcasts, blog and now, it seems, we make videos.

OK, so you won't be seeing any of our videos on MTV or even YouTube, but you will soon see them with each edition of the digital magazine that we are launching later this month. (Don't worry, you can still receive the print version if you prefer.)

I had the "pleasure" of recording the introduction video for our first digital edition yesterday. This video will pop up when you open the digital edition. What I thought would be a quick and easy shoot with just a few takes turned into an hour-long process in which I fit the camera operator (an editor on one of the other books at our publishing company), our art director (who acted as the teleprompter by holding up large sheets of paper with my copy printed on it), our senior associate editor (who held a white board to one side of the shot to reflect light onto my face, preventing a shadow effect) and myself into my small office.

After several "takes" (I'm already getting this movie lingo down!) in which I didn't make any flubs (or at least anything worthy of being on "America's Funniest Home Videos"), I felt my delivery was a little stiff. So, I decided to do a few more takes, proceeded to make a few flubs, laughed about them and loosened up enough that I think the last take was the best. At least that's what the other three people in the room told me. Granted, they may have had ulterior motives (such as getting the heck back to their real jobs), but I think they were sincere. I won't really know, however, until I can view the video in a few days.

I'm anticipating being a pro at the video shoot within the next few months, especially since this was actually my second videotaping experience (I was interviewed for a New York-based show called "Strength Nation" while at the Club Industry East show in mid-April).

Because it was such a great experience, I'll be sharing the video introduction responsibility with Stuart (who probably couldn't have fit in my office at yesterday's shoot) and Jennipher. If you want to see the introductions, however, you have to sign up for the digital edition of the magazine. Of course, if we enjoy the video part of our job enough (and if you enjoy watching the videos), then we may just start videotaping interviews, trade shows and other industry events and posting them on our Web site on a regular basis.

But don't worry. This new venture into video won't mean that we'll be neglecting the print side of our business. After all, video has yet to kill the radio star, and we don't anticipate it killing our devotion to the magazine or our Web site. Besides, the day that high-definition technology makes it to the online world, I may be the first one to run from the camera. --Pam

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