Welcome to the first in our new series, Professional Web Videos that Suck! This is where I pick out videos for business or professional-minded people that are just plain bad, point out why they are bad, and explain what we can learn from them in our own professional video endeavors.
Why point out professional videos that suck?
I was actually inspired to do this based on a book series by author Vincent Flanders’, Web Pages that Suck (which is still an active website) and Son of Web Pages that Suck. Since those books first came out back in 1998 and 2002, respectively, professionals have had over a decade since to absorb the harsh critiques and raise the playing field of much-improved websites. The amount of time professionals have had for producing and promoting professional web videos, however, is still fairly small, and a lot is left to be desired.
I need to mention that my goal is not to beat anyone down mercilessly. It’s commendable to anyone who is willing to make an honest attempt at producing quality web videos, where clear thought and planning has gone into them, along with audience profiling and feedback, and learning from their mistakes. (And trust me, I know from my own experience, they only way to get better is by being willing to make mistakes, learn from them, and keep practicing and producing more videos.)
However I do see some businesses and professional-minded individuals not make really honest attempts with acknowledging where they aren’t professionally-inclined – either their severe lack of technical expertise, or their content selections, or their on-camera talent, or their marketing choices. It’s these “professional” web videos that bother me the most, and I reserve my harshest criticisms for.
My goal for doing this series come down to 3 things:
• Showcase what videos I think really suck;
• Explain why I think these videos suck, and;
• Mention what I think we can learn from them (so we can avoid sucking so much ourselves!)
What is the criteria for being judged as a “professional web video?”
My qualification for what makes for a “professional web video” is that it can be produced and/or promoted by any enterprise or individual and demonstrate a connection with their own business, brand, or occupation.
Here are some additional criteria to go by:
• It must be a video primarily related to their paid occupation, rather than primarily to a recreational or educational activity.
• It must be intended, or show the intention of, supporting their business, brand, skills, expertise, experience, or other work-related attribute(s).
• It must be intended for distribution online, for public viewing and consumption.
• It must be intended to have a business-related objective. (E.g., increased visibility, leads, sales, better branding, awareness, or other conversion goal.)
As you can see, what I am calling “professional” here is separate from the technical or creative aspects of a web video, both of which have their own objective and subjective characteristics. While I use both of those aspects for my own critique of these videos, neither of them are my qualifications for what I choose to review.