Exploring Video: Three One-Minute Videos to Shoot with Your Phone Right Now

Earlier this week, Elizabeth talked about adding video to your posts to bring a new dimension to the experience for your readers, and Cheri gave you the lowdown on Video Shortcodes. Today, let’s look at three videos you could shoot and publish to your blog in the space of a few minutes, via the magic of your phone.

As you might have noticed, we have mobile WordPress apps coming out of our ears (in the best possible sense of something good coming out of ears that you can imagine), so whether you have a Nokia, Blackberry, iPhone, Windows Phone, or any other phone, chances are there’s an app that will make it easy for you to shoot some video and post it right to your blog without ever cracking your laptop open.

The Challenges


If you’re feeling a particularly frenzied video posting itch, feel free to take a stab at all of these. Otherwise, pick one, and commit to posting it right now. It’s a one-minute video, what could go wrong?

Snoozy technical note: If you have VideoPress, you’re good to post right from your phone to WordPress. If not, you’ll want to upload to YouTube or Vimeo, and then embed your videos into a post (YouTube | Vimeo instructions).

For the Extroverts

You’re loud, proud, and… allowed, to publish this video:

  1. Imagine you’re being interviewed about your blog on national television. By Oprah. Think of the three things you’d most like her to ask you about.
  2. Set yourself a 60-second timer. On your phone, your egg timer, your sundial, you decide.
  3. Pick a location that says something about you. Your backyard replete with bounding puppies, your office desk with its array of Spiderman figurines, that mountain you’ve just climbed. Go stand there.
  4. If you’re feeling super fancy, lean your phone on a wall, a book, a rock, or one of those ridiculous looking phone tripods. Otherwise, hold it at arms length. Bonus points for not aiming it right up your nose.
  5. Ok, now set that timer going and speak, direct to your blog visitor, about those three most important things you’d like people to know about your blog. Bonus points if you use finger gestures, elaborate signage, or African drumming interludes between the three points. STOP AS SOON AS THE 60 SECONDS IS UP. That means you have 20 seconds per point.
    5. Don’t edit. Don’t reshoot. Don’t even watch that thing back. Just pop it into a post and send that video to a post or page. Boom. Challenge complete.

For the Introverts

The idea of posting a video of yourself talking for all the world to see gives you a sudden break-out of hives. No sweat, here’s one for you:

  1. Find three *objects* that speak volumes about who you are. It might be a beloved camera. Your magic power rock. The charred bones of your dearly departed hamster Mr. Schnoozles. You decide.
  2. Arrange them within fairly close proximity.
  3. If the idea of speaking horrifies you, make nice big explanations of what they are and what they mean with giant text on nice big pieces of paper. If it doesn’t, hit up step 4.
  4. Now, you’re going to video these three objects for 20 seconds a pop and tell us what they are and what they mean to you. If you opted for option 3, you won’t tell us, you’ll simply have to whisk your giant pieces of paper into the video at the appropriate moments.
  5. STOP as soon as you hit 60 seconds. There you have it. Post this vision of introverted, thrice-removed self revelation to your blog. Right now. Go. Do it. You can do it. Post!

For the Travelverts

Ok, admittedly travelvert isn’t a word, but the only other -vert suffix left at this stage was pervert, so think yourselves lucky. This one’s for those of you that like to get out and about:

  1. If your native video app doesn’t let you pause and then continue recording, grab yourself one that does. On the iPhone, for example, Ektakrome, MoviePro, and Crazy Moments support this feature. Another, less fun, option is to use an in-camera edit app to stitch clips together, like AndroMedia for Android or iMovie for iPhone. You’ll be able to add your video to your post from your phone’s camera roll/media library (rather than shooting right from the app). If you can’t be bothered to do this, you’ll just have to get very creative about pulling this off in a single, meticulous shot the likes of which Stanley Kubrick would have shied away from.
  2. Whether you’re on vacation, out of the country, or just heading to work, your mission today is to capture approximately ten six second clips from the scenes around you. The sights you see. The sounds. The little moments that pass you by. Capture each, but make sure you pause at the six second mark and move onto something completely different.
  3. Once you have a one-minute video of ten tiny moments, sights, sounds, and experiences, resist the urge to edit, delete or review them. Instead, save and post that video as a video montage of your day.

Be Kind, Rewind

Naturally, we’d love to see you sharing your cinematic masterworks in the comments. For a video without an audience is like one hand clapping in a forest. Or is that a tree falling on one hand? You get the idea. Cough it up. Let’s see it.

Image based on “Dirty Tape Head” by hobvias sudoneighm, CC-BY-2.0.

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  1. It’s ironic. I just made a musing aloud video and posted it today, and while I was doing that I noticed this exercise in The Daily Post as the first item in my Reader.

    Although my experimental short is way more edited than what was prescribed and it’s 30 seconds longer…

    I hope it’s okay to share anyway because I’m “loud and proud” about it.

    I really appreciate this exercise because it gives me a chance to discover other WordPress bloggers who use video as well as text to “vlog.” In searching “freshly pressed” blogs and “categories,” I haven’t found too many people who use video regularly. I’ve been feeling out of place and wondering if I should have bothered to buy my own domain.

    It’s very difficult to obtain followers when you can’t find other bloggers who share a common interest for what you are doing. That’s why I will be checking out all the bloggers who post a comment or who “like” this post.


  2. Here’s a video I shot at the Social Good Conference last year… It’s also on my blog with other videos I shot. VideoPress is awesome. For now, I’m not ready to put my face back on prime time. 😆 Eliz

    Jane GoodallTeaches Us the Chimp Call


  3. OK, I read this blog and thought; I would give this a shot? So I hopped on my motor bike and drove up a mountain to a Buddha Temple (I live in Thailand) and made this one- take video, which I thought it, would be a good way for people to see a different side of me. No script, just some points I wanted to cover. Give me some feedback! Don’t know if it’s a good idea…or not?

    There are two things you are talking about here. One is putting a link to your sight, which should relate to your message that can help your reader to expand on your message… that can work. Now, what I think is more important, a personal message from you on what your blog is about.

    Now, don’t stress out here, I know most bloggers are very good at the written word but many are terrified to get in front of a camera! Relax and breathe, just talk to me. I believe it’s more important for your readers to meet you on an uncommon level; it will create a different connection. Have fun with it, no need to try to make it a Hollywood production. Picasa, from Google, is a free program and a good way to get started. Just click the link to check me out!


    1. Oh, the dog thing! You can have some fun with that. I know you just have to breath and bribe the dog? You can try the peanut butter on the roof of the dogs mouth trick, then you can do a voice over to make it look like the dog is talking, this could be a good one. If it gets a lot of clicks on You Tube it can drive traffic back to your blog? Make sure you put your blog address at the end of the video, and add a comment on the You Tube link…..Have FUN!


  4. ok. I didn’t use my phone. And I sure as heck didn’t go with my first take. But for the love, you can only video yourself so many times. Oh yeah, and I’m 7 seconds over. Way to underachieve my first ever dp challenge. You are welcome.