As I have discussed previously, contributing to professional video production forums is a cornerstone of who I am. I like the community and the sharing of information. But as I mentioned in my previous post on the topic, sometimes the “community” kinda sucks.
I commented on a manufacturer forum that I was engaged in a discussion regarding a hardware and workflow scenario and was repeatedly insulted by a contributor who doesn’t follow forum guidelines of using one’s REAL NAME. This breech of protocol and insult prompted me to ask to have my account deactivated.
Well, the offending contributor appears to be continuing to make enemies, especially amongst the more seasoned professionals that frequent the forum and VALUABLY contribute to the conversation and to the knowledge resource contained therein. In essence, the KNOWLEDGE is being diluted by HYPERBOLE and OPINION. Frankly, what I see a LOT of these days, as noted in my only slightly tongue in cheek rant found here, is that forums are becoming a hot bed for the uninformed begging to have their shortsighted feature sets embraced by manufacturers so that they don’t actually need to learn any skills.
My opinion is that video production has nearly completely lost all recognition as a skilled service, at least amongst the new practitioners who are spreading that message to the greater community that comprises our potential clients. I’m not saying you NEED to be a 15 year practitioner to make a video that achieves its goals but the “dumbing down” of the collective video hive mind is disturbing to me.
I spend a GREAT deal of time daily and weekly doing research online and reading books to keep my skillset sharp and offer new services and increased value to my clients. I would encourage all of you folks starting out in the industry or testing the waters to do the same.
I have planned another post that discusses MY take on what qualifies a practitioner as a “professional”, one of those topics that seems to always get me “in trouble” with the new kids.
I love analogies. Allow me to demonstrate my opinion through one:
My company is called Road Dog Media for a reason – I take great pride in serving a market that is separated by over 2600 kms. In order to do that successfully, I need a reliable vehicle. I currently drive a 2010 Subaru Forester that I bought brand new in order to meet my demanding ideal of what RELIABLE is. I stick to the service intervals set out by the manufacturer and have my vehicle serviced at a Subaru dealership.
Why don’t I get my oil changed at a 10 minute lube joint? Because the reliability of that vehicle is absolutely paramount to my business model. I trust that the dealership will use genuine OEM approved oil filters, oil drain plug gaskets, approved oil and will appropriately lubricate ALL the grease nipples and other lubricating points. They KNOW the vehicle. They see hundreds of them every week. They have the resources in house plus access to a network of information IF something out of the ordinary comes up.
The extra cost to me of having my vehicle serviced at a dealership instead of the Quickie Loob (not the real name) literally one block away from my studio? $20 + 2 hours round trip driving and about $10 in fuel once every three months or so.
The benefit to me? Peace of mind and a vehicle that behaves EXACTLY the way it is supposed to.
Because I pride myself on the level of service I offer to my clients, I look for that level of service in the service providers I deal with.
Now, the forum contributor I mentioned earlier is approaching all discussions from her shortsighted perspective – it is readily apparent from her commentary she is a relatively new practitioner in the specific industry segment she is most vocal about. AS I have mentioned before, I believe that one of the most important things for a practitioner is to Know What You Don’t Know. Not every business model is exactly the same as yours. Frankly, if you are in your first couple of years in any discipline, you don’t really KNOW all that much yet, at least from a Bigger Viewpoint perspective.
In this case, what she is doing is driving away all the “Old School” repositories of knowledge who have been willing to share their knowledge for no tangible recompense.
Personally, I decided to stop banging my head against the wall and create this Blog. However, one thing I WON’T share here is what I typically used to share on forums – the actual How-To of video production.
The primary forum I still contribute to is DVInfo.net, which is owned and operated by Chris Hurd. Chris is a TRUE gentleman who has created a REAL NAMES forum where respect is important and information is king. I will be seeing him at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in just over a month. I think I owe him a beer.
Thanks for reading.