What I've Learned From The Wabas 12 Video Project

Just to give you a bit of background, the WABAS 12 Video Project that I've been involved in over the 12 days leading up to Christmas 2013 is a mini-group that is a spin off from the WABAS (Writers and Bloggers about Spain) Facebook Group that as the name suggests brings together a diverse and stimulating group of people that all write or blog about Spain in the most general sense.

Anyway, the idea was to bring together 12 bloggers who would create 12 videos to be released on the 12 days of Christmas from December 13 to 14 - Graham Hunt, whose idea it was and with whom I work very closely on the Spanish Property Network didn't seem to realise that the 12 Days of Christmas start on December 25 but we won't mention that!

Why Was I Interested In Getting Involved?

Well, it's pretty obvious the video is a way of really taking your webpage visitors to the place that you're talking about much more vividly.

It also offers a degree of authenticity, especially if you include talking heads and voice overs, that shows that you've actually been to the place and therefore know what you're talking about.

Consequently, my initial idea was to use video as a way of illustrating pages and articles I already had written.

Furthermore, the idea of accompanying others through the learning process and so learning more myself as well as the Retweet and Facebook Like potential of being part of the the Wabas 12 Video Project was also extremely interesting.

What Did I Do?

Given that I had recently completed a large section on the Districts of Barcelona, my initial idea was to go the government offices of each of the 10 Barcelona Districts and do a brief video blog.

I quickly realised, though, that not only would this take time, travelling and research but also that potencial viewers wouldn't necessarily be very interested in a 'So This Is Where You Get Your Paperwork Done' video and ended up only going to 4 Districts - Ciutat Vella, Eixample, Sant Martí and Sant Andreu.

However, in each of the districts I visited topics, such as La Manzana de la Discòrdia, El Parc del Clot or Les Festes de Sant Andreu, came up that struck me as more interesting so I filmed them as well.

Furthermore, as Christmas was round the corner it seemed to make sense to cover the Christmas events that were on close to where I live in the city centre.

What Was The Result?

I have to admit that I'm not massively enthusiastic about what I've produced.

Shaky camera work on the tablet in particular and plenty of slips and slurs on the voice overs make me think that a serious Barcelona Video Project would require a lot more planning.

On the positive side, though, I'm reasonably happy with the way I look and with the sound of my voice so with more preparation this 'Barcelona video blog/walk about town' approach would end up being quite attractive to some.

What Have I Learned?

Apart from the technical aspects, I think the most valuable lesson is that in order to properly harness the potential of video, you have to prepare your material with a view to the platform you will be publishing on.

This means that videos that are essentially illustrations for blog posts, which may be embedded on other sites, probably require less 'branding' than videos that are going to be viewed on YouTube itself.

The latter kind of video needs to be themed and it strikes me that some topics are more appropriate for a video series.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Simon Harris Videoing Himself

Although not very satisfied with the results, I think I've got a lot from participating in the Wabas 12 Video Project and definitely have plans to incorporate video into Barcelonas.Com in the New year.

However, I plan to take a slightly different approach.

Videos that involve me wandering around Barcelona and commenting on what I see are really just moving photos to illustrate webpages and probably don't need to be branded.

A lot of the footage that I've already created could be used in a 100 Reasons To Visit Barcelona that would combine location footage, photos and voice overs done at home.

Similarly, a project based around all the Gaudí Buildings in Barcelona would be much more attractive than visiting government buildings.

Finally, I'm thinking of starting a This Week in Barcelona round up of interesting events, such as concerts, festivals and exhibitions and possibly a series of interviews with other Barcelona residents about where they live.

What About Everyone Else?

Quite a few of the other participants have also written a blog post about the WABAS 12 Video Project, so here's what they have to say ...

Lisa Sadleir:

Paul Read:

Diana Berryman:

Debs Jenkins:

Graham Hunt:

An Example of One of My Videos

Just to give you an idea, the following video is one the first ones I made ... inevitably, it's about my beloved Sant Andreu.

If you use the hashtag #Wabas12, you'll be able to see what we've all produced over the next 12 days of Christmas.

If you think there's been an oversight or you can provide more more detail about a particular event, I'd be delighted to hear from you.

Please complete the form below. You can also upload photos and images, by the way.

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