As Mozilla’s Ryan Merkley points out in his TED talk, the nature of video on the web hasn’t changed much over the past few years. Besides a higher resolution and faster streaming times, videos remain static and non-interactive. Even books, with the advent of interactive eBooks, have found ways to become interactive and use the full resources of the Internet. But with a new product called Mozilla Popcorn, that might all change. Popcorn allows content creators to adorn videos with links, and other media, like maps or a photo stream, to create a full-content experience. The interface is simple, and the product itself, in keeping with Mozilla’s open-source principles, is free.
As content creators, writers are constantly looking for ways to promote their own work. While book trailers are popular, they often fail to capture the artifice of the novel they are producing or match the quality that other media outlets offer. Popcorn allows writers to promote their books by interlacing an online video with links to text, illustrations, and even the link to buy the book itself.
For children’s authors, imagine yourself performing your book – read it aloud to capture a video clip, then adorn the video with images, links to references, and the ability to click over to purchase the book.
It’s difficult to conceptualize what this might look like, since we’re all so used to static videos, but really, this product is a game-changer for self-promoting authors. Think about the chance to create a photo stream of evocative images from your book, that can play behind you as you explain about your suspense thriller. Or the chance to interview subjects of your non-fiction book and complete a short documentary that enhances your own reporting.
Because Popcorn is simple a tool, and not a promotion in and of itself, its effectiveness is up to the authors. Its interface is simple, and its potential is huge. In terms of entering an exciting new way to create video promotions before anyone else, it offers the chance for an author to be different and exciting.
Give it a whirl and show us your results! What do you think of this idea?