Chapter 2: Video’s Post-Webathon Path

This is Chapter 2 in a tale requesting your interactivity in segment conclusions. It is part of the fictional Voices & Visions story about Video, the winner of the webathon race, which we kicked off this summer. To get the full context, I’d suggest first reading Chapter 1 if you haven’t already. You can find it on this blog site; it’s called “A Fictional Story About a Webathon and Its Contestants.” The quick link to it is: http://wp.me/pyg7V-e.

Chapter 2:

The champion of the 11-year webathon, Video received a gift bag replete with blue and red scrim to color her iris and a lifetime subscription to The Social Fretwork, aka Web Next.0. This was the Super Version, she was told: the social utility incorporating all social networks.

After so many years on the run — shedding half her weight, getting a complete makeover and developing her image along the way — Video was anxious to turn her lens toward the promises offered by The Social Fretwork. She charged to the home page, full battery-ahead, and opened up to the profile page.

First Name: Video

Middle Initial: H.

Last Name: Camera

She stopped, admiring the Italian-esque sound to her surname, briefly imagining herself recording a film in a Venetian gondola, the water lapping at the wooden sides to the rhythm of the boat driver’s romantic song (which she would surely get translated once she returned from the voyage; she would make sure there were no hits on this tape)…

“Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding…” The Social Fretwork began calling out like a teacher to a student staring at the playground through the window in anticipation of recess, reminding Video to return to her profile.

Email Address: Info@VoicesandVisions.com

Video hesitated as she typed in that information. Amateur cinematographers who had cheered her on as she persisted through the webathon had enrolled her in a spectrum of social networks, posting images of her as she captured the world of media. But this was the first time she had registered herself for a personal Internet account. After all, while she had survived the hike between VHS and the digital world prior to enrolling in the webathon, many of her friends had not. Now she had emerged with an enviable HD wardrobe, but the only e-address with which she had ever been affiliated was the one she was given when she began working at her post-race job at Voices & Visions Productions, a corporate video production company in New Jersey and Los Angeles. She worried that signing up on the Social Fretwork would result in a bombardment of emails to her new employer. Still, she had no other options.

Profession: Cinematography, videography

Company: Voices & Visions Productions

Web Address: www.voicesandvisions.com

Which social networks do you want to coalesce on your Social Fretwork account? Check all that apply:

3Placebook

3KachinkedIn

3Flitter

3Whoknew

3ElectronicSingles

3MyPace

Submit your photo here:

Uh oh. Video paused. She fast-forwarded the request to her friend Photo for advice, catching him at work under the mega-lights. He sounded annoyed.

“We had a deal, Video. You promised to be partners with Graphic and me, remember? But then you read your manual of biblical proportions and cited chapter ten, verse one to us, where it was written: ‘Thou hast a built-in still camera.’ So take it upon thyself to shoot thine own self-portrait!”

Wow, Video realized, Photo was certainly jealous. While his offspring would no longer need to develop in the filmy water in which he was raised, his functions were necessarily limited. In contrast, Video had become the Super-Image Maker, improving her own abilities and swallowing up those of her friends. And actually, Photo was right; Video could now add still photography to her repertoire.

So she did. She set up a mirror on a table, then spread a bed of red roses before it, plopping herself in the middle. “Click, click, click.” She checked out the photos. Hmmm. Needs more light; slow the shutter speed. “Click, click, click.” A bit out of focus. “Click, click, click.” Great! Video loaded the new photos into the computer, then downloaded them to her profile.

Almost there! Do you have a favorite video to add?

Now THAT was a tough one. Video wasn’t big on favorites. What category was intended, she wondered? Voices & Visions produces web clips as well as corporate videos for investor relations, marketing, HR, fundraising, sales, and other needs. Then there’s the sister company, the nonprofit JEMGLO, producing documentaries around the world. Video liked almost all the selections in the full V&V collection (though truth be told, there were some projects on which she did not see lens-to-eye with the client). Finally she decided that the best option was a compilation video containing a little of one shoot and a little of another.

Congratulations! You are a now a member of The Social Fretwork! Click here to begin.

So Video clicked, and the screen went wild. Messages and media poured in from all of Video’s other networks that had been established by her admirers. The second Video tried responding to one, another three popped on the screen. Video felt like she was stuck in automatic watching a fast-moving dance that kept oscillating in and out of focus. She began to fret, feeling the same pang of vulnerability that had nearly stopped her from recording when she had initially entered the webathon. And then a message appeared in capital letters, drowning out all the others as background sound:

“Hey Winner Video! How about highlighting your footage on my home page?”

It was signed by electronic heartthrob NewTubes.com.

NewTubes.com had channels for every wannabe video: BrewTube videos for those who like to party, ChewTube videos for foodies, DrewTube videos for artists, even LooTube videos for the silly folks who find bathroom antics funny. Millions of videos filled the 0s and 1s of NewTubes.com, towering in number over the few hundred compressed into final formatted files in Voices & Visions computers then uploaded as online video for their clients’ websites. In the world of videography, NewTubes.com was an A-list celebrity.

Video sat back on her tripod, inhaling loud enough to be audible on channel 2.  She was determined to enjoy this moment, evidence that nothing in life is static, that bad luck one day can become the best of fortune on another. But she had also had enough experiences along her life’s road to be cautious and avoid the trappings of external beauty. Her play button suddenly felt temporarily broken.

She did not know how to respond to NewTubes.com. Her middle initial should have stood for “Humble” rather than the actual name: “Hi-Def.” If Video was to be true to her nature, she would turn down the offer of NewTubes.com in favor of being loyal to Voices & Visions and giving her employer the exclusive right to present her videos.

But then there was the king of popularity knocking at her door. If she stepped in, would she be showered with professional and personal opportunities too exciting to risk losing? Would she sacrifice or gain self-respect and the respect of others? Or would she again become just another brief visual campaign, tomorrow’s old news, then squander the chance to be part of a small production team with a lot of talent, creativity, intelligence, support, sense of humor, and an ethic of client service?

What should she do? What do you think?

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