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  • Annette Dawm

A New Welcome Video

A little while ago, I entered the Wix Stunning Awards contest. The winners will actually be announced today, but since I can't find my website in their Showcase, I assume it won't be me. If chosen, the winners would receive a $25 000 marketing campaign for their site. While I can't say I'm not a little disappointed that I was not featured as a finalist, I can see why they picked the ones they did! Every one of them has something that catches the eye. (There's literally one with a girl who has multiple sets of eyes.)

Anyway, even though it is a little too late to stand out now, I still wanted something that would grab people's attention. I keep reading that posting a short video is one of the best ways to engage with an online audience. I'm not sure I buy that. Yeah, if you watch a short video on Facebook, you're "engaging" with the page, meaning they got you to click a button, but how many videos have you watched and then thought, "Why did I watch that?" Anybody can post a video, especially now that sharing stuff is so easy, but it takes a lot of work to make something that makes sense and is worth watching.

I have a love-hate relationship with videos since I went to school for filmmaking and was unable to complete the program due to my disability. It's actually a long story. I made a three hour documentary after the fact just to prove I could make a film within my own means. I filmed or photographed something every day for a year and put it together as a film on my computer which was exhausting, so now I don't like to make videos as often. However, if I think I can make something that will be fun for me to do and fun for other people to watch, I usually give it a try.

A few days ago, I saw an ad for Doodly which is a new animation software that makes it look like someone is drawing on a whiteboard, chalkboard or glass board. It reminds me of a commercial for Sleep Country. (Why buy a mattress anywhere else? That is going to be stuck in your head all day. You're welcome.)

I watched all of the Doodly tutorials and I thought it was something I'd really enjoy so after a few days of pondering, I went ahead and bought it! They say you can make a video in minutes, which is true, but if you want to add in your own images, it takes a long time because you have to make a path for the animation to follow, like connect the dots.

For example, I took this picture of me and then tried to make a basic outline so it looked like it was being drawn on screen.

I'm not really happy with the mouth, but as you can see, I had to put so many dots and it was only for a few seconds in the video, so it wasn't worth worrying about. In the final video, I edited the animation in some other programs so they would have a bit of colour and not just an outline. So that was the only negative thing I found with Doodly-- the animation is great but you can't do a whole lot outside of that. You can change the colour of your text and outline, but the colour of the marker or chalk the hand is using doesn't change. My logo is blue, for example, but if the hand in Doodly were to draw it on a chalk board, we would see a piece of white chalk drawing a blue logo. It wouldn't make sense, so there is also a "No Hand" option.

So why did I want to use Doodly? Well, I have always loved animation, but I could never quite figure it out in an easy way and this program is pretty easy to use. I also wanted to make a Facebook cover video since that is something I've never done. I learned how to make the video the right size and made sure it was the maximum of 90 seconds. After working on the video from 10 AM - 6 PM on Saturday, I finally tried to upload it onto Facebook... and... it didn't work. Mind you, my cover video was not as great as the one for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon but still, it seemed like that was a lot of work for nothing. Facebook wanted me to make a slideshow instead. No thanks.

That's when I got thinking about the Wix Stunning Awards and how everybody had something fun on their home page. I tried to put my video there but that didn't work the way I wanted to. Luckily, I was able to put my home page back to normal and instead I created a pop up box that will show you my video when you visit If I had known it wasn't Facebook compatible, I would have made it a little longer, but for a first attempt, I thought it was pretty good. In case you are reading this at a later date and I have changed the welcome video, here is my first ever Doodly video! I would like to use this program/style of video again for things like The Top Ten Blogs of the Year (There's already a give away as to the number one blog of 2018 in this video) and when I make a video about my blog's birthday.

Hopefully you liked that, and if you didn't you can keep that as an inside thought. ;) Have a great day! Annette

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