• Written by Mark Charmer
    20 June 2012

From today, going to www.akvo.tv is now the quickest and easiest way to watch our “under-the-hood” YouTube channel. We generally aim to keep all our movies to 3-4 minutes. Video is an important part of our approach to PR and comms – an approach that’s driven by a philosophy I’ve termed Discoverable Communications.

The great thing about being an open source foundation is that we can open the windows onto our work more freely than previous forms of organisation. With Discoverable Communications, the goal is to do a good job of communicating across our team using online video and photography, our staff Twitter feed and the Akvo blog. But the great bit is that this material is thus available online in ways that are easily discoverable and digestible by anyone else who wants to peek inside. Not interested in Linda’s new designs for the Akvo RSR user manual? Fair enough, you don’t need to watch the video. But maybe you are. Who knows?

As the team expands and the scope and geographic spread of our work grow we’re adding videos far more frequently. The video channel is becoming something more than just a place to stick videos that we want to embed elsewhere. We’re now, for example, creating staff video updates that we assemble into weekly playlists. Here’s the set from last week.

We’ve been creating video for several years, using Blip and YouTube as our video platforms. Since we started using Blip in late 2008, it’s drifted in a different direction to what we needed (that’s Thomas’s polite way of putting it – I’d be a little less generous on this matter), despite us having a paid-for “Pro” account. The main problem was that it kept suggesting completely unconnected content (at best) or soft porn (at worst) alongside our videos. So we’ve gradually shifted to YouTube, which doesn’t do that. Blip was also hard to navigate – YouTube now has neat playlist features, which we like a lot. So YouTube is our default for now. Of course, all the legacy content remains watchable at https://blip.tv/akvo, and is embedded too in many of our blogs.

Meanwhile, we remain curious about other video platforms – I’m experimenting with my own Vimeo Plus account. Vimeo has some nice features and a very pretty interface. But maybe something else will emerge, too, perhaps built around smart phones, optimised for fast uploading over weaker connections. Bring that one on, please…

For now I hope you enjoy dipping into the content on Akvo.tv.

Mark Charmer is a co-founder and communications director at Akvo.