Facebook Gestures (April Fool’s)

Facebook GesturesGoogle produces creative April Fool’s Day jokes. This year Google announced on their home page the release of Gmail Motion, a way to interact with Gmail using gestures. With Microsoft’s Kinect usurping the iPad as the best-selling electronic gadget of all time, it seems entirely plausible Google could release this technology. Which, of course, is the key to a good April Fool’s joke.

With the ongoing rivalry between Google and Facebook, and Google’s release of Google+1 on Wednesday, I thought it would be fun to envision Facebook’s response to Gmail Motion, if it was real.  As it happens, I had the day off, so took a couple of hours to write, direct and edit a short video response with my friend Jim Lauzon from LaZoom Tours called Facebook Gestures. You can watch the video below.

This is the first time since I was a dorky teenager that I’ve tried writing a script, recording a video, editing it and posting online. I decided to use it as a learning experience in both video creation & in video marketing. Things I learned include:

  • Windows Movie Maker comes free with Windows XP & has decent amateur video editing capabilities, but it helps to read the help file.
  • Flip Ultra HD cameras record in MP4 format, which Windows Movie Maker can’t import.
  • Any Video Converter easily converts from MP4 to AVI formats, and it’s free.
  • TubeMongul’s OneLoad service can upload your video to multiple sites at once, for free.

Overall, it took me about three and a half hours to create a video just under two minutes in length. Which comes out to about 2 minutes per second. I imagine it would take quite a bit longer if I was aiming for higher production values.

One final comment before I sign off: while I rib Google in the video for their Google+1 feature, I think it’s a reasonable response to Facebook’s Like feature invading all corners of the Internet. I personally don’t think it will work, because it provides no differentiation over the Facebook Like button. I’d rather see a Netflix-like recommendation system that uses interests, not the social graph, to enhance search. But that’s a topic for another post.

So, did the Facebook Gestures video make you laugh? What did you think of the original Gmail Motion prank?

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