Imagine a time when you couldn’t open up Youtube and search for videos of funny cats to pass the time during your boring Sunday afternoons. It’s painful to think about, we know. We haven’t always been able to watch countless videos online … simply because, as we all know, the internet hasn’t always existed.
The Evolution Of The Internet
– Many agree that the internet first started in 1969 (alarmingly that’s 46 years ago!)
– At that time it was referred to as the ARPANET – Advanced Research Projects Agency Network
– The first host-to-host message was sent from California to Stanford
– After this, 4 host computers were connected to the ARPANET. The Internet as we know it has continued from there!
Because of the internet it’s now so easy for videos to be shared online, whether it’s through social media sites or an email. However, we take those facilities for granted, and it used to be so much harder for videos to be seen!
When we’re scrolling through Facebook on our 15 minute breaks, we don’t really think about where the internet first started and how much it has developed. We’re not saying that you should start thinking too philosophically about how much the internet has changed our lives (although it really has, and not just because you can now find the love of your life by ‘swiping right’) it’s just good to understand how much as a business it can really help you grow and connect with people you wouldn’t have been able to connect with before. That can only be a positive thing!
If we’re thinking about the way videos can be shared, we should also think about the way these videos are actually made in the first place. We didn’t always used to be able to shoot a 15 second video on our smartphones and upload it, give it a caption, add a fancy filter and watch the number of ‘likes’ rise all in the space of 5 minutes. There was a time when videos were shot on 8mm film or tapes (we know, we can barely just remember it too) and sometimes it feels like everything is evolving so quickly.
– The first film ever made takes us way way back to 1879 and was by Eadweard Muybridge. It was only a few minutes long, not the feature lengths we’re used to today
– This was around 17 years before the Lumiere brothers filmed on the back of a train in 1896
– The late 1920’s/early 1930’s saw the introduction of ‘talkies’ – films that were no longer completely silent
The way that videos used to be put together has also dramatically changed over the course of time. Initially videos used to be edited by physically cutting and pasting the pieces of film together, and although that sounds like some fun activity you’d do in art class as a kid, it was actually really time consuming and a lot harder to correct your mistakes. As more inventions came about, editing did start to get easier – with the Moviola and Steenbeck that had the addition of a splicer, it made the editing process a little bit quicker (and cleaner!)
Nowadays the digital age has taken over and software such as Avid or Premiere Pro is widely used to edit videos and films. A common pre-conception of this is the Editor working in a small dark room, hyped up on energy drinks with no awareness of the outside world. We’re neither agreeing or disagreeing that this is the case …
How Did Videos Get Seen?
In those earlier days, it’s pretty self-explanatory that it was a lot harder for videos to be seen. Think about where you would see the videos before the internet was around … On your TV? At the local cinema? The list is definitely not endless.
It was harder for brands to promote themselves and get their identities out there for potential customers to see. The only way to truly ‘share’ a video was to pass the VHS around to all your friends during your school’s lunchtime.
Before The Days Of Social Media
We are so familiar now with being able to search a brand on Instagram or Twitter and find out loads of information about them, that it’s hard for some of us to think about how we ever coped before this phenomenon. Previously, the main way brands could advertise themselves was through TV or print, and without the opportunity for their videos to go viral, they had to depend on word of mouth to get their latest ad campaign some recognition.
Use It Or Lose It
It’s easy for us to talk about the way technology has developed, and to most of you it’s probably pretty obvious that the internet is one of the main reasons that certain brands become so popular and keep a buzz about them for many years. However it’s so important that the ones who aren’t using the internet to their full advantage, start doing so. Don’t let your brand suffer through lack of online promotion. Tweet your potential customers, Instagram your latest product and Facebook about all the cool Behind The Scenes stuff you’ve been up to! The internet might not have been originally created with this purpose in mind, but hey, who are we to argue with the weird and wonderful ways of the world wide web.