Monday, 27 October 2014

Today is World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

In 2005, the United Nations declared 27th October as the annual World Day for Audiovisual Heritage. What does this mean for you and I?

That depends on how much you care about preserving recorded material, which admittedly is a nerdy passion. But whatever. I'm interested. You'll possibly be familiar with Throwback Thursday, or #tbt on social media- the trend of uploading old pictures once a week. These are normally developed photographs which were scanned in and saved as JPEG, then uploaded to the internet. Audiovisual content, though, is more than pictures- it's video and sound recordings too. Where might these be found? Cupboards at home. Picture albums. Boxes of VHS tapes in the loft. Many possible places.

Video is a format that people are particularly keen to protect- we've been using VHS for decades, and still do. They can last up to 10-25 years in proper storage. But once they're digitised, the quality never drops- so get transferring! Either wire up your DVD recorder, VHS player and TV together... or take it to Max Spielmann.

Next step: upload. Facebook is a difficult platform to properly share on, as most people choose the “friends only” level of security. And even then, there's no way to search for videos on Facebook. Youtube is a better bet as you can add the relevant tags to the video, making it more searchable. Pictures can be uploaded to the likes of Twitter, personal blogs, Flickr and Instagram, but remember to properly tag them so that people searching for that content can find it. Otherwise the only the people who will stumble across it are those scrolling in their Thursday timeline.

Upload it to the site that you'd like the most traffic on. For me, that's this blog.

Then: share via social media. Let people know that the content is there and preserved online. Think about who would be particularly interested. Who's in the picture? If it's a local celebrity, would the local papers be curious? They will more than likely have a Twitter account, which is a good platform for sharing links, so show them from that site.

In essence- use today as an excuse to rummage through your old tapes, and get preserving those memories!

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