Recommendations by a travel video maker!

Hi All!
I’m happy to introduce a new guest of my blog: Guglielmo Biason and his videos.

Guglielmo is an Italian guy who lives in London. I met him in Brazil in 2006. I was the tour leader of a group and we argued more than once because of the ‘rules’  and the travel’s organization.

After few months, I watched the first Guglielmo’s video shot in India. It was about a ‘tuk-tuk’ charity race in the South of India, and it was so funny!

Few days ago, I received an e-mail about his new “web video blog”. I immediately visited it, and I found something more than a video collection. He created a sort of travel social network …

So , I decided to ask him some questions about his great idea in order to write a post for my readers and ‘advertise’ his interesting activity

– Hi Guglielmo … would you mind introducing yourself as a ‘traveller’?

Well, more or less, difficult to define myself as a traveller when I’m not able to travel for more than 20/25 days per year due to work commitments. But yes, I like to travel a lot and this is by far my favourite passion. This means that that 20/25 days are ~100% of my holidays.

–  When we firstly met in 2006 you didn’t have any video camera. When did you decide to shoot videos and why?

Yes, this is right. I didn’t realize but it is true. When we met I didn’t had a camera. No photos, no videos. Everything changed one year later. Basically one day (it was April 2007) I watch a short video that a friend of mine did by simply putting together some photos and adding a music theme. I asked him how complicated it was and he showed me how easy is to use Windows Movie Maker, a very simple tool that is installed in any Windows PC. One week later I went to Oman and I decide to buy a camera at the airport. I did some videos during the trip but not with any real idea on what to do. A few weeks later I started playing with the videos and in a few hours I created my first, rudimental, travel video. It is the one called “Oman, route to Wadi Shab and Wahiba Sands”. Since then I did a video for every travel I did. Now I cannot even stop because my friends travelling with me require that I do a video on the trip that they can show to parents, friends, and colleagues once back

–         You started publishing your videos on different social media like YouTube, Facebook, etc. Why did you create your own ‘space’? What is your aim?

Yes, I put my first video on YouTube for the only reason to show it to my parents in Italy (I live in London). Then I sent the link to a few friends. YouTube was a powerful site but after 2 years it started to shut down my videos because I used illegal music. This is true, I use normal pop music in my videos without permission, but I do not make money on it, and my intent is only to share the video with my friends. For your info, YouTube has a software which matches the audio of your video with a database of most famous songs. When your audio match with one of the songs, YouTube mutes automatically your video. I hate to rely on others (YouTube included) and I decided to spend few hours to build up my own website. I do not have any plan to make it popular. It is simply a way which allows me to share the videos with my friends. When I upload a new video I send an email or post it on Facebook so my friends who are interested can watch it. In the future my aim is to develop the website in a way that it becomes a content box for notes, photos, suggestions, itineraries, videos and any experience related to my travels. A sort of travel memory accessible from everywhere.


–  Do you have a ‘plot’ when you start shooting or you ‘build’ your movie during the post-production process?

I have a very strange way to plan my vids. My videos are led by the music. Before the travel I select a few songs which I really like and I start imaging the scenes of the travel on the music. Of course the songs are somehow related to the place I’m visiting. E.g., in Cuba I used regaetton and latin music, in Isreael and Jordan I used Marrocan dance. In Turkey I used Turkish pop. In the Vietnam vid that I’ll soon upload I use a lot American songs of the the ‘60s and ‘70s. Basically the music drives the creation of the movies. This is the reasons I think at my videos more as videclips rather than movies. The weak part of them is that the story of the travel is barely explained, like in a normal music clip.

–   A couple of suggestions for lonely travellers ….

I have understood in these years that what can make the difference in your travel are the unexpected things. If in a travel everything goes right it will not be a good one. It means that you did not exit from the “usual tourist routes”. I enjoyed a lot the travel where something went wrong (i.e. getting stucked in the desert, broken the car in the middle of the countryside, get lost in the slums etc.). This allowed me to get in touch with locals in a way that would not have been otherwise possible. That’s the reason why I try to get myself in little troubles. In my last trip I have been motorcycling in Vietnam. Note that I never drove a motorbike (and neither a scooter) in my life before. We get lost in the traffic of Saigon, I lost the silencer (and I had to buy it back from the locals), we drove in the mountains with no lights etc. Ok, maybe this is not a suggestion that I recommend to everyone, but hope you understand the rationale. The other things that I learnt is that the funny is to organize everything on my own. Do not rely on travel agencies. They will probably plan a better travel than what you can do (more efficient timing, better hotels, better commuting, etc.) but at the end of the day if you are guided by a guide you feel to have seen the country as from behind a screen. I prefer to see half of the things a place has to offer but to conquer these things with my own, with no travel agencies in the middle. It’s much more fun and personal reward

Enjoy your watching at http://www.guglielmobiason.webs.com/

Facebook or not Facebook … Part II

Copyright by Andrea Staccioli/Insidefoto

Copyright by Andrea Staccioli/Insidefoto

As I wrote in my previous post, it’s very difficult to explain benefits of using social media. In most cases, people (usually your boss) thinks that you’re just playing.

According to this idea, many companies are becoming more and more strict, forbidding employees access to Facebook or othe social media.

So, while I was wondering how to convince companies to change their minds, I found an excellent post by Jason Falls: “How to be a social media champion at your office“.  Jason suggests many different way to transform your interest in social media into an opportunity for your collegues and company, by operating within your company’s rule

I highly recommend to read it, apply his suggestions and …. report back!

Facebook or not Facebook?

facebookIn the last three months, the increasing success of social networking in Italy, mainly Facebook, is creating a wide debate.

From 1 million of users in May Italy reached 4,2 millions of users in September (Nielsen Netview).

Every day newspapers, magazines, online news never miss to talk about benefits or risks arising from this media.

Somebody even considers Facebook as a danger for couples, and families!

Most users are far from consider Facebook and social networking as a useful working tool.

Using Facebook is mainly considered as something ‘in’, but just for entertainment.

That’s why many companies start forbidding Facebook’s access to the employees, as they believe is just a waste of time.

Word-of-mouth, buzz, social media as a service or marketing tools are just words, especially in public companies.

And it’s very hard to change this trend in many manager’s (and also users’ mind!)

So … what do you think about it? Should companies forbid Facebook’s access to their employees? How can we try to ‘fill a hole’ and change this trend?

Facebook: an example of digital democracy

election-rally-on-facebook2On November 3rd I received an invite to join Facebook’s cause ‘Election Rally’.

Even though I wasn’t personally involved in voting (I’m not a US citizen), I decided to ‘donate’ my Facebook’s status to the cause.

The goal was to reach as many people as possible and convince them to vote, no matter about political persuasion. Everyone could donate his status to his candidate.

The most important thing was reminding people to vote, especially young people.

The initiative had a great success: in just under 5 days, 1,745,754 people sent out 4,919,071 status messages.

This example demonstrates how a social network can support democracy, and help people to know their rights.

I’d like to suggest you to visit the Facebook’s cause, to check the increasing number of people involved hour by hour. It’s incredible how fast it grew!

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Another suggestions to all bloggers: Valeria Maltoni posted today a useful article “Why start a blog and 25 howtoblogtips to make it work”. You’ll find many advices to create a successful blog! The article is easy to understand also for beginners, and it is mainly focused on creating a business blog.

Valeria’s ‘Conversation Agent’ is one of my favourite professional blogs, and I read it regularly, as I always find ideas, suggestions, and interesting opinions.

I strongly recommend it!

Enjoy your reading.