I posted this over on my weblog at http://scoble.weblogs.com but thought it'd be good to post here too:
Speaking of Channel9, the first two weeks saw a fun community start up. It's been fun trying to do a couple of videos everyday that get people talking.
This week we have videos of Sara Ford coming up. She's responsible for accessibility in Visual Studio (and is a tester on that team too).
I note that over on Channel9 we're getting pressure to increase the quality of the videos. I'm torn over that. Right now we're using low-end Canon digital camcorders that most people could afford and a $30 microphone.
We're using this equipment for a couple of reasons. One, the cameras are extremely small and non-intimidating. I've had several subjects mention that these interviews were a lot more fun than other video interviews. A big part of that is that the equipment doesn't look "professional." Plus I don't make subjects wear makeup, or sweat under special lights, or put weird microphones under their clothes.
The pros over at Microsoft Studios probably laugh at the quality of my video (er, lack thereof) but I like the "non slick" results I'm getting. Plus, I'm using normal equipment that almost any customer of ours could afford, if they wanted to get into video for their family. Video is a lot of fun. All you need is a $40 Firewire card, and a $400 or so digital camcorder. Windows Movie Maker and Windows Media Encoder, and away you go! And you thought only Macintoshes could do good quality streaming video.
The other reason we chose these cameras is because we're trying not to spend much of our investors', and our customers' money. Think about it. Every dime we spend comes out of someone's pocket (maybe even yours). So we spend it very carefully. Why spend $3000 on a camera when $400 will do just fine?
But, now that Channel9 is getting watched by lots of people, there's pressure to step up the quality. What do you think? Should we do it?