Tuesday, July 28, 2009

KobreGuide Showcases 300th Video Story

We just re-counted to make sure, and, yep, we just posted our 300th video story on KobreGuide !

Go team!

We've been showcasing the Web's best videojournalism for nearly a year now, finding and selecting a compelling new one every weekday from the world's top media outlets.

It's a good time to take stock.

As you can see by clicking our Channels tab on the navigation bar, we've featured videos from 55 different media outlets, ranging from big newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times to equally meritorious ones that don't often get widespread attention, such as the St. Petersburg Times or the Detroit Free Press.

Click our "Topics" tab, and you'll see our 20 categories are far-ranging, from Adventure to War, with lots in between.

As you can see from our "Award Winners" section, we've been prescient when it comes to selecting prestigious honorees.

When we launched last fall, we offered a "Got a Minute?" section where time-strapped viewers could find short shorts for a quick hit. Curiously, we're finding that producers and audiences instead are building an appetite for longer online videos... and so we accordingly created our "Got an Hour?" section, where you can find high-quality long-form videojournalism.

To see any of our 300 posted video stories, visit the "Hall of Fame" archives -- or use our handy Search function.

We didn't want the creme de la creme to get lost in the fray, so we created a special room for our "Top Ten." Yeah, we know, there's actually 13 there at the moment -- sometimes it's hard to decide what's the best of the best. Don't sue us!

What else?

Obviously you found your way to our KobreChannel blog, but have you joined our Facebook group yet? Now's a good time, before the venture capitalists seize upon us -- you can say you knew us when.

Meanwhile, KobreGuide is still a labor of love, so please show your support by shopping at our Amazon store for all your videojournalism needs!

On a non-commercial note, the best way to help us in our mission to champion videojournalism excellence is simply to keep us posted when you spot it. We're small but mighty, and appreciate the extra eyeballs. Just click the "Recommend a Story" link on our navigation bar -- and please be sure to read our guidelines first.

So that's our tour. Looking back on our earliest stories, we are fascinated by how this hybrid media form has evolved over the past couple years.

For us, it all started with the Los Angeles Times' powerful multimedia account of the "Marlboro Marine" (above), whose iconic photograph became an emblem of the Iraq war. The soldier and the photojournalist who snapped his portrait relate how it changed their lives and connected them in ways neither could have imagined. That potent combination of audio and images constituted an exciting new form of communications; as well crafted as the text story was, it couldn't carry the emotional impact of the haunting voices and sights that augmented and fortified it.

Coincidentally, our 300th story is also about war. It's an Associated Press video series that takes a closeup look at "Wardak Soldiers: On Foot Patrol" (right), the personal stories of American troops in Afghanistan, coping with the dangerous daily task of loosening the grip of the Taliban.

Numbers 2 through 299 cover a lot of ground -- and a lot of issues that impact all of us. We are perpetually astonished at the variety of storytelling approaches explored in this fledgling field -- visually and journalistically.

Video is proliferating like crazy all over the Web, just as we had anticipated. It's getting harder to find the good stuff, the stories worthy of your limited time. We're here to find those needles in the haystack for you.

So start catching up on any of the 300 you've missed... and we'll be busy hunting for the next 300 gems.

Happy viewing!

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