On Record

Now hear – and see – this

MarciaBy Marcia Gruver


During a company meeting this past summer, Randall-Reilly editors were divided up in teams, handed a digital Flip cam video camera and given assignments such as “in light of today’s economy, illustrate a new company travel policy.” You can imagine the resulting lunacy: one editor even got into a suitcase to show a proposed “carry-on luggage” edict. But our editors also got the message beneath the all the craziness: the simple Flip cam device we played around with in the exercise would become part of our editorial arsenal, just as much as a notebook and recorder.

I’m no digital pioneer, and so it’s taken me a little time to see the value beyond the gee-whiz factor of imbedded videos in our digital magazine. I have to credit one of the forward-thinking agencies in our business, Two Rivers Marketing, with helping show me the benefits. At a Bobcat press event in June, they offered editors use of a digital video camera. Unlike the unwieldy device your father blinded you with on Christmas morning, these cameras are now compact and fairly idiot-proof, as in “press the big red button in the back of the camera to start shooting.”


For about $150, you could record safety meetings, go over production techniques, even detail exactly what’s wrong with a machine.


But more important was the result: being able to give our readers a “you are there” experience – you now can walk alongside us as a product manager explains the features and benefits of a new machine. You can be present when they go over service upgrades, productivity tweaks and durability enhancements. You can get recaps of what we’ve just been told during a press conference.

Our most extensive use of video to date is in the digital edition of this issue, found at www.EquipmentWorldDigital.com.

In today’s market, we thought it was a natural to resurrect our “how to inspect used equipment” series of 10 years ago. This time, however, you’ll be able to get key inspection points direct from our experts via video. While the videography is a bit jumpy – blame the operator – the information’s solid. Instead of just still photography to explain things in a step-by-step manner, this allows us to give you the information straight up.

But that’s not where it ends. We’re hardly the only ones who can take advantage of the simplicity of today’s video devices. For about $150, you could record safety meetings that can be shared with outlying jobsites, go over specific machine production techniques with one of your best operators at the controls, even detail exactly what’s wrong with a machine – complete with sound effects – and send the video in an email to your dealer.

Technology has made it easy, and we’re just beginning the process of making it useful. EW