We have a new toy here in the newsroom at The Herald Bulletin. It's called Tout, and it enables us to shoot and post short videos quickly and easily on our Twitter feeds and on our website, heraldbulletin.com.
Our staffers use their mobile phones to shoot the videos, which can be a maximum of 45 seconds, and post them from the field straight to our Tout and Twitter accounts and website.
It's possible to shoot a Tout video and have it up on our website within five minutes. Even a technologically challenged journalist like me can do it.
I was fortunate to have a perfect focal point for my first Tout video. I pulled Jill O'Malia of WQME aside after a Rotary meeting at Anderson Country Club and asked her to talk about the annual Black & White fund-raiser at Anderson Speedway. Jill, a former Miss Indiana, is not only easy on the eyes but also poised in front of the camera. I told her she had 45 seconds, and she finished right at 44.
The only problem: You can hear me mumble "go ahead" to her at the start of the video.
Ugh! What a galoot!
If you go to our home page and look to the right, you'll see the Tout module. Scroll through it, and you'll find local videos, ranging from Liberty Christian basketball, to an Anderson fire to short interviews with local newsmakers.
About three weeks since we first started posting Tout videos, people have watched them more than 10,000 times. We've posted more than three dozen of the videos with contributions from nearly a dozen newsroom staffers.
Tout is meant for video snippets to tell short stories or to complement written articles. We'll continue to post longer video stories on local news, sports and entertainment events.