Tag: Social Media Help

Which Flip should I buy?

UPDATE:  I rewrote this in October 2012. To see new views please go here.


It’s a question I’m often asked.   May I start with something simple.  I’m assuming you want something that is easy to use, easy to carry and makes video which is simple to edit and very quick to upload to the internet.  If so buy this one, the Flip Mino – but not the high definition one.

If you are going to but a flip get this one
If you are going to buy a flip get this one


It is light and very easy to carry in a pocket or a bag.
I’ve used and owned the larger ones but found that the red record button was prone to stick.  On these it works like a dream.
60 minutes is plenty of recording time.
The built in usb connector is darned useful.
It does wide screen, which is nice.
There’s no point in buying the high definition one because the lens is the same and the files are just bigger and take ages to upload to the net.

Tip:  the white one if often cheaper than the black one and you’ll rarely find any for less than they sell on Amazon.

What if I want something like a Flip that isn’t a Flip?

At the moment the best reason to do that is because you want better sound. The Flip does perfectly decent sound in straightforward conditions – but make it very noisy and you start to struggle a bit.

Oddly there are not that many sensible choices. There are growing number of high definition flip type camera  that allow you to do what you can’t do with a flip – plug in an external microphone.

Dave Briggs has this very informative explanation of why it’s worth buying a Kodak Zi8:

What Dave says is right, but the point of the Flip is simplicity.  Once you have to add an external microphone, plug it in,

Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera - almost but not quite
Kodak Zi8 HD Pocket Video Camera – almost but not quite

mess with it, hope it doesn’t drop out then – to keep the file size down, remember to reset the video recording quality to less than HD (for upload speed) I’m not convinced the more complex camera will be better. It does have one advantage – you can take stills.

It is still simpler to buy the Flip and ask someone to step into a quiet room to talk to them.

However sound is all important in online video so there’s a more expensive but better solution.  I bought one a few weeks ago and love the new Zoom Q3.  You can record just audio if you wish ( a still photo combined with an mp3 makes great content) and will record very simple video with great audio. There’s a built in USB connector, you can use and sd card and the file sizes are weeny – so whizz up to the net.

This is what @documentally says about it – and I agree with him:

What then is special about it?:

Same ease of use at the Flip
Great sound without needing an external mic
Low resolution video – hence small file sizes.
Does just audio in great quality

So for for me the almost ultimate is the Zoom Q3 – give me widescreen yet low def video on the Zoom Q4 and I’ll be a very happy man.

Social Media Help – support for local groups blogging.

If you look at the top of this page you’ll see a new set of pages called Social Media Help.  They are an extension of some work we have been doing for Groundwork UK on the Big Lottery Community Spaces fund..

With tight resources we wanted to provide some simple guidance for any community groups who use social media as they  apply for or perhaps spend the Community Spaces fund dosh.  My favourite of all is this wonderful blog post from the Friends of Abbey Gardens, but other groups are at it, including Macclesfields Skate Park group, Fairland Park, and  some consistent blogging from Roy at Meols Park.

The help section is available on their site and here.  It will also be useful for the facilitators who help groups with contracts etc.  there are 50 of them and we neither had the time or the desire to try and show all 50 how to blog etc.  For those do want to encourage local groups to use social media it’s a starting point.

The help section is available on this site and here and the end result is:

We’ve compiled some practical articles and videos to help you get the most out of using social media to tell your story. You can go through them one at a time, or dip in and out. Each section has a search facility to help you get to useful nuggets of information from trusted help and support sites.

  1. Tips for blogging with WordPress
  2. Tips for sharing pictures with Flickr
  3. Tips for sharing videos with YouTube
  4. Tips for using Twitter
  • What makes the web social?
  • It deliberatley only covers a few services because we dont want to clutter things up for beginers.  Thanks very much to Paul Henderson for pulling this together.  Feel free to use it for social media surgeries and the like.