PageCast: Short, sweet and real

There are just so many things I like about The PageCast, I’m not sure where to begin. First, what is The PageCast.

It’s a 60 second video by Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin, previewing the three stories that he thinks you should be watching for today. You’ll find it on the top/right of The Page. Big whoop, right? Okay, here’s some of the things I like about this simple idea (and this particular PageCast):

  • It maximizes the reach of a popular, plugged-in political reporter.
  • It’s short. One minute. Easy to watch, easy to produce.
  • It’s real. Or at least it appears real. Today’s PageCast was recorded in what appears to be Mr. Halperin’s hotel room in South Dakota (prior to Tuesday’s primary). And he obviously just came from the gym or a run. (Note to TV and Hollywood directors: THIS is what real sweat looks like. Not the little spritz you put under your star’s arms and on his chest. Save this image for future reference). And Mark hasn’t shaved yet. The guy looks like we all do on a Sunday morning.
  • Zero production. If I had to guess, I’d say he recorded this with his Mac Book sitting on the hotel desk. Probably in one take. He emails the file to some web monkey who uploads to The Page and it’s done. No crew, no director, no editing.

The news directors of our radio networks would be great at this. And their listeners/readers/viewers would eat it up.

UPDATE: My buddy Kay reports that Mark Halperin records PageCast between 7-9 a.m. (usually), wherever he happens to be and in whatever he happens to be wearing. If he’s on the West Coast, he usually records them at night. He thinks of what he wants to say just before he begins recording (or in the shower or at the gym), on his MacBook Pro (edits with iMovie).

The idea was prompted by the desire to put video on The Page, while keeping it easy to produce and watch. Just as I suspected. Simple idea, well executed.

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