Review of Singapore's first online rally by SDA

The Singapore Democratic Alliance posted Singapore’s first online rally today evening. As a local tech blogger interested in Social Media and local current affairs, I think I need to blog about this. So here is my review of the online rally.
Note: I’m just going to talk about the technical aspect. I won’t be talking about the content because I can’t really be bothered. (Sorry!!!)

Before I start, let me just say that if you say you will post the video at 6pm, I would expect to see the video on your Facebook and Twitter around 6pm (plus minus 15 minutes). It is ok to delay a bit. But at least post a note on your Facebook and Twitter to inform everyone that there will be a delay. Alternatively, don’t promise a time. Just say the video will be posted in the evening.
And I don’t know how are they going to send the video to residents via Bluetooth. You can’t do file transfer on iPhone. Bluetooth file transfer using other smartphones are kinda tedious. Not everyone know how to do the pairing. Besides, if someone has a smartphone that is capable of receiving a video file via Bluetooth, the same phone will most likely be capable of accessing the video via YouTube. So why not just give out the YouTube link instead?
0:00: Good intro music. Short and sweet. Would be good if there is some animation. But I guess there isn’t time for it.
0:08: The first speaker is energetic and start the video with a lively tone. Good. Unfortunately, they forgot to introduce him. Would be good if there is a text on the video that show his name and position in the party.
0:17: Not really useful to ask viewers to email feedback and questions on YouTube. Most viewers will just comment on the YouTube video or the social media platform where they saw the video.
0:26: OK, I know you are the first to do SMS question and online rally. But let’s get straight to the point. I don’t have access to the video stats but I’m sure a high percentage of viewers dropped off within the first 45 seconds.
Remember: Go straight to the point (unless you are entertaining). This is YouTube. People lose interest easily.
0:45: Oh wait. Why are we reciting the pledge? This is weird. What should I do? Should I put down everything that I’m doing, put my right hand over my chest and recite the pledge together? What if I’m viewing this on the train or at work?
As much as I love the Singapore pledge, please don’t put it on your future online rally. There is a time and place for everything.
1:05: After 1 minute and 5 seconds, he FINALLY start introducing the SDA candidate. I would prefer if he introduce the candidate earlier. And a 1 minute and 40 seconds introduction is too long for YouTube. You might want to consider reducing the length of the introduction and let the man do the talking himself.
2:45: We finally see the candidate, Desmond Lim, on screen. It would be good if they insert text on the video with his name and say that he is the SDA Candidate for Punggol East By Election.
2:49: What’s up with the transition? Did he made a mistake in his speech? If so, why not just re-record the whole intro since we are just 4 seconds into the video? This is just lazy recording.
2:54: OK, I know your tagline is “Dedicated Local, Determined Leader”. But there is no need to repeat that within less than 10 seconds. We are not that forgetful.
3:00: There is a huge change in the tone of the video. The first speaker is very energetic while Desmond Lim sounds calm. There is nothing wrong with both way of presentation. But putting them side by side make the video feels weird. Maybe they should tone down the first speaker or get Desmond Lim to be more energetic during his speech. The difference in the tone shouldn’t be so drastic.
3:30: OK, are we going to see this boring white background and the candidate for the entire online rally? Come on. This is a pre-recorded video. Surely you can insert some video footage of SDA during their walkabout while Desmond is talking. Make full use of the video. There is no need to show the candidate for the whole video. Even the National Day Rally also include video clips and charts.
4:00: The video editing is getting very distracting. They should just re-record the entire speech when there is a mistake. The entire speech is less than 3 minutes. Are you telling me that the candidate cannot make a 3 minutes speech without errors? If the first speaker can record everything within 1 take, I don’t see why the candidate running for election cannot do it.
5:17: The hand gesture is weird. Why is he gesturing to the left? Is Desmond Lim sitting on the left side of the screen?
5:32: Questions are coming in hot and fast? Wait a minute. This is a pre-recorded video pior to this, nobody knows about the email address. So how do you know the questions are coming in hot and fast?
5:40: It is good that the speaker mention the email address for feedback and question. But what’s up with the pause between the word “Singapore” and “Election”? Is there an underscore in the email address?
5:50: Where is the SDA Facebook page? Would be good if you can tell the viewers the URL of the Facebook page and put it on the video description.
6:15: Audio leveling please…. (Ouch, my ears)
6:20: See you in a while? Hmmm…. ok. Errr…. how long ah? I’ve waited for 30 minutes already.
And it will be good if they let everyone know their Facebook and Twitter ID at the end of the video so that viewers can continue to engage them after watching the video.
I’m not an expert in Social Media. All these are my personal opinion based on my experience in Social Media. Hope this blog entry is useful to SDA and all political parties who are interested in doing a online rally.
Update: Check out my review of the second video.


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