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All content by Kyle E. Mitchell, who is not your lawyer.

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Terms of Service, Take Onereviewing the terms you’ve already agreed to

I’ve uploaded my first attempt at a video read-through of terms of service to YouTube. The video is “unlisted”, so you can find it through the link, but not through search. I had high hopes, but this ended up a test run. No script, all off the cuff.

Here are my initial thoughts. Send yours by e-mail!

  1. At two hours, it’s way too long. Simply reading through the terms, sharing thoughts as they occurred to me, took far longer than I’d guessed.

    Next round, I’ll try reviewing the terms ahead of time, making a list of a handful of specific items to cover in the video, and shooting from that list. I expect it will still run long, as online videos go. But not two hours long.

  2. The picture’s too dark. I’m shooting indoors, and brought some lamp lights to bear, but it wasn’t enough.

    I’ll try flooding more aggressively. And look into what I can do on the camcorder.

  3. I meant to record separate audio with a lav mic, but didn’t remember to push the button. So I got audio from the camcorder only.

    It doesn’t seem so bad, but I’m still game to try the lav mic. I’ve also added notes to warm my voice up before shooting, and to turn off the fridge.

  4. It’s more fun for me if I get to use ink pens, but the way I framed the shot, I couldn’t turn the page to a natural writing position without skewing the text in frame, so my pens skipped a lot.

    Need to rotate the camera.

  5. I printed the terms out on my usual laser paper.

    I’ll try writing paper.

  6. My kitchen table shakes more than I remember. Setting a tripod on it probably doesn’t help.

    Looking into bracing.

There were indeed some surprises in the terms. But I don’t think the top-to-bottom read gave me space and structure to really call them out. In the back of my head, I was racing to toward the end. A highlights-focused format should help.

Your thoughts and feedback are always welcome by e-mail.

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