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I could ply you with a broad overview of 2017’s Adobe MAX conference and 1,000 words to say "I had a good time and I’m one of many people grateful for being able to go." I did, and I am. But the MAX site or a quick Twitter hashtag search will give you plenty of the same kind of account. Instead, I’ll focus on three things from last year’s MAX that I want to remember in 2018, one from each day of the conference.

That way, hopefully, you’ll stick around, and the takeaways might, too.

 

Takeaway 1: "Most fast editing tips involve thinking less." From Maxim Jago’s Wednesday session "Creative Cloud for Video: Tips and Tricks for Post-Production"

 

My take: Maxim was referring to trusting technology in your video post-production workflow. For me, it resonated more broadly than that. I find that, working in a creative field, I fall into the trap of thinking too much and debating things more than I should. I don’t always balance "ideating" with the power of quickly creating something intuitive, putting it out into the world, testing it, learning from that, and revising.

The idea that the things I create aren’t malleable after they go out into the world—have I learned nothing from the internet? I’d like to work toward creating intuitively, deliberating less, and revising more in my own work.

 

Takeaway 2: "There are no rules. We’re all beginners at this. Try it." From "Creating Virtual Reality Video," a Thursday session that focused on 360 video projects from Gary Hustwit, Jessica Edwards, Ben Ross, and Brittany Neff

 

My take: As someone who has begun exploring 360 video and is interested in integrating it into future projects at Red Hat, I’ve found myself getting hung up on feeling like I’m not up to speed on the technology, like there are hidden secrets out there that will unlock what I can do with it, like there’s got to be a better way to stitch GoPro Omni footage together.

This panel reminded me how early we are in 360-video creation in general. I’d like to think less and experiment more with 360 video to find out what stories at Red Hat work well with the medium.

 

Takeaway 3: "Your goal absolutely cannot be TO MAKE CONTENT or TO GET VIEWS." From Valentina Vee’s Friday end-of-conference session "Quick Tips For Videos That Get Clicks"

 

My take: I felt that Valentina’s point was that when you’re setting out to make a video, the audience should be the first consideration. It’s not enough to want to create "content" or something that will "go viral." Instead, it’s more valuable to create a video that’ll resonate with your target audience, something that they’d be compelled to share. That means deciding upfront who your audience is and what they’d want to spend their time watching.

Though I’m often aware of this at Red Hat, I know I can do a better job understanding our customers, communities, and contributors—something I want to work toward in the future.

These moments, in particular, struck a chord with me because they live outside the context of their sessions and echo ideas I’ve thought about or struggled with in my day-to-day work. I recommend digging into the full sessions now that they’re available on the MAX site.

Here’s to hoping I remember these takeaways as I work to make better videos with the Red Hat team and that you find some use for them, too.


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