May 26, 2008

NYT: Flip Is For Chicks, But Dudes Like It, Too

flip_video_black.jpgRob Walker performed his consumer marketing analytical magic on the awesome enough Flip Video camera in the NY Times Magazine yesterday. Turns out it was designed to encroach on dad's traditional turf as Chief Family Cinematographer, but that's just fine:

Consider Jen Maxwell-Muir, the owner of a public-relations firm in Portland, Ore. (She doesn’t do any work for Pure Digital.) Her husband was always in charge of buying and using the camcorders that documented their children’s lives. “I’m one of these people who feels like if I’m photographing everything, I’m not participating,” she says. Then, at a daughter’s ballet class, a fellow parent brandished a Flip — and Maxwell-Muir soon bought one. Soon the unobtrusive and simple object had her taping as often as her husband. “He’s kind of a tech geek, but he hadn’t heard about it,” she adds. And now? He uses the Flip as much as she does.
We trotted out the Flip at our crazy Cousin-palooza family weekend in Park City, and it's been a big hit. Everyone's been using it, and it's cheap and sturdy enough, you don't worry if the kids wander off with it.

Of course, the first 20 clips all begin with the same scene, where people stop whatever interesting, video-worthy thing they were doing:

"What's that?"

"It's a video camera."

"Really? Does it work?"

"Sure, it's easy. Just push one button. Then you plug it in [sound of USB adapter flipping open]. And it takes AA batteries."

"Really? How's the quality?"


Consumed | Flipped Out [nyt]
Buy a Flip Ultra video camera with 2GB [1-2 hrs capacity] for $123, or the Flip regular with 1GB and 1 hour, which is plenty for us, for $100 [amazon]


I wrote about the Flip on my disability-related-gear blog last December.

You don't need a computer to share the video -- I just plug the included AV cables directly into my dad's TV at his nursing home, and we can watch everything together right there on the screen.

It's incredibly easy -- kind of the ultimate cross-generational tool for sharing experiences, since it doesn't require any special technical knowledge. Or even the ability to embrace new technology emotionally.

So, your post finally got me off the fence--bought myself an early Father's Day present on Amazon this morning--the black larger-memory-size one was only $119, and it'll come before our big Alaskan cruise!

The best thing about the Flip is that it fails to attract the kids' attention.

Back when we used a camcorder we recorded hours and hours of footage of the kids opening and shutting the lens cap repeatedly.

[the downside is that the kid wants to play it back immediately. the end of all our kid shots is, "Now let's watch me!" -ed.]

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