APOD on Tiktok

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sydneypetz
Asternaut
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:39 am

APOD on Tiktok

Post by sydneypetz » Thu Oct 27, 2022 10:40 pm

Hello everyone!

After discussing this a bit at our last Zoom meeting, I have been trying to brainstorm how we could find a way to get APOD into a format that would thrive on Tiktok. From my user experience on the platform, the science content that seems to perform the best is someone talking in front of an image (using a green screen effect) and giving an explanation of what it is or what is going on in the image. Since most of the content on the platform is pretty short form, to keep audiences in for a longer period of time, users have to like and be interested in whoever is giving the explanation. One of the biggest science creators that does this pretty well is Hank Green, even if at times he's perhaps a little bit too animated (here's a link to one of his videos as an example: https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTR9hhDgv/). I'm not sure if overall this is the route that we would want to take with this, but putting a face (or faces) to the description would be the biggest change to implement compared to other platforms. Long story short, I wanted to start a discussion about all of this so that between all of us we could figure out if pursuing APOD on Tiktok is realistic idea and if so, how it should be done. Anyone have any other thoughts?

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RJN
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Location: Michigan Tech

Re: APOD on Tiktok

Post by RJN » Fri Oct 28, 2022 11:23 pm

Interesting post! Tiktok is certainly popular and becoming even more popular. And APOD does not have a sustained presence on Tiktok that I know about. Someone once did make several short TikTok videos featuring APOD. You can find one by searching for "Tiktok" in APOD's online search engine. The result is here. I think that astrokirsten did make at least one other Tiktok video about APOD, but usually just posts about astronomy more generally. - RJN

OgetayK
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Re: APOD on Tiktok

Post by OgetayK » Sat Nov 12, 2022 3:49 pm

Hi Sydney,

Thanks for bringing this up! TikTok is definitely a different platform. It does not seek the same artistic concerns as one would have with Youtube which has pretty similar concerns as cinematography (however, not many do that but the people who do that succeed).

1) You'd keep the camera stationary --unless motivated by some emotion such as danger
2) You'd keep the camera parallel to the ground (top looking people from top, it creates an annoying feeling for some)
3) You'd keep the camera at your eye level (feels much more natural for story telling)
4) Can use jumpcuts sentence-to-sentence definitely not word-to-word (even though some Youtuber's do, people like me totally disregard it because it is unnatural).

These are the straightforward details one must consider if a professional work is desired. Of course, there are much more details to elaborate, but I believe these are the ones that also apply to TikTok. Do not be tricked by people who has many followers and don't do some of these.

So yes, you should have a face. I strongly believe that this would make a huge difference. This is psychologically known effect, but there are exceptions that succeeded without a face (such as 3Blue1Brown on YT). But that has a very novel style, so that was the reason. This is also why people who use his library couldn't succeed like him. And he eventually revealed himself too.

The rest is Storytelling which is far more important if you'd ask me (also the reason I suggest a face). The above discussion is just the makeup for the story, just to make it more beautiful and engaging. But how you deliver the story is the most important one. I do sometimes write scripts for some top Youtuber's in my country. So I could add more to the storytelling part of this, but there also nice books that would satisfy most of the needs. I strongly recommend reading all those if one needs to work on these more professionally.

Although TikTok does not seek for such professionalism, this is human mind and it does not evolve in a few years. We'll be seeking for the same things, even the platform does not require. And if one comes up with these by also satisfying the platforms need (short videos, quick info etc.), success will follow.

vwhite
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Re: APOD on Tiktok

Post by vwhite » Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:52 am

Hey crew,

I got to thinking about this and was curious how much work it might take to make something for this audience. Reading it verbatim isn’t going to work, so I took some interpretive liberties. I learned 3 buttons on a simple video editing app this week and tried this. They take me between 30-60 minutes to make, which I know isn’t sustainable for me long-term, every day, but it’s kind of fun for me for now. It automatically posts to my IG and FB too. I’m fairly social media illiterate, so constructive feedback most welcome.
https://www.tiktok.com/t/ZTRQwkUgw/

~Viv