Hats Off: World Under Water, A Climate Change Interactive Campaign

With all the talk about climate change — ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree it’s real — did you ever wonder what your life would look like if it was underwater?

CarbonStory, a crowdfunding platform for climate change projects, recently teamed up with ad agencies BBDO and Proximity Singapore to explore the scary sea level rise possibility. Together, they created a new digital interactive campaign, World Under Water.

London Under Water - CarbonStory

Recognize London under all that water?


Using Google Maps, users can type in any address around the world and see a simulation of what the place would look like submerged underwater. Users hear the sounds of subtle rippling water while facts about climate change appear and disappear on the screen.

Fort Myers Under Water - CarbonStory

The city of Fort Meyers gave World Under Water a try, posting their personalized image to Twitter.

Climate change isn’t something to be overlooked, and these organizations used interactivity in a smart way to make a powerful statement. Our hats go off to World Under Water for its work to promote awareness on a big world issue like Climate Change and personalize its effects for each viewer.

If You Want to Learn, Think, Says New Study

A popular mantra in the workplace today is “learn by doing.”

This trial-by-fire mantra requires you to react on the fly and adjust in real time to accurately perform the task at hand.

Yet new research by HEC Paris, Harvard, and the University of North Carolina suggests that reflection — not learning by doing — can be a more critical component of learning, helping to articulate the key lessons, which we glean from our experiences.


In the study, people who reflected on the strategies they used to do an arithmetic brain teaser did 18 percent better in the second round than those who didn’t reflect. A Harvard Business Review blog post on the research suggests that the “unconscious learning that happens when you tackle a challenging task can be more effective” if you also make “conscious attempts to learn by thinking.”

Additionally, the researchers wrote in their paper that, “taking time away from training” and using that time to reflect “actually improved individual performance” for the people in their study.

They write that their results show reflection to be a powerful mechanism behind learning, and say that with this knowledge on how we learn, “it may be possible to train and learn ‘smarter,’ not ‘harder.’”


What does all this mean for your web video? Well, it means that giving your viewers time to think can help them better achieve their learning goals.

Some HapYak users are already taking this advice to heart. Like Uveni, who created a clever video that’s really a stealth Myers-Briggs personality test. To help the viewer think and make decisions, Uveni deliberately filmed and edited their video to include natural pauses. Simultaneously they keep the viewer interested with ambient audio and subtle movement on the screen.

Lately we're seeing many more HapYak users follow this ambient pause method for choose-your-own-adventure video. Because the audio track continues while the viewer is reflecting, she stays completely connected to the experience. If you have existing video that has not been filmed with ambient pauses in mind - no problem - just use a loop back option on an annotation to make a given section of the video repeat.

Interactive Video Loop Back

We’ve found that these techniques are the most effective way to ensure the viewer continues along their viewing journey and becomes more than just a viewer. They become an activated viewer.

You can see the full working paper "Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance" here.

Learning and Tech: What's Next?

As technology continues to rapidly innovate, it’s good to take a step back and evaluate what it’s doing to our world.

Recently, Claire Cain Miller at the New York Times did just that, interviewing a number of prominent tech entrepreneurs. These conversations informed an infographic by Chi Birmingham about what's next when it comes to tech.

New York Times Infographic - Tecnology

[Image credit: The New York Times]


“I believe e-courses will eventually change people’s attitude toward learning,” said Sebastian Thrun in a chat on Facebook for the article. The founder of Google X Lab and co-founder of Udacity, goes on further to say that he thinks “education will play an increasingly dominant role in people’s lives” for people of all ages and geographies.

When it comes to higher education specifically, Thurn suggests that tech will evolve the area to allow for more access, higher quality, and create more of a global reach.

New York Times Infographic - Tecnology

[Image credit: The New York Times]

Twitter founder Ev Williams was also interviewed for the piece, and he suggests that higher education will be heavily influenced by tech, if not put out of business altogether. Either way, our view towards e-learning is changing, and tech is already a big part of that.


Beyond the Times article, some education startups have increased their use of web video in the learning environment. The Challenge Festival — a conference for startups doing great things across a number of industries, including education — showcased the work that eduCanon is doing. A winner in the education category at last week's conference, eduCanon's online learning environment (founded by a Teach for America alum) allows teachers to build and share interactive video lessons.

EduCanon at Challenge Cup DC

[Image credit: Daniel Swartz - 1776 DC]

It all squares with what we're seeing at HapYak. People are using video technology in education in new ways that were always imagined but now finally possible through the widespread adoption of HTML5 technology. Congratulations to the whole eduCanon team and others pioneering education with video.

Why We Love R2-D2 and What That Means for Web Video

As you probably know, the Star Wars franchise is back in action, with a new movie being filmed as we speak. In the iconic films, a world in a galaxy far, far away exists where humans and other extraterrestrials use interactive technology to communicate with each other and with robot companions.

No droid engenders more love and reverence then the iconic R2-D2. Now that R2-D2 has been confirmed as appearing in the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII, it's interesting to reflect on how a droid could be held so dearly by so many.



In a recent article in Smithsonian magazine, writer Clive Thompson tackles this issue of why we, as viewers, take to R2-D2 more so than C-3PO, and what that means for humans on earth as we develop technology.

“What precisely is the source of R2-D2’s allure?” Thompson asks the reader in his piece. Smithsonian curator Carlene Stephens says the robot looks “like an industrial vacuum cleaner,” yet R2-D2 stirs rich emotions that not many movie robots can rival.

R2D2 and C-3PO

Thompson describes it as a “touch of humanity” in R2-D2 that makes him more lovable than the humanoid C-3PO. Even though R2 speaks another language, we understand his beeps and burps and interact with him like we would with real beings.

These ideas are rooted in research done by Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori in 1970. Adding just the right amount of humanity to a robot, endears it to us.

Interestingly, the exact same advice is true for web video.


Video can be stubborn and inflexible. It is usually a one-way presentation, not a conversation.

Adding a human touch can be easy and amazingly effective. Periodically pause the video and give the viewer time to interact with the content like they would with a person. Or add quizzes throughout the video, which builds on the knowledge presented in the video and reinforces the messages the viewer sees. Whatever method you choose, web videos with interactivity offer a real way to engage your viewers in a way that’s both deep and memorable.

And just like R2-D2, they'll remember the video for a long, long time.

Web Video Is On The Up And Up For Creators And Advertisers

You probably know that web video is currently a go-to choice for digital advertisers, and increasing in popularity. "For us, it's really about shifting to where audiences are" says Laura Desmond, chief executive of Starcom MediaVest, in a recent Wall Street Journal article. In 2014, the Pew Research Center reports that digital video advertising is growing at 44% year over year.

Put simply, more people are online, watching more video and advertisers know it. This general comfort level with web video is also apparent in the number of people who are creating it. In another 2013 Pew report, the organization finds that 26 percent of internet users post videos they create. That's also up 44% year over year.

Online Creators Posting Original Photos Bar Graph

[Image credit: The Pew Research Center]


Once again, it’s clear that web video is on the up and up. The 2013 Pew report says that people under 30, especially women, are the biggest content creators. And they’re sharing what others create!

Online Curators Sharing Images and Videos Bar Graph

[Image credit: The Pew Research Center]

User-generated web video will continue to gain importance, at least according to the Pew study. It's already part of the news cycle, and Pew reports that eleven percent of online news consumers have submitted their own content, including video, to news organizations or blogs.

What all this means for web video is that viewers are engaged in the medium and hungry for more. Web videos that you create can help tell interactive, meaningful stories and share information in a way that's poised for the future.

Webcast: Using Interactive Video to Coach Sales Teams

HapYak and Sales Progress

Our Customer Success Director, Cass Sapir, participated in this webinar with Tim Hagen, President of Sales Progress . It's got some great insights about how important video can be for coaching sales staff to their highest performance.

"Video is powerful. Its messaging can make a great impact. It is often looked upon as a medium or learning tool; whereas, video, is a great coaching tool. This is a free webinar we did with HapYak, who is a strategic partner of ours.  Hope it helps!" - Tim

Give Every Video a Purpose

Focus on Goals.

If you want your video strategy to succeed you need to focus on goals. Why does your video exist? What specific outcome are you working towards?

  • Conversion: Create an experience that leads to a specific action.
  • Teaching: Run a flipped classroom and better prepare your learners.
  • Training: Measure the progress of your team and workforce.
  • View Time: Engage your viewers by respecting their time.

This Interactive Academy video is included as a starter template with each new account. Even though it has a "sign-up" call to action, it is mostly viewed in-app, so the primary goal is Teaching not Conversion. It's goal is to engage and inform the viewer. We closely measure the interaction rate (clicking on chapters and quizzes) and conversion rate (sign-ups for our mailing list).

In the video we discuss uses of HapYak and how Interactive Video can be used to effectively influence and guide viewers toward goals.

When you Sign-Up for HapYak we include a version of this video for you to modify and see how easy it is to get started. Try it out!

How to Add Olark Live Chat to Your Interactive Video

Adding an Olark widget to a video is a great way to increase retention, boost sales and provide support directly from within the video. Whether it's a product overview, or a how-to video, your audience is most engaged when they're watching a video on your site. The HapYak Olark Live Chat widget empowers viewers to get their questions answered right away, and gives you a great opportunity to connect at the right moment. For a detailed description of how to integrate Olark Live Chat into your videos visit our Knowledge Base Article! Once added be sure to alert your operators that there is now a chat box attached to a specific video.

About Olark: Olark has powerful features to give you access to visitors and their behaviors. Make your business (and your site) look good and keep your customers coming back. Olark was founded in 2009 by Ben Congleton, Matt Pizzimenti, Roland Osborne and Zach Steindler. Initially funded by seed accelerator Y Combinator, Olark has gone on to profitable success by providing a compelling product and amazing service. We believe the world is a better place when people help each other out. That’s why you’ll find any one of our team members answering your chat. It’s what we love to do.

Olark is headquartered in San Francisco. We also have an office in Ann Arbor, MI, our "hometown", as well as employees across the US, Canada, Brazil and the U.K.