September 21, 2007

MediaCom to air SIUC videos on demand

by Andrea Hahn


CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale's Barking Dawg Productions, an audio-visual arm of University Communications, is all about immediate gratification. This is a want it-got it technological world, and Barking Dawg is ready to lead the pack, Saluki style.

In partnership with MediaCom, SIUC is the first four-year university in the state to offer MediaCom video on demand. The 15-minute video segment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the 38,279 or so homes in Southern Illinois using MediaCom digital cable services. By using the "Smart Shop" menu option, viewers can access "Smart Education," starring SIUC.

"On-demand technology provides an instant way to view shows from different stations when you want to see them – not just when they are broadcast," Stephanie Sparks, a member of the Barking Dawg Productions crew, said. "With the new on-demand option for the Barking Dawg video, people can watch our segment whenever they want to without having to wait."

Barking Dawg already airs a four-minute segment on the Chicago-area Comcast digital network. The 15-minute MediaCom format, though, gives Barking Dawg more than just 11 additional minutes – it's like expanding the universe. Besides the "Only in One Place" videos available now on the University Web site, the MediaCom segment debuts "Dawg Tales," a series of video biographical sketches featuring SIUC students, faculty and administrative personnel – including SIU President Glenn Poshard and SIUC Chancellor Fernando Treviño.

"'Dawg Tales' are all across the board," Sparks said. "We talked with students in different programs all over campus – it's very diverse, just like the University itself." The interviews, filmed at different locations on campus and in Carbondale, are meant to entertain as well as to inform. Camera angles, quick cuts and edgy editing make the interviews far more expressive than a simple "talking head" format.

Video segments also offer snapshots of "what types of people we have here, what we have to offer and what the campus looks like – a good visual picture of what we're all about, the visual you have in your head when you think SIUC," Sparks said.

The video goes live Thursday, Sept. 27, and will be available throughout Southern Illinois through MediaCom. "We want to show people in this area that we do want them here, we don't take for granted that students in Southern Illinois will come to SIUC," Sparks said.

Barking Dawg Productions is a crew of students and alumni with advanced technical training in video, design and sound engineering with a team of advertising and marketing researchers. A core of faculty advisers acts as Barking Dawg directors.