For almost a year now, I’ve been soaking up teaching from Jerry Ghionis on the original Ice Society. Jerry is truly a master at both photography as well as teaching. Who knows how many hours I’ve spent watching Ice Society content, and I still pick up new stuff every time I watch. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Jerry rolled out The Ice Society 2.0.
The old navigation system was functional. Find the chapter you’re interested in, expand the chapter, and click on the section title to open content. After so long, I had gotten used to it. With the new layout, it’s easier to browse because each chapter has a thumbnail. Plus there is a page per chapter so you’re not having to sort through so many links just to get to the next section within a chapter. Not only are the chapters easier to navigate, it’s easy to pull up all the videos in a category. For example, I love the posing and lighting videos, so I can see thumbnails for each of those from different chapters. Easy!
Who needs Google?
The new Ice Society has an added search box to allow you to easily find the video (or article) you’re looking for. I did a search for video light, and a whole list of videos with Jerry using video light popped up. I did a few more searches to see how robust the search feature was, and it wasn’t finding every word in certain articles. I think it may be searching the article tags. The good news is that each article has been thoroughly tagged to make searching for a keyword likely to result in the results you were looking for. You can also tag your favorite sections so you can easily review the most relevant content for you. Depending on how you use this, you could also tag your current spot so you don’t forget what chapter you’re on. Bookmarking your spot may not be as much of an issue now with the thumbnails, but I had to keep updating a document in the previous version so I would remember where to pick up.
Jerry in your pocket
On more than one occasion, I’ve thought to myself after watching Jerry speak that I wish I could put him in my pocket and carry him around with me wherever I go. If you’ve got a compatible mobile device, it’s almost just as good. The Ice Society has changed video formats so quite a few phones and other tech gear can now play the videos. I tested on my blackberry, and I didn’t have any luck (no surprise there though beacuse my blackberry isn’t very media friendly). I also tested on my Android tablet and found that the videos play nicely on the tablet. According to the website, iPads and iPods should be good to go too. Another major change that makes it almost as good as having Jerry follow you around is the new audio commentary feature. For new Ice Pick Videos, Jerry breaks down each part of the video talking about challenges he was facing and what he was thinking. The only problem I had was with the audio element. For some reason, Internet Explorer didn’t like the embedded audio tag. Switching over to Firefox ended up doing the trick though. I think if there were 2 separate videos, one with and one without commentary, that would have solved the problem completely.
2 is better than 1
I have definitely been appreciating the new Ice Society. The audio commentary has got me the most excited, but some of the other changes are ranking pretty close for me too. Well done Ice Society team! It’s quite appreciated from your Icicles (that’s the endearing term Jerry uses, right?). The original Ice Society was good, but this is definitely better.
For more information on The Ice Society, visit the website at icesociety.com