Video Tap: Automate Your Video Marketing with Chris Sev

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A Friday Chat with Chris Sev: From Snow Shovels to Dev Advocacy and AI Tools

Welcome back, perfect peeps, to another fantastic episode of the podcast! Today, we're sitting down with the ever-amazing Chris Sev. So grab your favorite dev snacks, sit back, and let's dive into the world of developer advocacy, AI tools, and much more, thanks to our sponsor Cloudinary, the go-to for AI-powered image and video APIs.

Kicking Off the Weekend Vibes

We got started with a casual Friday vibe, something Chris and I both seemed to enjoy. The conversation flowed easily, touching on everything from recent snowfall adventures to the challenges of shoveling driveways. A perfect reminder that even devs have to deal with the mundane.

"I just shoveled for like 2 hours yesterday, getting around 17 inches of snow off my driveway. It's like my rite of passage to the area."

I'm up in Michigan where snowblowers are the norm, but it's been a tame winter, so not much action on that front.

Journey into Web Development

For those who might not be familiar, Chris shared his origin story in web development. Amazingly, it all began at the tender age of 14 with a bootleg copy of Dreamweaver.

"I started with a WYSIWYG drag-and-drop type editor, and I was clicking over to the HTML. It was trash, but I just started fixing it."

From those humble beginnings, Chris moved on to freelancing, creating websites for neighbors, and eventually starting a site that most of us know and love—

The Rise and Acquisition of

Chris's journey with is nothing short of impressive. The site grew to 4 million pageviews per month and was eventually acquired by DigitalOcean. This phase of his career was a significant learning experience, teaching him everything from content creation to business acquisition.

Creating Tutorials with a Fresh Twist

One of the unique aspects of was its informal and engaging tutorials, making learning fun and approachable.

"We took pride in, like, not putting a suit on. We made it fun and fresh."

This approach resonated with a massive audience and became a fundamental part of Chris's journey into developer advocacy.

Developer Advocacy and Beyond

After the acquisition, Chris transitioned into the role of a Developer Advocate, a position he finds incredibly rewarding.

"It's like a free pass. You can flip and do anything as well."

He finds joy in interacting with customers, helping product teams, writing docs, and making videos. This flexible role allowed him to leverage his extensive experience in web development and content creation.

The Birth of Videotap: An AI-Driven Tool for Content Creators

Chris's latest venture, Videotap, is a perfect blend of his expertise in content creation and AI technology. Videotap aims to repurpose videos into engaging marketing content using AI. It generates social media clips, blog posts, recaps, and more.

"Videotap takes all your videos, hours spent making them, and uses AI to generate social media clips, blog posts, recaps, and everything you need for marketing."

Building Videotap’s Tech Stack

The tech stack for Videotap includes Laravel, AWS, OpenAI, and AssemblyAI. Laravel was chosen for its productivity, especially when combined with its Livewire packaging.

The AI aspects primarily involve making prompts and calls to OpenAI or Anthropic, depending on the need, and AssemblyAI for transcriptions.

"Assembly gives us timestamps per word, which is crucial for building out clips and highlighting words."

Real-World Usage and Feedback

As a user of Videotap myself, I can attest to its usefulness. From breaking down long podcasts into engaging snippets to generating comprehensive blog posts, it’s become an indispensable tool for my content creation workflow.

"It's about making our lives easier. Instead of spending hours, you get your content ready with just a few clicks."

However, as with any evolving tool, there are always features and improvements to look forward to.

Integrating Seamlessly with Existing Tools

One key insight Chris shared is the importance of integration. By enabling Videotap to work seamlessly with platforms like YouTube, WordPress, and social media schedulers, it becomes a central hub for content creators.

"I want to build a workflow where everything is integrated. Upload, generate, and then one-click publish to YouTube or your CMS."

The Human Element in AI Tools

Despite the advancements in AI, Chris acknowledges the irreplaceable value of human creativity.

"Even with AI tools, there's a need to keep that human touch to maintain originality and creativity.”

The goal is to use AI to handle the mundane aspects, freeing up creators to focus on what they do best—create.

Looking Ahead

The journey of Videotap is just beginning, and Chris is excited about the future. With a growing family and a new home, he’s ready to dive back into improving and expanding Videotap.

"Now that we're settled, I'm stoked to focus on the next big updates for Videotap."

Wrapping It Up

From shoveling snow to building AI-driven content tools, Chris Sev continues to be a trailblazer in the dev world. Whether you're a content creator, a developer advocate, or just a fan of web development, there's a lot to learn and be inspired by in Chris's journey.

Stay tuned for more updates and keep creating!

Links & Resources

Code Snippets

Below are some useful code snippets shared during our chat:

Sample Laravel Setup

composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel videotap

Utilizing OpenAI API

$openai = new OpenAI\Client('your-api-key');$response = $openai->completion(['model' => 'text-davinci-003','prompt' => 'Create social media clips for this video transcript...','max_tokens' => 1500,]);echo $response['choices'][0]['text'];

Integrating AssemblyAI for Transcriptions

$curl = curl_init();curl_setopt_array($curl, [CURLOPT_URL => "",CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER => true,CURLOPT_POST => true,CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS => json_encode(["audio_url" => "url_to_your_audio_file",]),CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER => ["authorization: YOUR_API_KEY","content-type: application/json"],]);$response = curl_exec($curl);curl_close($curl);echo $response;

Stay Connected

Follow Chris on Twitter @chris__sev to stay updated on all his latest projects and insights into the world of web development and AI.

"I just want to help content creators make the best use of their time and creativity."

Here's to the beautiful blend of code, creativity, and AI. Until next time, keep coding and stay perfect!

Note: This blog post was transcribed and edited using AI tools, such as Videotap, aiming to enhance and streamline the content creation process.



Chris Sev