Tag Archives: video

200 short digital stories to peruse

Screenshot of sign on page where livestreaming of TechSoup digital storytellling completition happened: "now offline".Sadly I missed the livestream of the TechSoup 2012 digital storytelling awards last night. But this morning I woke to find the list of #TSdigs 2012 winners announced.

The one-minute digital stories from the winners are mostly pretty slick. They’re like mini TV commercials. Not ads for products but calls for action from pretty big NGOs who are well known and well resourced.

It’s the more humble, quirkier stories that appeal to me. Norton Public Library share 12 things to do in a library by turning the pages of a beautiful, handmade book filled with hand-drawn illustrations and pop-outs. A take on Bob Dylan’s “Subterrenean Homesick Blues” uses flip cards held up by a dozen people sharing what the Alliance Center for Independence does.

The full list of 200 digital stories are still available on YouTube. Amongst these is the “Diversity” entry featuring residents from WCC housing at the Arlington computer hub run by Wellington ICT. I also noticed Amnesty International NZ submitted an entry, but ‘m not sure if there were any other New Zealand entries?

Amidst all the solemnity of the causes featured, there are are lighter moments too. A good thing for a Friday.

PS I couldn’t help sharing a digital story which tickled by sensibilities. You’ll see period costumes from “The Charles Dickens Bicentennial Birthday Ball!” run by the The Period Events and Entertainments Re-Creation Society:

Using video to tell your story

Telling stories using video is something that Nathalie Hofsteed and Lee Hales at Give a little are pretty excited about. They recently told me about plans to make it easy for organisations to share video updates via their donation pages. Give a little are on a mission to make it easy for fundraisers to account to supporters about how they use donations.

“People love hearing from the trenches. Organisations are sharing are really honest, budget productions,” explains Nathalie.

“People like to see a face. You can see frustration or elation or whatever,” Lee chipped in.

Videos of new wells being constructed by charity: water are a good example, Nathalie says. The emphasis is on clarity of presentation, not on slick production. In fact, the Give a little team argue that it doesn’t need to be broadcast quality.

Effective communication to a wide audience led the NZ Drug Foundation to share a series of short clips from the New Zealand/International Drug policy symposium on YouTube. These are not just long talks, but edited digests on themes such as addiction treatment, methamphetamines and international policy.

I recently spoke with Ross Bell, the Foundation’s director, who describes the videos as a way of translating information into formats that people can more easily access.

They’ll form useful background for upcoming consultation on liquor legislation being run by the Law Commission. And they are being picked up by affiliated organisations around the world.

With positive feedback about the footage, which is also being distributed by DVD, Ross will continue to use video when it’s an effective way of communicating.

How to get started? Even though I missed “The Power of Videoblogging” workshop by Jay Dedman and Ryanne Hodson run at the Connecting Up conference in May 2009, I heard very good things about the session. Materials shared by the presenters include slides from their presentation and links to learn to videoblog resources on the freevlog website. It doesn’t look too scary.

With free hosting of videos by YouTube, Vimeo and others, coupled with the ease of embedding and sharing, now is a good time to start thinking about video. You’ll be the first to see results of my efforts, which I’ll share here. The only thing stopping me: I need to loan/ buy/ beg a video recorder from somewhere.

Embedding a YouTube video

In preparation for my presentation on “Spreading the word” at the Engage your community conference, I’m demonstrating how you can embed YouTube into a blog or a webpage.

I get pretty enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and trying to rouse people up by sharing stuff online. Using YouTube dramatically lowers the cost and technical complexity for grassroots organisations sharing their own footage. Making them, now that’s another story.

The clip below is one of five by Rhys Taylor of the Sustainable Living Trust recorded earlier in the year. Over 45 minutes Rhys lays out the what, why, where, when and how of the work of the Sustainable Living programme.

It’s proven pretty useful according to Rhys, with some correspondents describing the clips as informative.

Some of Rhy’s top tips for aspiring video makers are:

  • use high quality digital equipment and a tripod
  • ensure your sound recording quality is high
  • if using a PowerPoint slide background, try to adjust room lighting so that both it and the speaker are visible.

He says next time he’d “aim for shorter, clearer presentations by various people involved in our programme, as we are a grass-roots programme with many partners.”

I’m pretty impressed by Rhys delivery – he comes across very naturally. I suspects he’s got a future on the small screen. The sound quality and lighting look pretty good to me. Thanks for your comments Rhys, and without without further ado, here’s an introduction to sustainable living:

Citizen reporting: biking in Christchurch

A few weeks ago, Josh Campbell posted a short video to You Tube showing some of the dangers of cycling to work, called Biking in Christchurch. (Warning: content may offend!!)

It’s not churlish, buffoonery, like the horrible tv reality programmes. But deadly serious. The 2 minute 57 second video records many near misses. It’s enough to give you second thoughts about cycling.

Now, the story doesn’t end there. Just a week after being posted on You Tube, and propagated through various networks (including by Dave who I met with today), Josh was on national tv talking about his experiences. On 10 March the TVNZ Close Up programme featured a clip on Cyclists v motorists.

Scary as the ‘experience’ from Josh’s handlebars is, I really like the fact that it’s not words or analysis, but a visual story. With no commentary or soundtrack I’m not manipulated into any particular reaction.

So, take one short video by one person freely hosted on You Tube and you get lots of people talking about a serious issue. Helmets off to Josh.