Last week I decided to try something very different than what I usually do to engage a group of people. Â I sat down andÂ recordedÂ a minute and half video with a Flip Mino HD asking people to define the term “community.” Â I posted it to Youtube last Tuesday and I have to say that I am actually overwhelmed by both the responses and the use of video for this purpose. Â I’ve created dozens of videos, but I’ve never done the “Hey Youtube, what’s up” variety. Â One of theÂ importantÂ things I learned … video is very powerful — even talking heads. Â I’ve always dismissed it, but there has been something very engaging about watching these responses come in. It has started to change my mind about it as a way to get people to interact and connect.
In my video I asked that people post a video response to youtube so we could sort of see if a threaded conversation can happen via video. Â I’m not sure youtube really supports that in a traditional sense, but I think it does create a new dynamic that a traditional message board just can’t. Â I’d like to hear thoughts about that if you have any. Â Some other things that stunned me:
- In one week the video collected 604 views! Â Youtube has some very cool analytics built into it so I know for the most part how people are arriving at the video, where they are coming from, their gender, and age range. Â Very interesting data.
- Everyone did exactly the same thing I did … in other words everyone responded with a talking head video. Â I expected at least one person to “produce” a response by editing together clips or making something that was different than the rest. Â I actually started working on one over the weekend where I was going to mix in some text and footage from around campus to illustrate communities in action. Â I ran out of time and I am guessing that is one reason these were all the same as well.
- Our definitions for the most part all centered around a similar set of themes — collection of individuals with common interests. Â A few ventured outside of this and mentioned sharing, the notion of participation, and the ability to “collectively kick some ass.” Â All of them appeared to be very sincere and were insightful — even theÂ Reverend’sÂ Queen’s English version! Â I especially like mediacupcake’s idea that we are all here on Earth together so we are all part of a community with that shared interest.
- All of them made me smile in a way that surprised me. Â I love getting comments, but I really loved seeing people actually talking to me. Â I was stoked to when pwhitfield started with, “Hi Cole, you don’t know me but …” Â Just perked my interest in a new way.
So where does this go from here? Â I’m glad you asked! Â I think my colleague, Allan Gyorke, and I might try this as an open course designed to explore a question like, “what happens when we use grassroots video to have an open community of learning design professionals define what it means to be part of that community?” Â What I’d like to do is design something that would work over the course of the spring semester each week working through a new definition via the 30 second question model and seeing how it plays out. Â I think those who wanted to participate could find ways to synthesize the responses into a real working learning experience for us all. Â So with that in mind, you’ll see a new video here soon asking another related quesiton.
Anyone interested in participating in something like?