Community Definitions

I think for the most part we all walk around with a working definition of community … I’m not sure we’re on the same page when using the term, so I was wondering if we could crowd source it.  With that in mind I am hoping we can try to build a shared definition given how much we all toss the term around.  I also wanted to try something a little different … instead of just leaving a comment here, I was hoping we could experiement a little bit in the use of video as a communication medium.  If you’d like to participate, follow the link to the embedded video below to youtube and post your response as a video comment. I’ve added a video to show how to do just that.

What would be cool if we could get a series of 30 second responses that we could use to mash together to maybe drive to some opportunities for an extended conversation.  I could see the outcomes coming together in a lot of interesting ways — a single video, a series for further exploration, and much more. If people do participate, I could see this being an ongoing series where we could essentially create a bunch of these questions and responses to be used for all sorts of things.  I am at once both interested in seeing how youtube really works for facilitating computer mediated discussions and to explore the use of interactive video for building shared understanding.  Anyone willing to participate? Please don’t leave me hanging!

As if the video isn’t enough, I added some quick thoughts on this that I recorded on my iPhone on the way to work this morning. Take a listen to the podcast.

13 thoughts on “Community Definitions

  1. I really love this idea and I’m loving video these days as well. In fact, I was thinking about doing some sort of 365 video project for 2009. This year I did a photo a day, but I was thinking about a video a day. Might be great. I think at times we underestimate the POWER of video and I want to try and take advantage of that power to connect with online learners.

    Your post here made me immediately think of one of my favorite YouTube videos about online community which basically asked for exactly the same participation you’re asking for here. Here’s the video: .

    I look forward to making my own video in response to your post here! I’ll post soon!

  2. Video’s a great medium. Lot’s of folks have been unable (a few, unwilling) to join that community. Do you think there should be some sort of a “welcoming” involvement from the Digital Commons group? or are you just looking for early adopters?

  3. Interesting idea….but to be the voice of annoying logistics – video requires a quiet space. In my case I would have to book a conference room or tranquilize my adorable, but ever vigilant barking corgi.

    Thus, for me, the 30 second spontaneous video is a 30 minute studio session with prescheduling required.

    FWIW my text version is:
    “In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting organisms sharing an environment. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness. In sociology, the concept of community has caused infinite debate,”


  4. EP … I would argue that you wouldn’t need a conference room at all. Talk for 30 seconds out loud and if someone comes to shush you, I think you have a fairly strong video demonstrating non-community! I think it would honestly be cool to hear the background noise of the larger office environment while you shared your voice.

    This is an interesting point however — that video requires a quiet place. I wonder if students would be concerned about responding via video comments in the HUB? I have no idea! Regardless, thanks for the comment!

  5. Here’s my video response:

    Also, Elizabeth, I agree with Cole. I think sometimes it’s really fantastic to hear the background noise in videos. I think that lends to the spontaneous, informal, personal, ‘real’ sense video provides. We’ve done some really informal videos at the World Campus graduation receptions that we’ve put on our Penn State World Campus YouTube channel and I think they’re some of the most powerful things we can share with students. There’s tons of background noise in them, but you can see the excitement, passion, and spontaneity of our students and I love that.

  6. Thanks to everyone who commented! If you made a video and didn’t leave it as a video comment, I created a quick screencast showing how to link the response to the original. Thanks!

  7. Don’t have a Web cam – how do I get access to one? Might be a good place to let people know who are in my situation so they don’t feel left out of a great idea.

  8. In ETS we have a few extras — for those of you not part of our world, go the community route and see if someone will allow you to borrow!

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