On the Fly Crowd Sourcing

At the recent TLT Symposium I started to see tweets flying around about how much people wanted to see sessions in other rooms … clearly in an event like the Symposium the scheduling keeps one from catching concurrent sessions. We’ve always talked about capturing all the sessions for reuse, but the cost has just been too great. There has also always been this sense that the production quality is too limited — issues with giving speakers microphones, capturing slides, lighting, and the like have always pushed our planning groups to nix the idea. This year was no different, but when the Tweets started flying I replied with:

What I didn’t expect was for people to go to the Media Commons demo area and borrow iPod Touches and take up the charge themselves. I was in a standing room only session listening to Michael Elavasky talking when I noticed the person in the picture below leaning against the wall next to me. He had grabbed a Touch and was capturing the session. Is the quality perfect? Nope. Does that matter to me? Nope. The fact of the matter is that we now have access to so much more history of our own event because the people attending the Symposium both wanted us to capture it and did the amazing part of actually chipping in and doing it!

Because Twitter connected the community a call to arms was heard and a solution was identified and acted upon. The proof is below.

7 thoughts on “On the Fly Crowd Sourcing

  1. I could not agree with you more! The quality of the video is not nearly as important as capturing the brilliance of the day.
    I think recording sessions will become even more important in the future; for those unable to attend in person (for budget reasons and otherwise), for sharing with the world and for archival purposes.
    My vote is to do this kind of thing at LDSC and Tailgate too. We have the technology and the people to make it happen.

    • Absolutely! Imagine handing out a dozen or more Touches and making the video from each available so people could construct a multi-shot mashup of the output from the various devices. You’d have shots of the audience, presenters, slides, and other stuff to work with. How cool would that be?

      • An interactive multi-cam edit of sessions, where you could download the slides and even ask questions to the presenters?! That would be totally awesome! I would love to test this out at LDSC this summer!
        Now to persuade the powers that be….

  2. I think the rough quality of the videos adds some personality to them, and makes the viewer feel more like a part of the audience – particularly when you can hear some of the chatter between people. I love this approach, and we could absolutely provide the technology to do the recording (if people even need it) and to facilitate organizing submissions (to make the multi-shot mashup easy). It’s too bad the network at the Penn Stater isn’t more robust, or we could do multiple live streams via something like the UStream iOS app.

  3. I agree, Chris. One of the videos produced with the iPod touch devices we brought to the iOS pilot table was actually an interview (by a conference attendee from Greater Allegheny) with an attendee who is faculty here at UP. Very interesting to get this personal conversation and see how it fit with the session they were attending and the Symposium in general. It’s also worth noting that she had never used an iOS device before nor had she ever edited using iMovie on ANY device.

    • That was pure awesome, Nick. Thank you for sharing that! Dr. Cintas is a faculty member at Penn State Abington. He was our first Faculty Fellow in ETS back in 2006-2007. He is a wonderful man with an incredible capacity to learn and explore. It is great to see him still engaged and I love his vision!

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