Archive for the ‘videos’ Category

Non-Profits and User-generated Videos (part II)

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

It appears more Non-profit groups are designing creative campaigns by inviting user generated content.

During forth week of January 2007 UNICEF called for submissions to its ‘Media Magic Make a Difference!‘ one-minute video contest. Youth under age 25 were invited to submit a one-minute video on the contest’s theme, telling the world what young people think about the world they live in and how they’re making a difference.

Over 100 young people responded to UNICEF’s call to create a one-minute video telling the world what young people think about the world they live in and how they’re making a difference.

“The winning video will be featured on the UNICEF and Voices of Youth websites, vodcast by UNICEF, featured in the Media Magic Digest and be included in the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting 2007 materials, which are available to broadcasters around the world. The winning director will be honoured at an awards ceremony at a conference in New York City.”

All entries will be reviewed by the Media Magic team, with the video finalists displayed on the main UNICEF website. The winner will be judged by a global panel of media professionals, as well as a public on-line vote.
You have until 14 May so Vote NOW!

These initiatives let users choose favorite videos from these submission. Though mechanism to select videos are far from being easy / sophisticated.

Non-profits and user-generated videos (part I)

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

Max Kalehoff in his blog post Consumer-Generated Ads Will Disrupt Existing Production Models evaluates impact of this emerging phenomenon on traditional media production / ad service agencies.

Issue of user-generated content (including online forums, blogs, videos) has begun becoming part of Non-profit/social justice organizations work. Some high profile groups like Amnesty International, Witness, Human Rights Watch and others have expanded their use of YouTube and working to expand their outreach and/or share user generated content on specific campaign.

Recent example include Close Guantanamo campaign by Amnesty International. Make Some Noise – Amnesty International. Close to 100 video clips in various languages (most less than a minute long) are posted on YouTube. It does manage to provide visibility to voices of ordinary people.

Responding to this emerging trend Witness started a pilot project on Global Voices (as a subset of the functionality of their forthcoming Human Rights Video Hub) some time in September 2006. This page allows users to “Watch and comment on human rights video from around the world curated by WITNESS”. Commentaries along with these clips on Global Voices add extremely useful context and some analysis while users what these clips. Thus Witness is using some what different model than used by Amnesty International in their Say ‘Close Guantánamo’ on camera! initiative.

Use of this medium is no longer limited to English. During last quarter of 2006 Farsi Tube was launched in the U.S. FarsiTube is a video sharing community targeted towards Iranians, and has all kinds of videos about Iran and Iranian culture.

There are many video sharing services in Korea. It will be interesting to find out how these sites are impacting social and political discourses.

According to China Daily report (February 1st) “almost half of China’s Internet users were found to be focusing in on video-sharing websites. There are hundreds of websites offering webcast and podcast services in Chinese. is considered to be the most popular video-sharing site.

In short any evaluation of user-generated content must include all such global initiatives.

YouTube: Emerging Popular Media and a New Political Force

Sunday, March 25th, 2007

YouTube ad – Vote Different – attacking Hillary Rodham Clinton potraying her as the “Big Sister” (remember “Big Brother” from 1984?) launches a new chapter in 2008 presidential campaigning in the United States of America. The recent demonstration of YouTube’s political impact came to notice during November 2006 elections in the United States.

Since then, the Internet has been buzzing about political video mashups. Observers of this media have begun recognizing that citizen activists are increasingly able to affect the political process. Vote Different video has become part of many other successful viral smash (more than 3 million requests in three weeks) and has created a debate about the impact that user-generated political videos will have on the 2008 presidential election in the United States.

Well known Blogger Arianna Huffington argues that the future of American politics rests in the hands of ordinary citizens, and that “the old political machine no longer holds all the power.” Many others see YouTube As New Political Force. It is hard to say how long the political class will continue underestimating the impact of changing technology.

While YouTube video wildfire was gaining strength in the United States, users from Turkey were banned from accessing YouTube videos.

Activists worldwide have been using YouTube and other online video sharing sites for quite some time. Recent examples include:

Philippine left-wing groups turn to YouTube, Internet to spread word about killings

Anti-gay propaganda from Christian activists on YouTube

Coffee Wars: Activists Battle Starbucks on YouTube

It will be interesting to see how Google – with its less than perfect record of protecting freedom of expression of its users in a country like China – handles pressures from political machines around the globe.

On August 23, 2006 Britt Bravo in his blog post Is Your Nonprofit on YouTube? found 76 videos tagged as Non-profit / nonprofit on YouTube. As of today I found 2,030 videos on YouTube using the same tag(s). Interestingly only one clip (The Best War Ever — by John Stauber & Sheldon Rampton) , which could meet traditional criteria of political issues raised by non-profit, made to the Top Five videos – listed by view counts.

Does it mean that non-profits will need to improve their message packaging while they use popular media? Or that YouTube is a fad soon to disappear without long lasting impact on the way non-profit do their outreach?

Future will tell us.

BBC’s Interactive Guide to Life in Dharavi Slums, Mumbai

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Clicking and dragging on the picture places you in the middle of the slums, and although there’s no audio, makes honking sounds and smells come alive.

WGBH Forum Network – Useful Site

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Live and Archived Webcasts of Free Public Lectures
in Partnership with Boston’s Leading Cultural and Educational Organizations.

Some of them are very interesting. Most of them are available as podcast and/or Webcast. Online access to videos may not be available all the time due to extraordinary load on their server. Easy way to access some useful content.