Tim Davies wrote an interesting piece recently about his experience of using video as a tool to consult with young people.
Tim and his colleagues filmed interviews with teenagers at a youth festival as a way to find out what they thought about the County Council using social networking sites for youth participation. Cheap portable cameras were used for quick but effective results.
One of the questions asked was ”What three words do you think of when I say Bebo?” Tim fed their responses in to wordle.net to produce this word/tag cloud. I love the simplicity of this image – you can understand instantly what their views are.
The use of video for consultation and campaigning is becoming increasingly popular within the sector. The video cameras that Tim used for his consultation cost under £30, meaning that they are within the reach of most organisations.
You only have to think back to last year of the videos emerging from Burma of the monks’ protests to know how powerful it is to see something happening, not just read about it. People risked their lives to film what was happening there and the images spread quickly over the net.
Witness is an organisation devoted to using video and online technologies to “open the eyes of the world to human rights violations”.
Social reporter David Wilcox always has his camera to hand when he’s out and about and films interviews with the people he meets to share via his blog.
BBC’s Children in Need campaign also encourages people to upload videos of their fundraising activities.
How do you get started with video?
Video is not just for big charities; free and easy to use web based resources make it a possibility for all sizes and types of organisations.
YouTube is a popular way for organisations to share their videos. Many of the larger charities such as Oxfam and Amnesty have dedicated “channels” within YouTube, featuring reports on issues and campaigns and exclusive clips from celebrity supporters.
Flickr is another site which allows the storage and sharing of images and videos. Although the free account has a size limit of 100 MB per month, the pro version offers unlimited space and has recently become available to charities as part of the CTX software donation scheme.
You can find out more about all sorts of new media tools in this guide from the ICT Hub and Media Trust.
The guide features 7 tips for getting started with video:
- Get your phone out and if it has a video camera point it at your colleague and ask them to say what your organisation is and to tell a story about why it’s important. Keep it short.
- Go to YouTube and create an account.
- Upload the film.
- If you have a video camera, try and shoot something a little longer or more complicated. Use free software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to edit the film.
- Contact your local media studies teacher to see if any young people want to become part of your film making community.
- Make a clear call to action to view and submit videos on your own website to ensure your video contributors are on the right track.
- Think of tags you want everyone to use on their films. Publicise the new film making community.