Tag Archives: video

Building A Narrative – How to tell a story?

With all the training and effort it takes to research and write a good cogent story, I felt conflicted when I was asked to pull together several tweets into a more complete story.  With so many bits of information how could I do that?

Enter Storify, a tool that can compile tweets and other materials into a cohesive story, like this.  My efforts have not been as polished, but then I learned that you can embed videos like in this example (which is also the topic of an earlier blog post).

My problem with compiling these tweets and other elements is that to be readable, you have to write some connecting bits.  It’s not bad, but otherwise there’s little direction to the story.

As with any story, no matter the type, there needs to be a goal in mind.  “What is the point?”, and “Who cares?” are important questions to keep in mind as you create the storify.  Otherwise you can lose direction.

Even larger organizations are using this tool, like the UN  and others. But one of the most important uses, from a Conflict Resolution perspective, is how crises can be addressed, like the Typhoon.  Overall though, any curating-type software can use social media information to build a narrative, like these tips suggest.

On a lighter note, educators can and have been using this for a host of reasons.

So as we all go off to enjoy this holiday season, realize that for fun or work, or whatever, you can take all your tweets, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube entries and build readable,  narrative.  Just be aware of some of the pitfalls.

What do you think?

Video Advocacy – Using Cameras for Peace

Some of you might know that before coming to Columbia University, I was a television news journalist.  No, not one of the guys on camera, but a producer, the person who makes ALL the decisions about what stories go into the newscast, and how they are treated.  For that hour (or 1/2 hour) long newscast (don’t say “show” it’s insulting) the producer is king.

So with all my experience and drive to stay neutral and get the story “right,” the notion that you can use cameras for peace was a stretch.

Thanks Prof. Perlmutter and our recent class, I learned that it’s a great idea.

Video advocacy is exactly that, using videos to make a point, and in Conflict Resolution  and Peace Studies that means helping the world.  Several groups support this idea, some even have toolkits to help get you started.

One of the most famous is this video about Joseph Kony.  It went viral with a huge number of hits.  But some people had issues with the film.  Kony is still active but is rumored to be in talks regarding his possible surrender.

Did a video do this?  Hard to say, but it certainly raised awareness of who this man is and what he has done.

On the heels of the Kony 2012 video, other groups have started pointing their cameras at things other than house-fires.  Some send cameras and staff to remote parts of the world to help locals, as you see here.

Others produced professional broadcast quality videos outlining human rights abuses close to home.   And after talking with the producers of “Walking Merchandise” it’s make me think twice about Chinese restaurants, and who may be serving or cooking for me.

Most of us have phones, and now that means cameras.  What if we used them for more than selfies?  Used them to make a difference?

It’s an intriguing thought.

What do you think?