“Broadcast Yourself”

I conducted a couple of blogging workshops yesterday for high school students from around the state who were in town to “network and share ideas for reducing underage drinking and tobacco use in their communities.”

The conference (“Speak Hard”) was organized by Missouri’s Youth/Adult Alliance (MYAA), a client of the company I work for.

I’m not sure the students learned much from me, but I learned plenty. More on that in a later post.

During a break, I did a short (4 min) interview with Alicia Ozenberger, Project Director for MYAA. The quality of the video is just so-so. Pretty typical of what you see on YouTube. And the interview was nothing special. I didn’t prepare any questions… just winged (wung?) it.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6xM7levCIc

But I had it edited (not much) …uploaded to YouTube …and posted to the blog I created for the workshops… while the conference was still underway.

Immediate. Unfiltered. Can be viewed by anybody, anywhere, any time…and the cost to produce it was practically zero. A little bit of my time. And I can show somebody (who wants to learn) how to do this in a couple of hours. Maybe less.

Let’s suppose Alicia was able to persuade the three local TV stations to send someone to the conference to do an interview. She probably wouldn’t have gotten 4 minutes of air time on the evening news. If she did, it would air once (maybe again at 10 o’clock). To one television market. And then gone forever.

I have no idea how many downloads it might get on YouTube. Probably fewer than the local TV audience. But what if every coalition, association and organization in Missouri that’s involved in preventing alcohol abuse by teens, puts the YouTube video on the home page of their website or blog? And what if Alicia saya something especially news/noteworthy, and the video gets picked up by similar organizations throughout the country? Don’t forget, these groups are highly networked. One email blast and the video could be on thousands of websites in a matter of hours. Can we considered this point belabored?

As with all new technology (can we still call YouTube new?), we grope for the words to describe what we’re doing. It’s not TV, but it looks like TV. It’s… it’s YouTube. And we have not begun to see its full impact.

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