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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Video Capture is Like a Box of Chocolates

...you never know what you're going to get. Sorry, had to do it. Maybe it's the chocolate hang-over I have from Valentine's Day, but I can't seem to shake the analogy. Part of what is both exciting and challenging about providing our visitors with a place to record their stories and have them go directly to our YouTube channel is that sometimes you bite into that dud chocolate you just don't like.

It's one of the most common questions I've come across when talking about the Voices For the Lake video capture kiosk. And, I'm not alone. I've been following the Mattress Factory and Brooklyn Museum's quick capture projects; the same concern has been expressed.

Ah, but that is part of what is exciting. It's quite fun to come back to the office on Monday morning after a busy weekend at the aquarium and go through the videos that have been left at the kiosk. And I'll admit, they don't all measure up to what I have created in my mind as the ideal - the dark chocolate caramel, if you will.

What I learned from watching the other two projects was not to be afraid of the dud chocolates. My team and I are constantly reminding each other that it's an experiment, it's a prototype, and most importantly, it's an iterative process. It's okay to go back and tweak things a bit so that we can get a better result. We've reworked the framing questions on the kiosk, developed a flowchart for filtering videos, we've even moved the kiosk to different locations. Each tweak has us asking: Will this result in videos whose content is on target and rich with personal experience?

For me, personally, there have been a couple dark chocolate caramel videos at this early stage in our project. I'll let you decide for yourself at our channel. But for a little fun, here's one that's like - a chocolate covered marshmallow for me. ~ Bridget, Voices For the Lake Manager


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