On the afternoon of October 30th, 2008, Suzanne Levine, a researcher from UVM, joined Lifelong Learning Coordinator Linda Bowden and myself in ECHO's community room to record the very first video on our Kiosk. A week later, the Kiosk was on the floor, capturing our first visitors. Things got off to a bit of a slow start. The microphone wasn't sensitive enough and the speakers had been covered by a graphic wrap, making them almost impossible to hear when there were kids in the building. The Kiosk also started off with 5 questions. By Mid-December, we'd solved many of the issues, revised the questions (and reduced the number down to 3) and things were looking up. By years end, we were up to 124 videos recorded.
In April, I posted about how, as of April 11th, things were about to change here at ECHO. I'd expected a noticeable increase in videos. On April 11th, we had 722 videos. Things didn't quite go as I'd expected. The massive school group rush that we get between April and June did not fill up the Kiosk like I anticipated it would. Our daily video count didn't really start increasing until late June.
On July 3rd, the 1000th video was recorded.
I'd have posted about this sooner, but the truth is, I wasn't watching the numbers, and I missed it. I'd had dreams about waiting behind the scenes with Champ and Linda holding a giant Photoshopped cake, ready to jump out as soon as video #1000 was saved. Alas, I have missed yet another good excuse to eat cake. As a sort of belated celebration however, I do have some interesting statistics to share! (Yes, I know, not nearly as tasty.)
Since the Kiosk was launched, we've recorded 1071 videos.
Of those videos recorded, 361 of them have been retained on the Kiosk.
Of those videos recorded, 137 have also been placed on our YouTube Channel.
Of those videos on the YouTube channel, 43 went onto our secret Champ playlist - which was created soon after we started sending all videos to YouTube. These videos don't meet our requirements to be featured as part of the VFL project - but we wanted to keep them around to give everyone a look at some of the creative responses we get almost daily. (76 Additional videos have also been kept in my personal "best/worst of" folder. The collection as a whole is certainly R rated - for just about everything that can earn videos an R rating. Some day, I hope to release a compilation video.)
724 of our videos feature youths.
124 of our videos feature teenagers.
126 of our videos feature adults.
97 of our videos contain a mix of the above. This is usually a parent and a toddler.
Our most popular question, with 441 responses, asks "What favorite experience or memory do you have of Lake Champlain?"
The second most popular question, with 361 responses, asks "What is the top reason people should protect Lake Champlain?"
The least popular question, with 257 responses, asks "What would you ask a researcher about Lake Champlain?"
If you've done the math and are about to point out that we're a bit off someplace, that's because 37 responses were to the two questions we decided to eliminate early into the project.
The largest percentage (38%) of videos kept are for the question on memories of Lake Champlain. The second largest (31%) is the question on top reasons to protect Lake Champlain. The lowest kept video percentage (30%) went to the least popular question, "What would you ask a researcher...", most likely due to everyone asking the researchers if they've seen Champ.
29% of Youth videos are retained.
36% of Teen videos are retained.
56% of Adult videos are retained.
374 People wanted to talk about Something Else. Most of them were probably Champ.
Most people shared memories of Summer, with 213 videos. Next came Winter, with 90. Mud season, Vermont's famous 5th season, got 62 responses. Spring - the less muddy parts of it at least - got 53. Fall got the least hits, only 27. Don't worry Fall. I still love you!
While English is by far the leading language, we have had videos in both French and Spanish. I've also heard visitors from England, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia.
Finally - in the time it took me to write this post (which, admittedly, did suffer from some disruptions) - five more videos have been recorded.
~Travis Cook, Information Technology Coordinator