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Archive for February, 2011

Maximing Crowdsourcing Video Projects: an Interview

by February 28, 2011

Dialogue Earth’s associate director, Tom Masterman, was recently interviewed by Crowdsourcing.org about the decision whether or not to crowdsource the creation of video content. In the second part of this interview, Tom talks with Crowdsourcing.org’s Carl Esposti about the issues of time to execute, project phases, worker incentives and managing the interaction with the crowd.

Carl Esposti: So, once you give the crowdsourcing video project the green light, what challenges were you faced with?

Tom Masterman:
Once we’ve made the decision to crowdsource a project, we’ll generally experience a cocktail of emotions, from anxiety to anticipation. After all, we’ve just welcomed a crowd of people into our company. (more…)

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Background Information on Energy Video Pilot

by February 28, 2011

This post supports a new video contest that we are launching with partner Tongal this week on the subject of energy. This is to be the introductory contest for the forthcoming Dialogue Earth Energy Challenge, in which we expect to tackle 10 topics related to energy in 10 video contests spread out over as many months.

In that this is meant to be an introductory video, we realize it cannot do everything—especially because we are asking storytellers to limit their pieces to 90 seconds. Yet, we believe that the larger Energy Challenge needs a gateway video. It should draw people in, eventually inspiring them to click on another video or two to learn more about the details of a particular energy source, etc.

llnl_us_energy_flow_2009_smaller

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The Gulf Oil Disaster: a peek at the nature of its media coverage

by February 25, 2011

When the Deepwater Horizon wellhead blew out on April 20th this past spring, as with what happens in most catastrophic events, the media went into frenzy.  What followed was a continuous feed of news stories about the Gulf disaster for a little longer than three months. These stories not only described what had happened, but also speculated as to what should happen, made measures of accountability, debated on restorative and retributive justice and described the potential impacts on economic markets and environmental systems as a direct or secondary effect of the spill.

Articles were written from a few varying perspectives: the heartfelt human interest stories, which pushed to convey empathy by humanizing the events; stories told on the basis of markets, externalities, profit and loss; pieces highlighting the corresponding actions of heads of government and policy makers, and stories illustrating the threats that the disaster posed to ecological systems and also populations reliant on these systems.

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Contemplating Content Crowd-Sourcing: an Interview

by February 18, 2011

Dialogue Earth’s associate director, Tom Masterman, was recently interviewed by Crowdsourcing.org about recent projects to crowd-source the creation of Dialogue Earth videos. In this post, the first of a two-part series, Tom talks with Crowdsourcing.org’s Carl Esposti about the issues of control, quality, cost and timing.

Carl Esposti: Why did Dialogue Earth consider crowdsourcing a video project?

Tom Masterman: Just the other day, I realized that crowdsourcing now pervades most aspects of the business strategy for our start-up nonprofit, Dialogue Earth. Given some personal experiences producing corporate videos, I truly wanted to avoid the unfortunate situation where you develop something in-house (or with a single contractor or agency) that you and the executive team love, but that falls flat with your target viewers. Since our goal is to communicate science in ways easily understood by a variety of audiences, it seemed worthwhile to test how the crowd would explain our key points.

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Engaging Experts from Across Society Transparently

by February 16, 2011

A recent article in the NY Times about the burgeoning array of question-and-answer (Q&A) sites couldn’t have been timelier timely for me. Our strategy here at Dialogue Earth depends on figuring out how to engage a network of experts from across society—not limited to just academics, but also subject-matter experts in industry, environmental advocacy groups, and beyond. Plus, I believe we should leverage the latest technology, like this new breed of Q&A sites, if possible.

Our approach at Dialogue Earth is deeply rooted in my experience working with hundreds of subject-matter experts while at the Heinz Center in D.C. Specifically, we tapped these experts to create the beginnings of a national system of indicators for the condition and use of U.S. Ecosystems: The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems. There’s more on this on our History page.

The challenge before me is to figure out how to recreate this amazingly powerful formula, while substantially reducing the turn-around time. We operated with committees that took months to converge on common ground, in part because they were charged with solving a number of issues. I need to get the same great quality of experts on-board in a process with turn-around times of hours or days. And, if that’s not enough to ask, I also believe the process needs to be completely transparent. (more…)

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Tapping the Crowd to Tell Our Story

by February 15, 2011

A version of this post also appeared as a guest column for the Idea Peepshow blog.

On occasion, I have to remind myself that marketing is a means to an end, and that the messaging and creative that resonate deeply with me may have little impact on the audience I’m endeavoring to reach.

My latest reminder has come in launching a brand from scratch. Never before have I had so much potential marketing control than today, as I help raise awareness for Dialogue Earth.

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Why Weather Mood for Pulse?

by February 14, 2011

As we developed our interactive platform for the analysis of dialogue in the social media, we needed to identify a topic to start with. Specifically, we needed to identify a topic that would have a high volume of chatter on Twitter, be of general interest, and present a decent challenge for our research team. Plus, we wanted a topic that was likely to vary geographically, because Pulse is fundamentally a platform for examining trends in dialogue across geographies. (more…)

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A Journey to Understand Social Media Sentiment

by February 14, 2011

Brand Bowl 2011

Chrysler stood atop the final standing for Brand Bowl 2011.

On Super Bowl Sunday, 106.5 million viewers were watching the big game—the largest TV audience ever, according to Nielsen. Many tuned in to witness the Packers battle the Steelers; even more, I imagine, were watching to see emerging brand Groupon face off against fan-favorite Go Daddy and advertising stalwarts Pepsi, Doritos and Volkswagen.

Millions were simultaneously browsing the Web, monitoring game stats and their Super Bowl pools, and checking out the brands advertised on the TV spots. A much smaller group of advertising and social media junkies were simultaneously glued to “Brand Bowl 2011,” a venture between ad agency Mullen and social media monitor Radian6 to monitor and rank the sentiment of Twitter references of Super Bowl advertisers. (more…)

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“No Shell Blues” Wins First Video Contest

by February 13, 2011

We’re thrilled to award Cuyler Bryant’s “No Shell Blues” with first place in our pilot video contest.

To understand why a cartoon snail singing the blues about ocean acidification won our contest, let me first provide some background.
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Our First Tongal Contest: Story Concepts For Ocean Acidification

by February 12, 2011

Although all of the story concepts were not used in the list of final winning videos for our Ocean Acidification video contest, there were seven stories that were interesting enough to be good building blocks for creative video producers.  And, even though the first place video used the first place story, we’d like to believe that the selection was mutually exclusive, depending more on story execution and production quality over which story was used.

When we started the contest, we set out to find five creative stories that had broad appeal in reaching both sides of the aisle that didn’t just preach to the choir.  In the end, we actually felt that seven of the sixty-four­ entries were good enough to be presented to the next stage of the contest; so we exercised our option to pay additional monies for the two extra stories.  In comparison to the amount of money a company can expect to pay a production/ advertising firm for just one storyboard, we felt that we got a great deal on our final seven. (more…)

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Scientific Basis for Ocean Acidification Video Contest

by February 11, 2011

When we set out to launch our first video contest, our goal was to test how well creative storytellers could run with a few key science points and create an engaging video about a science topic. As a small start-up effort, we couldn’t imagine having such great storytellers on staff, so we chose to present our challenge to the crowd via Tongal, a company that runs creative contests.

While the details of the contest will be covered elsewhere, this post focuses on the key science points for our pilot topic, ocean acidification

Your first reaction might be, “ocean what?” If so, you’re with about 75% of Americans who also haven’t heard of ocean acidification, (more…)

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Crowd-Sourcing as a Core Business Strategy

by February 11, 2011

A version of this post appeared on The Daily Crowdsource.

I’m not exactly sure when it started, but just about every core strategy of my business now involves crowdsourcing. Or, is it crowd-sourcing? Crowd sourcing? The reason I’m not firmly convinced how to spell something that’s in practically every e-mail and tweet I write is an indication that one, it’s a new concept, and two, it’s something exciting enough to jump into without all the answers.

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