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Posts Tagged ‘contest’

Tom Toles Weighs In on Explaining versus Persuading

by June 15, 2011

A few days ago I wrote a post on the importance of of nonpersuasive communication. Scanning the Washington Post site just now, I noticed that Tom Toles, my favorite political cartoonists, weighed in on the topic two days ago in a post entitled “Explaining and Persuading.” His statement that “[t]hese are two things that seem like they ought to go together, but somehow rarely do” illuminates the issue nicely within a different domain: inside the Beltway.

This reminds me of advice of a PR exec this week at the Google Science Communication workshop, which I had the honor of attending: scientists should “stay in their lane.” It can be a very tough pill to swallow when one feels that decisions do not line up with the latest understanding from the science community, but as Baruch Fischhoff stated in an ES&T piece discussed in my previous post:

Scientists faced with others’ advocacy may feel compelled to respond in kind. However, they can also try to become the trusted source for credible, relevant, comprehensible information by doing the best job possible of nonpersuasive communication. With long-term problems, like climate change, communication is a multiple-play game. Those who resort to advocacy might lose credibility that they will need in future rounds.

I sure wish Toles would pen a cartoon on this topic!

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Incentives for Video Producers in Crowdsourced Contests: Setting the Stage for a Survey of Creators

by May 10, 2011

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Photo by Steve Garfield

In doing research for a forthcoming survey of creators who participate in video contests, I ran across this excellent piece posted by Josh Tabb on the Case Foundation blog.

The take-home for me is that a variety of incentives are key, ideally with some of them being offered on a regular basis—such as a daily viewers’ choice award. Also key is promotion in order to get sufficient participation. Tabb summarized insight he heard from Ramya Raghavan, who was at the time YouTube’s Nonprofits and Activism Manager: “it was incentives and promotion which proved to be the most imperative elements for making a contest succeed – or fail miserably.”

As discussed in this earlier post on incentives in crowd-based video production, we are extremely interested in understanding how to optimize incentives for storytellers from the crowd. Our goal is to create a win-win situation for creators and Dialogue Earth so that we can produce videos on a large number of topics in a sustainable manner.

Building from our experiences, we feel that a smart next step will be to elicit feedback from those who have participated in video contests through a survey. We expect the survey results to be of use to all those in the crowdsourcing realm who sponsor and conduct video contests. We are definitely open to input upfront so that we tune the survey to meet the needs of as many groups out there as possible.

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Looking at the Hot (and Cold) Spots in Our Ocean Acidification Videos

by May 6, 2011

youtube_logoWe recently became aware of YouTube’s powerful, Insights analytical tool. It appears that YouTube gathers data on each view of a video, keeping track if people rewind to a particular spot or click away mid-way through. The result is a graph that shows attention or interest during the video, shown to the video’s owner through a simple interactive display that pairs the running video with a line moving on the interest graph. It looks like a video needs at least 500 or so views before YouTube will provide hot spot data. Having explored the idea of doing some in-depth market research, we assume that this is no replacement for detailed studies by market research firms.

Yet, what can we learn from this about our videos on the topic of ocean acidification? You can view all but one of them on our YouTube channel.

Our “No Shell Blues” video appears to be a solid performer based on the hot spot analysis. Perhaps we could conclude that it gets off to a slow start, yet viewers appear to be hooked once Timmy snail first makes a sound.

no-shell-blues (more…)

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Understanding the Incentives in Crowd-Based Video Production

by April 28, 2011

There are some valuable take-aways from Jared Cicon’s latest reflections on online video contests. The post chronicles his return to contests on Poptent after time away due to a heavy workload. Having been in the sponsor’s shoes for several recent contests (ocean acidification, Why Dialogue Earth?, and intro to energy), we are keenly interested in understanding this approach to video production. Here’s a sample of Cicon’s work from one of the two contests on Poptent he won.

 

Why are we interested in crowd-based video production? We are striving to communicate science-based stories to large, diverse audiences. We believe that using a wide selection of storytellers and approaches, Dialogue Earth will create videos that explain each issue in voices that will resonate with a range of audience segments. Here’s more on how we plan to create a trustworthy brand that will serve as the foundation for all of our video content. (more…)

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What A Mouthful: Eating Through the U.S. Energy Mix In 60 Seconds

by April 26, 2011

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Energy sources in order from 12 o'clock as shown in Uncle Sam's Dinner video: natural gas, biomass, coal, nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, and oil.

A recent post by David Roberts on Grist.org demonstrated the value of explaining a rather simple concept about our energy system: the mix of our energy sources. In Robert’s post, he pulled out data from Black & Veatch’s Energy Market Perspective analysis on the energy sources for U.S. electricity generation, comparing the mix in 2011 to that projected for 2035.

This post made me want to take another look at the video, Uncle Sam’s Dinner, from our just-completed video contest. Specifically, I wanted to check how closely the creator, Henry Reich, had come to representing the various energy sources that make up the overall U.S. sector—not just for electricity generation. Comparing the pie chart below with the stop watch captured above, it is clear that the video is extremely accurate. See this post for the full background material on the U.S. energy sector provided to creators for this contest. (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.

(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.
(more…)

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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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