A Place for Conversation About Video For Change

You may recall that in mid-May we launched this blog. It’s been just over six months now and I thought it would be useful to take stock of what we’ve accomplished since May and, of course, to look forward to what we hope to do in 2011 – with you.

In my initial post, I wrote that we hoped the blog would be a place to share examples of video being used for advocacy, and to foster debate. I wrote that the blog would be a collaborative effort by the authors (staff and guest contributors) and you. After all, no conversation is possible if we’re just putting stuff out there but no one responds, affirms, or challenges us.

To that end, I’d like to share some (gasp) statistics with you. We’ve had about 20,000 visits to the blog over the last six months and about 30,000 page views and the average visit lasts about 2:10 minutes. You can do the math on how many visits that is per month, day, etc. This is arguably a small number of visits in the vastness that is the blogosphere, but we know that numbers don’t tell the whole story. Beth Kanter hosted a recent exchange about how nonprofits measure key performance indicators such as “share of conversation.”

If conversation is one measure of impact on a blog – I’m happy to note we’re off to a good start.  Of our 100-plus posts to date, a majority of them have inspired one comment or more and some posts, like this one from Chris Michael, our Video Advocacy Training Manager, became a true dialog. As editor of the blog, these exchanges have been a highlight for me of the last six months.

Highlights from the Past (half) Year:

We’ve engaged our community on Facebook (where much discussion about blog posts continue) and on Twitter. On Twitter, we’ve established the hashtag #video4change as a useful way to spread examples of videos for change.  (H/t to my colleague Mari our social media guru for creating that hashtag. She is so effective at sparking dialog on Twitter that we were named a 2010 thought leader in Corporate Social Responsibility by Fast Company and BRANDfog.)

Categories on the WITNESS blogStaff members have written many engaging posts, including: reports on the importance of archiving human rights media; examples of video being used for advocacy involving Lady Gaga, karaoke, graphic imagery; updates on our new thematic campaigns on gender-based violence in conflict zones and repressive states, as well as forced evictions in the name of development.  We’ve also hosted guest posts from archivists and archivists-in-training, documentary filmmakers, volunteer translators (see the comments section), developers doing good (watch the short video clip), marketing experts, and board members.

We established a collaboration with YouTube on how activists and human rights defenders can use this largest of video-sharing platforms more safely and effectively (thanks to Steve Grove, News & Politics Editor at YouTube, and our colleague Sameer Padania who used to manage our Hub project).  Check it out here.

And we’ve shared content with HuffingtonPost, Causecast, B-listed (Breakthrough’s blog), among many other sites and blogs.

More Dialog to Come

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together and would love to hear more from you about what you like, want to see more or less of, suggestions for guest contributors or series of content. Please contact me directly or in the comments below to share your ideas.

This will be our last post of 2010; we’ll pick up the conversation again in 2011. Happy New Year – may it be one filled with peace, respect and video for change!

2 thoughts on “A Look Back at a (half) Year in Video For Change

  1. Hi, not sure why no one has commented yet.. anyway, just wanted to say well done for what you HAVE accomplished; and to wish you guys a
    Happy New Year and may many, many, many accomplishments follow!

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