Learning patterns/IRL video broadcast is a winning horse. Can Wikimedia projects bet on it?
What problem does this solve?Edit
Physical events are always limited to the people who are there in the room. Wisdom shared during conferences like Wikimania is not only valuable but, at times, rare. However, this is always inaccessible to the wider audience as it is not practically feasible for the organizers to live broadcast or record all sessions. Similarly, for small Wikimedia communities, it is hard to organize too many physical outreach sessions or even interactive talks to engage with the potential readers and contributors as physical events demand a lot of resources and are not always sustainable.
What is the solution?Edit
During the last Wikimania, I started to explore live broadcast which was inspired by Andrew Lih. At that time I used Periscope for Twitter. Even without a stable tripod and with the right gear, the broadcast attracted quite some viewers. But they weren't satisfactory.
- Experiment 1 - Odia Wikipedia's 16th anniversary
A week before Wikimania 2018, we, at the Odia Wikimedians User Group were celebrating the 16th anniversary of Odia Wikipedia, and thought of experimenting with Facebook Live. As we took a conscious decision of not organizing a public event, the alternate idea to engage with the audience was going live. So, we started preparing almost two days before the event by writing a script, and filming Wikimedians that would finally appear as intros and outros in the Facebook Live. We had a real life discussion that served as a Q&A (based on the questions asked by viewers of the live show) sandwiched between an intro and outro. We managed to engage with as many as 16,961 people where the majority of the audience are based in Odisha, India which happened to be our target region (as most native speakers are based there). The live show focused on the larger issues that exist in Odia language on the Internet, and how Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects are addressing them.
- Experiment 2 - Wikimania 2018
During Wikimania 2018, things were a bit more organized. Because of a grant from National Geographic, I already had purchased some filming gears like an external mobile mic — it helps amplify the loudest voice ignoring background noise where the built-in mic of a phone captures everything. With a live broadcast app (like Switcher), it worked out well to live-broadcast as many as three sessions during Wikimania on Facebook Live. For most sessions I had designed in advance both static and dynamic intro and outro slides which helped a lot for transitions. Thanks to Wikitongues, a burrowed tripod from them, helped even change angles with the same phone mounted on the tripod, I could point the camera towards the speaker and audience when needed.
- Experiment 3 - Live session on Lingua Libre
One of the things I learned in details about is Lingua Libre, an open source web-based platform for batch-recording pronunciations of words. I got totally hooked into Lingua Libre to the level of even abandoning my own project Kathabhidhana which served the same purpose in GUI manner. I have recorded over 1900 pronunciations in the Odia language myself which helped me identify some bugs and request for improvements. All these exercised helped me produce a live educational session using Facebook Live. So, I went live. Though the tutorial was in Odia and was meant for Odia-language speakers, I plan to make one in English soon.
Things to considerEdit
- Keep your total video duration short and focused.
- Keep it more conversational and speak slow, but keep the content interesting. Better to have a note handy.
- Have a clear flow of the live show — a) hook (a 2-3 sentence description on the most important thing that viewers will watch), b) intro (a short 5-6 sentence intro detailing a bit more about the purpose of the video), c) description (detail about the process), d) call-to-action (bring the details to an end and give a call-to-action end e.g. hope you would have learned about batch recording pronunciations of words in your own language. If you face any issues you can always ask question at this page INSERT LINK
- Promote the live show well in advance. Change the description right after the show so that it is appropriate for someone who is watching it later. Share the link to the recorded video widely.
- Facebook allows the admins to download a live video later. You can upload it on a platform like YouTube and Vimeo. Convert it into .webm (using tools like Miro video converter), and upload on Commons. Platforms like Commons/YouTube help widen the scope of the reaching out to people who might not be on social media channels.
When to useEdit
- When you want to educate your audience about something that is more specific. Demos, tutorials, Q&A for any useful topics work well for live sessions
- When you're organizing a physical meeting and you want to make a public statement summarizing the event and have a clear call to action for those who are not part of that meeting