Two people particularly inspired me this week. Their ideas triggered today’s blog post. The first person inspired the method. The second person inspired the content that should follow below.
The first person that really inspired me this week was Dr. Mike Evans. Mike is the genius behind YouTube videos like “23 ½ hours” and “Let’s make our day harder”. He presented Grand Rounds at Markham Stouffville Hospital on Wednesday December 4. His presentation on Wednesday taught me a few things: (1) I, too, could be a video curator; (2) I shouldn’t be afraid to fail; and (3) I should be able to think of some fun new ways to use YouTube for communication in my medical work and my political work.
Like countless others, I also spent time the past few days thinking about Nelson Mandela. I wanted this blog post to expand on previous reflections about what I have learned from the life of Nelson Mandela. But I wondered what I could say that hasn’t already been said about this extraordinary man. Poignant stories about Mandela abound this week. Stephen Lewis posted a beautiful personal reflection about Mandela. Stephanie Nolen shared several articles that taught me more about Mandela’s life. Bob Rae wrote about what Mandela taught us. What could I add to these articulate voices?
What could I add? I could add a collection of public video reflections about Nelson Mandela. I could ask a whole bunch of people (who are less well known that Stephen Lewis, Stephanie Nolen and Bob Rae) to tell me what they think we can learn from Nelson Mandela. Then if I could collect and post those videos, I could have my first video curation!
Next question: How should I gather the video reflections? My first idea was related to the fact that today happens to be the Santa Claus Parade in Stouffville. At some point I’ll be standing out on Main Street Stouffville with hundreds of my neighbours. So I considered the option of moving around with my cell phone camera asking people for comments. But (a) I thought they might judge me as weird; (b) I would annoy people if I interrupt their enjoyment of the parade; and (c) that would not harness the power of the Internet.
Next association: I realized I could put together the wonder of video with the phenomenon of selfies. Ask a simple question. Post it online. Urge people to respond with a brief selfie – could be a still photo or a video. Curate the selfies. Voila! A collection of reflections that should be better than anything that any single person could put together.
So here I go with my first attempt at being a video curator. I’m going to post the first selfie and I hope many more will follow in the days to come. If I get enough selfies that answer the question, I’ll try to find a volunteer video genius to help me edit them into a single file. If not, I’ll just post a collection of single selfies below. Perhaps no one else will add to what I start. The good thing I learned this week from Mike Evans is that it’s okay to fail. I’m not going to be afraid to try something new.
I will call my experiment “ASQUS”. ASQUS stands for Ask/Answer a Simple Question & Upload Selfies.
- I start with a simple question. My question is this: What did Nelson Mandela teach you?
- Answer the question with a selfie. You can take a photo of yourself showing the answer in writing. Or take a BRIEF video of yourself answering the question.
- Send me the selfie. Here are some options for sending: (a) E-mail the selfie to firstname.lastname@example.org; or (b) Post the selfie on Twitter with hashtag #ASQUS or mention @janephilpott; or (c) upload the selfie to Facebook and tag my page so I’ll know it’s there to be added to the collection.
Here’s hoping you will indulge me by your participation in this curation experiment. If it succeeds, I hope we’ll soon have an inspiring collection below. Stay tuned.
#ASQUS: What did Nelson Mandela teach you?