This week’s class began with a quick video warning us about vertical video. Vertical video is one of my biggest pet peeves. My sister-in-law is a big time offender. I always feel like a snob when I try to tell people they shouldn’t shoot video like that. Perhaps I can subtly slip in the PSA about “vertical video syndrome” in the next time I see her. I’m worried my nephew will grow up and only have vertical home movie memories. Although, by the time he’s an adult, i phones may be long gone, just another example of data rot.
One topic I found interesting today was the discussion about how video hasn’t moved into underrepresented communities like many people thought it would. Price and access were mentioned as some of the main reasons why this isn’t the case. Data plans are still expensive. In contrast, we learned the largest growing group on Twitter right now is African Americans. This social media site can be managed on any type of phone.
This discussion reminded me of the documentary “Born into Brothels.” In this film child prostitutes in India were given cameras and told to capture their lives. The images and insights that their photos captured were amazing and something an outsider could not have done. I can only imagine what they could have produced had they been taught video, where they would have the opportunity to capture both moving images and sounds. This is clearly an extreme case but can be applied to any underrepresented community. Imagine the stories that could come out of a migrant farm community in the midwest or the streets of Compton. There is always something very powerful that comes from seeing how a community views itself, especially one the isn’t normally seen on main stream TV.
We continued class by talking about defining social media. In social media the audience can participate regardless of their skill or knowledge on the topic. This is both exciting and kind of scary. This leads to the idea of community. You feel more connected if you comment and participate. Another way to get involved is by sharing. Because of this participation, the video media landscape is always changing and evolving.
Some interesting figures from class: