Vision: Old Spice Man meets medical patient education videos

Have you checked out YouTube videos about medical screening tests created by health care organizations, such as the Mayo Clinic? Here’s an example: Mayo Clinic—Breast Imaging Overview. Not dissing Mayo Clinic, here: The clinic is way ahead of the curve on so many fronts. It’s just that they have a lot of examples to choose from on their YouTube channel.

Medical screening tests make a differencethey find problems early when they are easy-to-treat. They have been shown by studies to truly save lives. Most people who get screening tests find out that they are perfectly fine, with no problems.

So with all of this good news, why not create videos about medical screening tests that motivate people to get them? How about adding a bit of “spice”, a bit of entertainment value to increase the chance people will watch. How about adding a compelling “Call to Action”?

Come to think of it, the viral YouTube Old Spice video: The Man Your Man Could Smell Like could provide some guidance!

How about running a serious usability study on how patients perceive and respond to “spiced-up” videos about medical screening? How about injecting some powerful digital storytelling techniques and digital marketing and branding know-how to rev-up the persuasive power of these videos?

This could make the idea of getting a mammogram or a colonoscopy a whole lot more interesting. Really! Especially if the Old Spice Man Your Man Could Smell Like tells you it will be good for you!

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Transmedia storytelling–a drive toward wholeness

You know how when you start thinking about a certain type of car, a yellow VW bug, for example, you begin to notice them everywhere? I now continuously stumble upon examples of how digital media’s essence is a force in the direction of interrelatedness–a drive toward “wholeness.” Is this an example of “You find what you are looking for” or is this an actual phenomenon that can be measured? I will leave that question for a future post.

For now, Drew’s fascinating lecture about transmedia storytelling struck me as yet another manifestation of digital media’s drive toward a “whole” experience for users. Yes, transmedia storytelling no doubt sells stuff and results in some big money- making action. But, perhaps it does so because it fulfills a fundamental human need for a “complete” experience–an experience of the “interrelated structure of reality”. Here’s a quote from one of Drew’s PowerPoint slides to support my case:

“As users engage with transmedia narratives, worlds and experiences across multiple platforms and spaces, participants make a series of personal choices that shape and define their experience and understanding of ‘the whole.'”

There must be something to all of this–everywhere I look these days, I come upon quotes about interrelatedness. Examples:

“We are the living links in a life force that moves and plays through and around us, binding the deepest soils with the farthest stars.” Alan Chadwick

“Each small task of everyday life is part of the total harmony of the universe.” St. Theresa of Lisieux

Speaking of small tasks of everyday life–I had better head off for work now if I want to live in a harmonious universe!

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Reigniting wonder and possibility

Reigniting wonder and possibility My take-aways from Drew Keller’s class in multimedia storytelling: Create value by connecting people, ideas, places, and things. Add images to bring depth and dimension to communication. Use tools, such as tripods, to increase production value. Leave class with a reignited sense of wonder and possibility! It took three minutes to say all of that!

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When a ‘Conclusion’ in Not a Conclusion: Welcome to the World of Digital Media

Last night in class the group talked about how the Conclusion of Strangelove’s book, Watching YouTube, is not typical of most books’ chapters entitled “Conclusion”. Strangelove’s closing chapter steers unexpectedly into some “darker” territory— exploitation of amateurs, forces of the marketplace, self-serving propaganda. This Conclusion commits a classic “no-no” in terms of traditional book construction: It raises new points not previously addressed in the book. Typically a “Conclusion” is not called upon for this service.

This seems apt to me, as Strangelove’s book, though of traditional form, is actually of the digital media “space”, where there is no end, perhaps no identifiable beginning, certainly no conclusion, simply another iteration, as all subject matter careers ahead, pushed by the energy and participation of an ever-increasing base of users. Evolution doesn’t do endings, except when something goes extinct, and even then, elements of the thing gone often live on in other ways.

Perhaps a different title for the final chapter would have been a good choice: “Musings on the Future”, “Food for Thought”, or “When a ‘Conclusion’ in Not a Conclusion: Welcome to the World of Digital Media.”

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Next Generation Web: The interrelatedness of all things

What will the next generation Web look like? It will be the embodiment of the interrelatedness of all things. Get ready for seamless interfacing and a web of increasingly connected relationships. Next Generation Web: Seamless Interrelatedness My first dive into iMovie–at least the script moves! First one must crawl…and be happy with the crawling! Looking forward to soaring through a video landscape one day!

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Mousing over: Where will it take us?

Last night in class Drew demonstrated that his PowerPoint slides often contain links. One can “mouse over” them and find portals to references or related material. In a sense the slides are 3-D, the third dimension being depth into the field of information.

This demonstration caused me to recall a segment I heard last week on the public radio show Marketplace Tech ( It was about behemoths of online content like Yahoo, YouTube and Hulu creating original programs to lure advertising dollars away from traditional television. The premise of the segment is that the line between content and advertising is “blurred”:

“Online video advertising is expected to reach $3 billion this year and $9 billion by 2016. Advertisers are excited because they can do things online that they can’t on TV. When it comes to Internet programming, the lines between content and advertising get pretty blurry.”

This segment explains why Drew’s comment about “mousing over the slides” for more content drew me back to the Marketplace show:

“Welcome to the brave new world of branded content. Syracuse University’s Bill Ward says all of media is moving towards this seamless experience — where ads and content not only flow together, but become almost indistinguishable.

Ward: You’re watching a video and you like the sweater that somebody’s wearing, and you roll your mouse over that and then it tells you — without interrupting the video — what brand sweater that is, how much it is, and with a click you can purchase that sweater. That’s a pretty engaging experience.

And potentially a profitable one, if you made the sweater or the show. An estimated 145 million people are watching online videos — and the ads that come with them.”

Mousing over—> the new doorway (or is that a sucking sound I hear?) into the brave new world of online advertising! I question whether the line between content and advertising is becoming “blurred” or actually non-existent? I wonder how advertising being embedded in content will shape the content? I wonder what this portends for the “freedom” and “democracy” of online video content?

Brave new world, indeed.

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Using the superpowers!

Just have to blog about using my new skills to help a friend: He must find a new home after 10 years of renting happily in north Seattle. The landlord has big plans for the property now, so he has to move to make room for the evolution. The crunch is on–he must find a new place by the end of May.

Everyone moves all the time these days. But it’s not so easy in this case–he is in his 70s, involved in the world beyond his doorstep, travels through life with two replaced hips and some associated pain, and has lots of things to do with his time now other than pack boxes and pull up roots. You can understand how, though he has known about the move for months, he has found himself needing to act fast now.

Hearing about this predicament, I suggested drawing upon the “superpowers of social media”: I helped my friend set up a YouTube channel. I videoed him with his iPhone as he described the kind of place he is looking for and told a bit about himself. We uploaded it to his new channel with a good title, description, and tags. (No monetization here!) I showed him how to make a QR code (using that will link to the URL of his video. He is going to insert the QR code into the notices that he will post in auspicious places around North Seattle. He will use the video URL in his online announcements, such as on CraigsList. (As a safety measure, we used his middle name: Dr. Emmott.)

Come on, Universe, get your social network working on this! Dr. Emmott

Thank you, Drew and Paulo, for sharing the “superpowers” of digital media!

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YouTubers in the IKEA outfits: Don’t give up your day jobs!

When I think of last night’s lecture, my mind drifts back to the IKEA-branded video, “Easy to Assemble”. ( That was truly a cautionary tale about the perils of content creation—it is very possible to make a really, really bad video, even with the financial backing of a corporate giant!

And, I thought of the fabulous videos created by fellow classmates Elise and Helene to fulfill the weekly class vlog requirement: Inspired! Inspiring!

Another great session full of things to consider.


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Ultimate System Disrupters: YouTube and the Gutenberg Press

Ultimate System Disrupters: YouTube and the Gutenberg Press How does YouTube disrupt existing media business models? I find the most compelling disruption to be in the role of “experts” in providing information and telling our collective stories. With the advent of YouTube, multitudes supplement experts’ stories with their own. I believe this development is as profound and transformative as the introduction of the Gutenberg Press.

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“…when I enjoy the free music of a songbird in the forest…”

Sunday night and my weekly entry is yet to be uploaded.

Should be up before dawn and the first bird songs of the day.

Which reminds me of a quote from Strangelove’s Watching YouTube about exploitation of amateur video producers on YouTube: “…when I enjoy the free music of a songbird in the forest, I am hardly exploiting the bird. When I create playful videos for my friends or for my own pleasure on YouTube, I am not suffering in the grip of an unequal relationship. If we confuse play and free expression with real exploitation, we do a disservice to those who truly suffer.”

Well said. 

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