Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond

Video, Greenbelt, blogging and being yourself

September 2nd, 2008 | No Comments | Categories: Geek · Managing Information Streams · Random Catchup |

OK, I promised a greenbelt round-up, and that’s still on the way, but first (this is backwards, I know) some thoughts on how video worked for us at Greenbelt. By ‘us’, I mean the social media monkeys that were trying to get Greenbelt’s web-presence away from just being a static website into something a little more granular, diffuse, community based and embeddable as conversation-starters…

Greenbelters have been using Flickr in a co-ordinated way for years – there are over 15,000 photos tagged at Greenbelt2006, Greenbelt2007 or Greenbelt2008! But the festival presence hadn’t really gone beyond that. So I, along with JennyBee, James Stewart, Lobelia and Mike Radcliffe set about building a video presence for the festival.

Jenny was already involved in a more structured, formal process of collecting video interviews and whatnot for promotional usage, but we were all looking for a much more guerilla feel to our social media footage: lots of chatting to camera, unedited interviews, fun stuff from around the site. And, crucially, we wanted a fair bit of it to be watchable live.

After about a month of trying, we finally found a contact at WomWorld – a Nokia promo blog, who would lend us the hardware we needed to do the project – namely, 4 Nokia N82s and one Nokia N95. Yay for Nokia and their lovely bloggers! It all happened so late in the day that the phones were sent direct to the festival site, and we had very little time to trail what we were doing, or to get conversant with everything that the phones could do. Still, we’ve managed, so far, to rack up well over 8000 views on the Greenbelt Group at and Mike opted to record video at higher quality and post it to his YouTube Channel – he produced some great video.

Here’s my Qik Channel – the first 50 vids on here are from the festival:

So I did all the interviews you’ve seen embedded here over the last 10 days, and a whole load more footage, had some great feedback to it all, and it’s already cropped up being embedded and linked to on a range of sites, providing a talking point for those who were and those who weren’t at the festival.

It was a fantastic validation of two things – firstly, the importance of embeddable, linkable social media for starting conversations about any event. And secondly, the importance of video in getting the ‘feel‘ of any event across. blogging, texting, tweeting, even audio recordings go some way to creating a ‘buzz’, but nothing has the impact that video has… if Greenbelt are bright, they’ll get behind this nexy year, resource it, promote it, and they could have a virtual attendance bigger than that actual attendance…

I’ve just written a post about the honesty of video for, and started a discussion about it at Phreadz. Sadly you can’t embed video on the Creative Choices blog, but here’s the Phreadz conversation about it –

The question at the end of the Creative Choices blog is ‘how is video working for you?’ – feel free to drop by over there and answer it

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  • James Stewart

    It’s not quite right to say that the festival presence “hadn’t really gone beyond” flickr as there’s been content cropping up on youtube for the past couple of years, we’ve had a strong presence on blogs and a couple of times we did some work on aggregating content from the various disparate sources. But it certainly was quite patchy — there was no concerted effort to represent the festival beyond flickr before the work we did this year.

  • bigJohn

    steve – thankyou – the stuff you have done this year with the other guys is real strong tangible evidence of the way forward towards stretching greenbelt way beyond the boudaries of a racecourse., and of a single bank holiday weekend. You have my full support when you are asking greenbelt (the organisational part) – to be ‘bright’ and really try to put some resources into all the stuff you are talking about – and others of course…. It needs to happen alongside all the rest of the planning of greenbelt 09 – to be integral, not just bolted on at the last minute. I hope we can talk about this more… lots more in the coming weeks, big up hairy man, bigjohn x

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