In a recent exchange with my 12 year old daughter, I learned about a simple, yet brilliant phenomenon going on via YouTube – the collab.
Summary of our conversation:
Daughter: Mom, I am SO excited because I just got accepted into a collab
Me: A WHAT?
Daughter: A collab on YouTube – you know, where different people submit videos to one channel each week around a specific topic for that week.
Me: OH! You mean collab as in collaboration? So what are the rules? Where can I read them?
Daughter: (Blank stare) What do you mean, read them? They are in a video, duh?
Me: Oh. Silly (old) me. So how did you get accepted?
Daughter: I had to audition with a video response on her YouTube channel.
Me: So you had to make a video in order to audition – that’s pretty neat. What is the topic?
Daughter: All about Guinea Pigs. It works like this. One week it will be how to build different cages, the next week it will be guinea pig nutrition, the following week it will be tips and tricks to make cage cleaning easy, etc. I have Wednesdays, so each Wednesday I have to submit my video on the topic of the week. This way, we can find out new ideas and ways to take care of our guinea pigs by having different people contribute different videos on the same topic. I also learn about different ways to make my own videos by watching these as well.
Me: (to myself) Sigh. I have so much to learn.
Is it just me or is this really brilliant?
YouTube collabs are not a new idea – but through her eyes, I see all kinds of possibilities.
This is content creation and mass collaboration by 12 year-olds – they are creating a really valuable content-filled channel through collaborating with like-minded individuals, around common topics. Needless to say, the wheels are now turning in my head. Could this approach support any current strategic objectives in my organization? Could we use this to solve a problem in our community? Can schools/classrooms use it to learn about new ideas and concepts? Could it be an alternative way to report on news topics? Create music?
It seems that all that’s really needed is a clear topic/idea, along with some simple guidelines (deadlines, content, etc) as well as clarity around approach (how do videos get accepted, etc) and a core community of interest to get started – unless I am missing anything?
I did some poking around and found YouTube’s “Life in a Day” project which is probably the most popular and successful example of something like this. Please share other examples if you find them – I am really interested to learn how people are using this concept and let me know what you think.