This past summer, two communications faculty members from opposite ends of Ohio teamed up for a sabbatical video documentary about the cutting edge of Web 2.0. Their travels took them to Cincinnati, Louisville, Chicago, and Rochester, NY. They interviewed seven experts with strong opinions about social media: Six proponents and one critic. The media scholars admit that it wasn’t all work. They also drank some beer and wine, ate the best chicken wings in the world at Duff’s in Buffalo, slummed for free in a relative’s swanky apartment (complete with balcony) on the near south side of Chicago, and watched the Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals from the best seats in baseball: The right field bleachers of Wrigley Field.
The Sledzik-Curran Social Media Project is the brainchild of Bill Sledzik, Associate Professor at Kent State University, and me. Bill is the senior instructor and coordinator of Kent’s Public Relations sequence in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. We are both interested in the dynamics of social media, so we decided to talk to some practitioners who are doing some interesting things and have some strong opinions about Web 2.0.
The participants included four people who are well-known the in public relations and marketing businesses: Brian Connolly (Strumpette), Jason Falls (Doe-Anderson), Phil Gomes (Edelman Digital), and Kevin Dugan (FRCH Design Worldwide). We also talked with two innovators in education: Chris Collins (University of Cincinnati) and Stephen Jacobs (Rochester Institute of Technology). Rounding out the lineup is Matt Shiv from web-savvy alternative radio station WOXY.
We’ll start the project with Brian Connolly, who will give an interesting (and not so flattering) take on social media. His interview clips will run starting Tuesday, January 13. A new clip will be added every weekday (except 1/19…MLK Day) until Fri, Feb. 6. After that, we’ll have something figured out for the others.
The clips will be posted on YouTube and embedded in our blogs.
Bill and I will update you on the clips as the project unfolds.
We promise you this: The project is professionally produced. We didn’t just pick up a cheap camera and start shooting from the hip. The production value is very good. We shot in studio-like setups using high quality cameras and wireless microphones. And the edits are very tight, with no extraneous content. These interviews were planned well in advance and the participants gave insightful answers. None of the typical snarky wise-guy garbage that permeates the world of amateur video. Bill and I asked our questions off-camera and kept ourselves out of the edited interviews. We let the interviewees be the stars, a novel concept in Web 2.0 video.