Experimenting. Reflections on my first vlog



When I made my first vlog, it was at a workshop where we were asked to create something on the spot and post it for others to see. It had to be something we had not done before. I felt a growing sense of unease as I tried to block out of my mind the inconvenient and nagging thought that I was going to make my first video and post it on twitter. Whilst I helped my peer to take, and post, a selfie on twitter, the thought wouldn’t go away. Thus it came to be that a thought that went something like “you really should do this Helen. You know video is a great medium and you’ve advised others to do it in the past” became “**** it! Just do it!)

And I did. No preparation or rehearsal time. Lots of people in the room and background noise. Most recent hot flush just passed through about five minutes earlier leaving me feeling, and looking, less than prepared for a video assignment.

This was a real experiment.

I had one message I wanted to get across – the media training from a couple of decades ago coming in handy – and I just spoke to the IPhone at the end of my arm. I posted the video immediately on twitter, reasoning that nobody would watch it and I could delete it later. I told a couple of people I wouldn’t dare put it on LinkedIn and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t watch it back either. But then I did watch it back. And it was all right. It won’t win any prizes, but it was coherent and the one message I wanted to deliver was definitely there.

So, I posted it on LinkedIn – the next, and unanticipated, bit of this experiment – and waited. The response was amazing. The thirty-five second video has been viewed 899 times. People I used to work with got back in touch. One person I think of as a friend reminded me that such is my existing use of tech, we have never actually met! We have only ever connected via twitter (initially) and now by Skype, phone and LinkedIn. One day we’ll have that coffee in the same room Jayne! Another friend told me “I like the fact that it was REAL, and it was YOU”. Thank you, Simon.

As I reflect on the experience, I am noticing that “**** it” still works for me. When I just need to get on and do something I fear, the phrase I learned to use from the wonderful John C. Parkin (see his stuff here; https://eff-it-helps.com ) doesn’t let me down. Sometimes I use it to get things done, sometimes I use it to let things go. Either way, it works. Try it. Just be careful who is around if you decide to say it out loud!

When Amanda who was running the session that day said “I’m interested in people and outcomes, not in tech” it resonated with me. I’m interested in people and outcomes too, and tech gets us there in ways we just can’t do sometimes in the “real” world. As another ex-colleague said on twitter in response to the original post “Won’t always be able to meet physically – so human interaction via digital routes will be norm. Challenge is how to maintain the human bit in digital. However, as you’ve shown here video, FaceTime etc. will play a big part. Human touch via the screen!”

Human touch via the screen. How lovely. Maybe there will be more vlogs! Here is a link to the original vlog in case you missed it; http://bit.ly/2DyLI5b