MIDWAY THROUGH the annual Teaching Council Conference (hashtagged #feilte2018), I started thinking more about sustainability, since that term was floating throughout several corners of the conference venue. More specifically, I started thinking about how to sustain the efforts of the Youth Media Team. And I formed the same conclusion that Pam O'Brien and Conor Galvin made years ago--it's a team effort.
We cannot ensure top results during a weekend of mobile journalism with YMT.fm unless we approach a packed event schedule with the perspective of three separate task masters. We need someone who looks after the audio production requirements. Normally that's me. We need someone who cross-checks photography and video. That's normally Pam because she has the best DSLR camera. She also monitors the social media flow. And we need someone who looks after blog posts. That's often Conor, but he was on assignment in Cyprus during our coverage of Feilte 2018 so Pam double-jobbed with this task.
I've several hundred MP3 files sitting on Spreaker.com for the Youth Media Team. Many of those clips are also stored on OneDrive, in separate folders named for the events or the hashtags. We need to pull all the audio together onto a 2TB portable SSD. We also need to set up alerts for the payment of storage space, subscription fees for Spreaker (our podcasting platform) and for Airtable, an online database that helps us keep track of the highest quality assets.
Photography and Video and Social
We enjoyed a high level of collaboration with still photography during Feilte 2018. Several smartphones used by YMT crew members were set up to automatically upload images to our YMTfm Flickr account. This meant everyone could see the images that were snapped on the day while they were creating their blog posts. Hopefully, that means the posts will have two or three images and that the Flickr captions will include links to the Spreaker MP3 file. I think the best images need to be recorded in Airtable and also placed on a Trello card that tracks the tick-off items for each interview we conduct.
For the past three years, getting written copy posted by our teenagers is the greatest creative challenge. I think we need another workshop session to show YMT crew members the useful shortcuts used by content managers. PRO TIP: Content often starts the night before when writers create draft posts that have main points related to the planned questions. I believe we should set up a discussion area on Google Plus before we meet to cover any event. That way, we can build a link list to background content related to everyone we intend to interview during our fast-paced events. I also think all the adult supervisors need to have quick access to a tick-off list that shows the subject and title of the draft blog posts. Personally, I prefer a checklist system on Trello but simple whiteboards often work well too.
I'm parking all these ideas for a conference call with Pam, Conor, and Sinead. We've worked well before and I think we can achieve greater results if we tightened up a few things.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business in the Limerick Institute of Technology. Click the image of Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain to hear the advice she offered to students who caught up with her in the Green Room.]