GOOGLE KILLS CLASSIC RESEARCH
The Internet changed our world of education completely. Ok, the internet changed almost everything but isn´t it sometimes weird when you find yourself how you satisfy everything with “Professor Google” and “Dr. Wiki”? The Internet serves us an endless party of knowledge at any level of experteese. We have for example access to amateurs blogging about their work experience, personal life or hobby and we have access to high level knowledge from professionals all over this planet. Imagine how you would have accessed such an amount of content 15 years ago?! We could call this a change from “Take-home Education” (classic research) to “Omni-present E-Education”.
DIRECT WIRE TO KNOWLEDGE
Now, that we have unlimited access to knowledge new varieties of research evolve. We can read articles, listen to podcasts, download Ebooks, Audiobooks, Movies, TV-Shows or order everything on Amazon.com at any time. That is incredible. Can you remember how it was to wait for a book? or an Article that contains a speech held at a Design Conference? Or the latest Flaming Lips Album you had to order at a local Hi-Fi Store? For me it is hard to remember how it was before. Honestly. If I want to know how to create magic in After Effects I check google and watch Tutorial “Videos” (!!!) where a real person shares his knowledge with me. No, I don´t have to wait for two weeks until the rare book about After Effects arrives.
Video Tutorials are a great way to learn things. There is an expert or a mentor sharing knowledge, experience and tricks with us. He records a video and shows us step by step how to create or do something. The classroom enters your home. The teacher is not in the same room. This is yet a totally different communication if we compare it to a class held at school. In the process of learning something questions come up. Why exactly did he this? Or why did he use that technique? If a user has questions on the Tutorial he has to write a message (via Email, Forum, Community, etc.) to the expert. Then he has to wait for a reply that will may be answered or not. What happens if the classroom changes from a recorded video to a live communication situation in a chat room?
Since the internet got faster and technology (of course) evolves by any second it is possible to plug in a mic and a webcam to broadcast your own live shows. The live shows I am talking about are done by amateurs and professionals who gather a crowd of interested users in a chatroom to watch and listen them talking and (gladly) answering questions. Depending on how the chat is structured (how clear it is) the host tries to answer as many questions as possible. The live chat is usually held at the same time once a week (if we assume it is on a regular basis). A user, who wants to ask the host a question concerning the thing the host does (let´s say he is a font builder and typography expert), can ask the host nearly in a one on one communication situation.
Platforms like Ustream.tv provide the service for hosts to set up their own show. Gladly a lot of folks from the creative industry decided to start such a live show. Two of them are Nick Campbell and James White. They are experienced mentors to a huge crowd of willing learners. They run a regular live cast every week (usually at the same time; more info see links). Nick is a motion designer, blogger, podcaster, iphone app creator, musician, and beard owner from Chicago and talks about experience he gained in the design industry, software and technical stuff, Business topics, his iPhone apps, photography, inspiration and creativity. James is Graphic Designer from Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada and basically talks about the same things as Nick does. He gives insides in his workflow, his inspirations and projects. He even brings artists in his show from time to time. Sometimes they decide to give the live chats a topic but most of the time it´s a Question and Answer talk.
THE NERD GANG
Users started to follow the shows regularly. The topics in the chat also include personal talks between users and questions concerning the personal life of the host. Topics like music, films and Videogames are discussed a lot. Nevertheless, the focus of these shows is the direct wire to the host. That´s why the Question&Answer philosophy of these chats is so amazing!
EXPLORE SOMETHING NEW
Although they belong to different branches within the design industry Nick and James know each other since they first talked on Ryan McGoverns Design Chat. They both started their live shows independently from each other. These two hosts attend nearly every show of the other which consequences in Motion Design Users hanging out in a Graphic Designers Live Cast and vice versa.
Well, some might argue that the design business is such a tight spun web that it is inevitable to ignore other fields of design completely. That is of course true, but a graphic designer would usually stick to something graphic design related instead of any motion design talk.
Isn´t it amazing how the personal interest of the host (in the live cast of the other host) magnifies users in such a way that they leave their field of experteese and interest (which is usually the main reason why they attend the live cast) that makes them explore something NEW. They see similarities, differences and may understand things in a broader context, from a different point of view. The most interesting part of a Live Cast is the moment when a user asks a question that has so many other things attached that the host would love to answer in a 5 hour non-stop podcast. Questions like “What is Creativity?” which can only be answered subjectively and based on the general experience the host gained so far. It is an easy, but not easy to answer question.
I know that I left out ten million things professionals would critize. What can I say, I am starting to write. To experience. It feels good to express that. I decided to write about this topic and how I experience it. It would be a pleasure if you post comments with your thoughts on this or links to related articles How do you experience the live chats? A discussion would be great!
Last but not least I have to thank you for reading this article. It is my first longer blog post and I have no idea where this will go and how regular I will be posting. I am really glad I started writing. It is more likely for me to say “I actually started and finished” writing instead of “it would be cool to write about it someday”.
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