We recently had David Silverman on The Magic Sandwich show, and I agree completely with him that above all, the conference scene should be FUN!
Fun like this!
I have great memories of our group singing of ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ at the end of that conference! Telling ya, we have GOT to adopt that as our anthem!
Kinda difficult to have fun like that with the killjoy PC police telling you ‘your tshirt is too offensive‘ or ‘creates a sexualized environmental‘ or that ‘fake jewelry is against the conference code‘.
We are responsible adults thank you, and do not need to be treated like children!
…..anyway, I digress. However much fun conferences might be, they are effectively still a side show compared to the potential reach of the internet. Lets keep it real: the internet is a place where religions come to die!
-New media is a game changer in a way that conferences never were, and likely never will be!
In this sense, I see it as vital that we maintain a strong internet presence on viral media. Regrettably the secular/ rationalist community has a problem on youtube at the moment. Established players have been slowly drifting away, and because the barriers to entry are so high, there are not being replaced! To be honest, this is to me a far bigger issue than pretty much anything that is happening on the conference scene.
The way I see it we want people making good videos on a semi-regular basis. But how to encourage this?
Well I actually care about this a lot!, and so I am going to put basically all of the donations I received from last year into a fund to encourage this ($10 000).
So how best to do this? Well this is where I want your help, for many minds are better than one, and I have essentially no experience at doing this sort of thing.
So far my rough ideas looks like this:
The first thing is of course, while I will supply the prize money, I should detach myself from the judging. So far Eugenie Scott, Elisabeth Cornwell and ZOMGitscriss have suggested that they would be willing to help out with the judging. If you have any other names you would like to suggest, please leave them below.
I was thinking about three categories:
1) Merit grants. This is basically giving money to established people who have contributed much for little reward. Its just a small way for the community to say thank you for all you’ve done! I also think this would create a lot of good will among our established video makers.
2) Equipment grants. This is for folks are happy to spend their time making videos, but think that its a bit much to have to spend their own money to make videos for other people to watch for free. The solution is simple, buy them what they need, HD webcam, microphone, green-screen, etc. and everybody wins!
3) A video competition. Youtube is becoming an increasingly competitive attention economy, and what is really needed is people who are making competativley good media on a semi-regular basis. So I suggest that people get to submit their three best videos made over a period of 3 months with the winners taking home cash prizes, and getting their work featured on my channel etc. We do our best as a community to bring new blood in that are making good videos on a semi-regular videos.
So what do you think? Good ideas? How best to partition up the prize money?
That is, if you had $10 000 dollars to spend to invigorate the secular presence on youtube, how would you spend it?