CrowdTV: Where Individuals Form Communities Online to Collaborate and Create

What if individuals were able to join up with like minded people to dream up, shape, and ultimately create documentary stories that mattered to them? In 2011, CrowdTV was developed and used to facilitate just that in a world first participatory media process. CrowdTV’s first project, WaterStories, involved gathering individuals from Western Sydney to collaboratively create a documentary around the theme of water in their landscape. In this process, online community members shared ideas for the documentary, suggested experts and community members to interview, participated virtually in the editing of the film, and ultimately gamed their way towards being recognized in the documentary credits. There was a collision of age old stories about water in our culture with a new wave of media and crowd-sourcing. The role of the audience was changed from passive viewer to key creators. This experiment in creative engagement was underpinned by theories of community development, storytelling, and technology in community determination. Reflections on this process give key insights to the critical success factors of online community collaboration for learning and communicating on important issues. (By: Jade Herriman: Research Principal, Institute for Sustainable Futures, Univesity of Technology; Katie Ross: Senior Research Consultant, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology; and Kylee Ingram: Australian Documentaries)

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