Its brilliant that Oxfam have put so much effort into creating an online documentary about the effects of climate change on the people of Bangladesh.
On the upside Oxfam used a local media team who were on the scene when cyclone Aila hit. Respect. There’s also a clear way of responding by sending a message to the team who are traveling to Copenhagen on the UK’s behalf to negotiate a deal. I think it’s really important that charities give people some way to respond other than putting their hands in their pockets. Sure that’s one way of helping but it’s more important that people are engaged in these issues, that they aren’t given the sense that charitable giving can lead to any kind of widespread meaningful solution to the serious problems of inequality in this world.
On the downside there’s no way that I can embed any of the stories on duckrabbit or A Developing Story, limiting the ability of the documentary to travel around the web. This is surely a mistake if Oxfam are serious about getting the message out (and clearly they are). I’m not talking about dumping videos on youtube, but offering a fully embeddable feature that people can host on their blogs and websites. Human Rights Watch have already started to experiment with this, to great effect.
I know for a fact that when we embed a video on duckrabbit many more people watch it then if we just pop up a link to a video on an external website. Generally though, to get on duckrabbit or a similar website, the quality of the content needs to be decent, and up till now that has been the major problem for NGOs, their communications are often more of a turn off than a turn on.
All in a ll huge respect to Oxfam for this innovative work.