Even if you are not particularly interested in association professional development activities, you may still want to tune into this post. In it, I give a high level overview of how we created a digital “product” (in this case, a free one) out of an American Society of Association Executives “virtual lunch” phone conference and added a dash of Learning 2.0. This same approach can be applied to just about any sort of informational or educational event you can think of.
This was the second of the “virtual lunch” phone calls that the council has done so far. The first one was very well attended and there was some demand for future calls to be recorded for those who could not attend or who wanted to go back to listen again. I also suggested that we create a Twitter “hashtag” to be used along with the phone call (and on an ongoing basis) and set up “#asaepd.” We used TweetChat during the actual event to make it feel a bit more like a standard chat room.
(If you are feeling a bit behind on Twitter and hashtags, you might want to see Jane Hart’s excellent Slideshare presentation.)
To record the event, we used a combination of techniques described in 2 Quick, Easy Digital Content Options as well as in Cools Tools 2009: My Big Six. Tony Ellis, chair of the PD Council, used FreeConferenceCall.com to initiate the call and to take advantage of their recording capability. I also dialed into the call using Skype’s call-to-phone capability and recorded the call with Call Recorder for Mac. (PCs would used Call Burner). As it turned out, Tony ran into some technical difficulties, so it was good we had the Skype/Call Recorder back-up.
I took the MP3 file from the recorded call and chopped off excess “noise” at the beginning and in (i.e., beeps and voices as people came and went) using Garage Band, which comes free on a Mac. I could have also used Audacity, which is free for either PC or Mac. Or I could have decided that the editing didn’t really matter and skipped it.
I then uploaded the files to Box.net, which offers streaming audio in addition to great file sharing capabilities. It was large enough that I had to take advantage of the fact that I have a paid account that runs around $50 a year or so. There are much slicker approaches to audio that I use in other places, but I find that it is hard to beat Box.net for quick and easy.
So, here’s the audio link – you can stream it from the site or download the file. It’s about 58 minutes long:
And here’s the hashtag stream:
The hashtag, of course, is available for ongoing use. I recommend using a desktop Twitter client like Tweetdeck to manage Twitter. In TweetDeck, you can do a search on #asaepd and then save it so that you can easily see when others add to it.
That’s it. Sure, it may not be the most polished and sophisticated digital product in the world. Nor does it push deep into Learning 2.0 territory. But it fits the bill for this situation, and it took only a small amount of time and effort to do more than the standard conference call.
Might be something to try with you organization or company.
Hedgehog & Fox