TSDIGS Event Followup Interview with Buffy Beale!


genesis Zhangsun: Hey Buffy!
Buffy Beale: Hi Hi HI
genesis Zhangsun: so this is Bridges! The colors match your outfit, in a good way!
Buffy Beale: lol sorry it took so long to get together
Buffy Beale: I tend to lean towards bright and cheery πŸ™‚
Buffy Beale: so this is our office, I purposely built it not to look like real life
Buffy Beale: but kind of dreamy
Buffy Beale: and bright to attract visitors
genesis Zhangsun: yes indeed it really does get the imagination going πŸ™‚
genesis Zhangsun: I definitely appreciate the effort to keep it from looking like a real world office
genesis Zhangsun: so how has your experience been like with NPC?
Buffy Beale: life changing
Buffy Beale: yes in that I have connected with like-minded people from all over the globe
Buffy Beale: and we share a common interest in the good in life for all
Buffy Beale: becasue we meet every week, I see some of these avatars more than I did when I worked
Buffy Beale: (I retired early yay!)
genesis Zhangsun: congrats!
Buffy Beale: so have built friendships I never would have imagined
Buffy Beale: but more to the point is the awareness for my nonprofit, Bridges
Buffy Beale: the opportunity to tell our story has been just amazing
genesis Zhangsun: so what types of outlets for raising awareness for your organization have you had access to through NPC?
Buffy Beale: many
Buffy Beale: first of all, we all get to tell about our nonprofits at the weekly meeting, one each week
Buffy Beale: then was the publicity about us joining, two years ago, had a 1/2 page spread in our newspaper as well as the Cdn Fundraiser online zine
Buffy Beale: and a few other lessor publications
Buffy Beale: then I connected with 4 other nonprofits for a joint project we’re working on for homeless called “Transitions, A Place for Dreams”
Buffy Beale: where two of our Bridges students will be able to take a university course on business skills
Buffy Beale: once we get the funding that is
genesis Zhangsun: wonderful! The TechSoup Digital Storytelling event must have also been another great outlet, especially considering your honorable mention award! Congratulations
Buffy Beale: yes!
Buffy Beale: I am still dancing on a cloud for that
Buffy Beale: two reasons, personally a real validation that I am creative, I’ve been feeling a little blue these past few months, a 25 yr breakup in process so needed the boost
Buffy Beale: but best of all, the link to our web site on the TechSoup community page
Buffy Beale: that is something
Buffy Beale: and it just felt good to be in the winners circle with all those wonderful orgs as well
Buffy Beale: I felt so excited and proud, and for those who have never tried second life it’s hard to explain
Buffy Beale: how thrilling it was to have my friends there cheer for me
Buffy Beale: when the announcement came
Buffy Beale: I may of well have been standing accepting an oscar or something πŸ™‚
genesis Zhangsun: πŸ™‚
genesis Zhangsun: that is so great! Could you tell me a little bit about how you got introduced to the event and became inspired to contribute?
Buffy Beale: sure
Buffy Beale: I’m on the NPC management team, and at one of our phone conferences, Susan brought it up
Buffy Beale: she was so excited about it, and I couldn’t help but be as well
Buffy Beale: then came the announcement at our weekly meeting
Buffy Beale: and I realized it wasn’t about the prizes, it was about learning how to use this as a tool for Bridges Communication strategy
Buffy Beale: so I decided right then to submit something
Buffy Beale: I attended all the webinars, and learned so much
Buffy Beale: especially some of the ways to get the word out
Buffy Beale: I couldn’t use GoldMail because I’m on a Mac, but that was my first choice to try
Buffy Beale: then they had a full session on Machinima, which I’ve always been interested in
Buffy Beale: InKenzo and Rhiannan and one of my favs, Drax
Buffy Beale: shared their knowlege and offered to help and answer questions
genesis Zhangsun: Could you say a little bit more about why digital storytelling seemed like a compelling way to tell your story?
Buffy Beale: sure
Buffy Beale: I think it’s the new way to reach an audience
Buffy Beale: and is important to practice having it simple and to the point
Buffy Beale: and because we are a very small nonprofit, but have huge potential to go global I can see this will help us in the future
Buffy Beale: because the audience we will reach will spare the 60 secs to learn about us
Buffy Beale: but it does take practice, unless of course you hire a pro
Buffy Beale: which the normal nonprofit cant afford
Buffy Beale: so its just the new way and keeping current to reach the next generation I believe
Buffy Beale: the ones who don’t read newspapers or magazines, but pour over the Internet
Buffy Beale: this make sense?
genesis Zhangsun: which is pretty much everyone πŸ™‚
Buffy Beale: everyone under 30 for sure
genesis Zhangsun: yes absolutely, so what tools were your favorites?
Buffy Beale: I would have loved to try the machinima and will do for my next one
Buffy Beale: but I didn’t have the right tools, or the time to learn them so decided on the photos
Buffy Beale: after realizing GoldMail wouldn’t work for me
Buffy Beale: but I really liked the challenge to keep it within 5 photos to tell our story
Buffy Beale: that is hard to do, how to explain we train women who have been abused? but keep a positive message
Buffy Beale: so I think my fav tool right now is the photo challenge
Buffy Beale: because it’s easier to tell the story in moving images perhaps, but the photo’s give food for thought
genesis Zhangsun: so you used flickr to upload your pictures and share them?
Buffy Beale: yes, I had a flickr account but didn’t use it much
Buffy Beale: I also opened a YouTube account and practiced uploading a video before I realized I wouldn’t have time
Buffy Beale: and the main message I got from the training were to understand who my audience will be, and what message I want to leave them with
Buffy Beale: I wrote up a simple storyline, and sent it to the board for their approval
Buffy Beale: one agreement I made about being in SL was all communication would be approved
Buffy Beale: which is standard for us anyways
Buffy Beale: but we are restricted in what we can post, student photos etc
genesis Zhangsun: so in your case your audience is women who have been abused, is that correct or is there a broader audience? and what would you say was the message you wanted to convey?
Buffy Beale: Yes, I chose to speak to potential clients and the message was they can have help to change their life by graduating from our program
Buffy Beale: I say potential because we have a line-up, but are hoping to get our on-line program up and running again, which gives us unlimited space almost
Buffy Beale: funny enough, I worked for hours doing a powerpoint slide presentation type
Buffy Beale: using words, no photos
Buffy Beale: thats when I realized, lol, it’s not about the words, it’s about the image
genesis Zhangsun: well the pictures clearly did the job, a picture is worth a thousand words right? And I think you definitely were able to get your message across amazingly in 5 shots http://www.flickr.com/photos/dreampondercreate/sets/72157622491030305/
genesis Zhangsun: (for readers)
Buffy Beale: yes I think it helped having a ‘theme’
Buffy Beale: so there I was, two days before deadline
Buffy Beale: and was coming up with a blank because as I said we can only post limited photos
Buffy Beale: so I decided to grab some of the photos here in our office
Buffy Beale: the students or the classroom, and was just going to put them together to get something in
Buffy Beale: when a light went off
Buffy Beale: hahaha
Buffy Beale: I could build a ‘set’ and take SL photos
Buffy Beale: and the rest just came easy
genesis Zhangsun: the event as you know took place on several different platforms
genesis Zhangsun: webinars, the TS Forums, twitter in reporting the action, and Second Life for the mixed reality finale, it also utilized tools as we have mentioned like flickr, youtube, picasa, real talk, goldmail, adobe, photobucket, shutterfly, machinima, snapfish, and tinypic
genesis Zhangsun: how did you feel these different mediums and tools worked together in making this event useful/interesting for participants
genesis Zhangsun: particularly the SL mixed media event where you were awarded your prize from inworld!
Buffy Beale: I think using a variation of platforms was critical to the success factor
Buffy Beale: not everyone uses second life, so that was only good for those who are here
Buffy Beale: the webinairs were so valuable especially the ability to ask questions in real time to the presentors
Buffy Beale: and the presentations were all so well done and informative, I’m so happy I attended
Buffy Beale: and the idea to use photos or a video expanded the potential submissions I believe
Buffy Beale: not everyone us comfortable making a movie, but most have use of a dig camera
Buffy Beale: so that was important as well to include the smaller orgs
Buffy Beale: the mixed reality event was not new to me, but I think it really came across to the folks attending in real life
Buffy Beale: that there is a whole world in here, of very dedicated people
Buffy Beale: and it was in my mind, a very successful competition
Buffy Beale: in that I learned so much about other orgs I’ve never heard about
Buffy Beale: and they mine
Buffy Beale: and I think next year will be somehting to really look forward to
genesis Zhangsun: what was one organization that you had never really heard about before and connected with through the Challenge?
Buffy Beale: thats a tough one, I think Kramden for sure
genesis Zhangsun: either directly or with the message of the org
genesis Zhangsun: Yes they were wonderful! http://www.kramden.org/
Buffy Beale: my favourite was the Pelican one
Buffy Beale: yes thats it sorry forgot the name
Buffy Beale: the other was the global how to create peace message
genesis Zhangsun: connecting students with computers and other digital technology
Buffy Beale: yes
genesis Zhangsun: oh yes that was wonderful too
Buffy Beale: but there were so many both amateur and professionally done that were amazing
genesis Zhangsun: and in the end 56 Flickr stories, 47 YouTube/Goldmail, For a grand total of 103 stories
Buffy Beale: I believe we must stay current with technology if we are to reach the next generation
genesis Zhangsun: in general too those users have short attention spans, so a 60 second video or a five photo spread is really all people will take the time to look at
Buffy Beale: yes and really, it is sufficient although I had my doubts in the beginning I dont have any now
genesis Zhangsun: haha that came off sounding harsh that facebook users have short attention spans πŸ™‚
Buffy Beale: nooo they do πŸ™‚ anyone on the internet now does
genesis Zhangsun: what I mean is that in general in this age we are all bombarded with information so it really does count how well the information is presented
genesis Zhangsun: yes exactly
Buffy Beale: started with the remote control capability on the tv πŸ™‚
genesis Zhangsun: well wonderful Buffy!
genesis Zhangsun: thanks!
Buffy Beale: my pleasure for sure
Buffy Beale: one last thing
genesis Zhangsun: oh sure
Buffy Beale: when I said the NPC changed my life, it is true
Buffy Beale: I joined SL to investigate for an org I worked for, and almost left given the seedy side
Buffy Beale: and little interest from my org (provincial government)
Buffy Beale: then happened upon someone with techsoup group
Buffy Beale: and wrote a thank you note, they have saved Bridges
Buffy Beale: we train women to return to work, imagine trying that on old software
Buffy Beale: and then Glitter invited me to join the nPC which was just starting
Buffy Beale: I convinced the board we should try it (believing it could be the future)
Buffy Beale: and it has been so rewarding for Bridges, and for me
Buffy Beale: thats it, just a huge thank you to Susan and Megan and the team at TechSoup for this opportunity
Buffy Beale: I learned recently U of Texas bought 50 sims and will soon offer real classes
Buffy Beale: and I know
Buffy Beale: Bridges Online program will have a place here someday too
Buffy Beale: and it’s becasue of TechSoup that this will be possible
Buffy Beale: πŸ™‚
genesis Zhangsun: πŸ™‚
genesis Zhangsun: that is such a great story Buffy
genesis Zhangsun: thanks for sharing it with me

Written by: Genesis