All good, but…
“People don’t do online/written form communication here” is a refrain I have heard since I started doing online engagement in 2007. It is always true, for some value of “people”. But we are edgeryders: we do embrace the power of collaboration, and are ready to invest in it. At the same time, we accept that not everyone is an edgeryder: anyone can join us, but not everyone will. If people are not motivated enough to sit down and write, well, that’s it then. We probably could never shoulder the cost of communicating with them anyway, so it is unlikely that we could ever do much together.
All that said, I am prepared to cut a lot of slack to people involved in disaster relief. Now it is not the time to be demanding that people sit down and write careful blog posts.
However, I am very reluctant to agree to video. Here’s why: if we have to transcribe stuff, the costs of ethnography go right back up to what they were before online ethno kicked in. You risk using the effort of the engagement managers to acquire video, that then @meenabhatta cannot code unless someone spends many hours transcribing them. We have no budget for that kind of stunt.
So. In “the other #futuremakers” (Armenia, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Morocco, Ukraine) we will be asking engagement managers to (1) ideally get people involved in great projects at the edge to post about them themselves; (2) if that does not work, to act as journalists, do an interview with them and post the results. This is not so far from what happened in the LOTE4 Stewardship Case Studies: people like @Lauren and @mariabyck – and also more occasional contributors like @ElaMi5 – acted as “community journalists”, reporting in writing on other people’s projects. These reports (except Maria’s, upon her request) were then coded into the ethnographic report.
Would this work for you? You can still do video as a way to engage people, just make it clear they won’t be transcribed. If someone has something to say, they have to write. Writing in Nepali – or sending emails – is ok.