Cam On! - en analyse af webcams anvendelighed til asynkron diskussion i en videoblog

Michael Harsvik, Peter Vindelin & Tue Pedersen

Studenteropgave: Masterprojekt


YouTube has set a new standard on the internet. 2,500 videos are uploaded every hour and videos produced using a webcam account for a major part of this growth. Now people can communicate with one another through this media. This ‘video explosion’ has initiated our project. This thesis focuses on whether an asynchronous video debate in a blog can be meaningful for a group of university students in Denmark. The basic assumption is that an asynchronous video debate will change both form and content in a blog. While the video appearance on the inter-net exploded in 2005 it still remains to be seen whether video used in a deliberative, interac-tive way can expand the public sphere by using video as a media for debate. By using webcam and microphone in a blog debate the individuals have to negotiate both risks and opportunities in the process. The tool – a videoblog – is unknown to the participants and they have to adapt to the new media. In this investigation we put seven high-school students together in a video-blog and initiated a debate about their personal limits for appearing on the internet and in videos. To analyse whether the video debate makes sense to the participants we have drawn on Brenda Dervin's “sense-making approach”, and her description of how people struggle to make sense by identifying gaps and building bridges by using help. In her view every communication and statement is socially constructed by the individual in his or her attempt to make sense of the specific communication. At the same time any communication takes place in a context. By using Brenda Dervin and Poul Dourish‘ definition of context we identify three significant aspects of context to be used in our analysis: The Social context, the physical context, and the technological context. The university students participating in our investigation can be labelled digital natives and are therefore suited for this investigation. They are used to receiving information really fast, and they appreciate parallel processing and multitasking. According to Marc Prensky they prefer graphics to text rather than the opposite. According to Danish scientist Morten Bay they will use any media to achieve a common objective – networking. The investigation in our videoblog takes place during four days in March 2007 in which period the participants upload 19 videos. It soon becomes evident that the participants take control and launch new themes – regardless of the theme we have chosen for them. They use our blog to network and they negotiate the context, the conventions for the use of the technology and the linguistic conventions for the debate. They end up discussing how to meet new friends af-ter a longer debate on how to behave on the blog, whether they should be polite or risk being themselves. The context has changed. We conclude that the videoblog is highly meaningful to the participants. Apart from the nego-tiation mentioned above, they link to each others’ statements in a convincing manner and ask other participants for help when discussion seems difficult to follow. They progress by calling one another by name and by including their own experience in the debate. At the same time context changes before the webcam. Initially the person in focus looks down on notes and papers but he or she progresses by looking into the camera, using shorter and more personal comments. New conventions for using video for debates are revealed. Our investigation shows that an asynchronous video debate in a blog can be meaningful and that it is possible to make sense in at debate even if participants do not know one another and even if the technological media is a webcam.

UddannelserMaster i Netbaseret Kommunikation (MCC), (Masteruddannelse) Master
Udgivelsesdato9 jun. 2007


  • Asynkron kommunikation
  • sense making
  • diskussionsforum
  • konktekst
  • netværksdannelse
  • networking
  • video
  • blog
  • rich media
  • Lev Manovitch
  • asynchronous video debate
  • forum
  • webcam
  • lyd
  • Poul Dourish
  • context
  • Brenda Derwin