Videots

Page 7 of the Town of Aurora’s 2014 Strategic Plan Report Card (CAO14-005) states that the Town is “On Target” in “identifying new formats, methods and technologies to effectively and regularly engage the community”. It specifically cites “General Committee meetings are currently streamed on the internet”:

Anyone looking to watch the stream of last night’s General Committee meeting was greeted with this:

The entire roll-out of streaming General Committee meetings has been inconsistent at best. A multitude of glitches in delivering reliable streaming are often chalked up to technical difficulties instead of addressing the human factor in having someone responsible for flipping the switch and verifying the stream is live.

Back in March I touched on the subject and noticed the piss-poor job was spilling over into the archive of videos the town was posting to their YouTube Channel: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/streaming-piles/

When visiting said YouTube Channel last night to see if any improvements had been made I noticed a series of 7 talking head videos published back in May.

It is surprising to see content like this appear on the channel as previously the town has claimed that they lack capacity to create it. Back in March of Last year I wrote a post about a unnecessary and out of date video the town spent $2,500 on:
https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/price-glamour-inaction/

The video received around 500 views (not unique) and when I inquired about it I was told that the town’s communication department delivered this as one of their “Special Projects” which they have a $10,000 line item for in their budget.

So the question now is how much was spent for this series of 7 videos, and was council consulted with before/during or after their creation?

It is hared to understand the rationale behind creating such lifeless and uninspiring video pieces that effectively play out like someone videotaping a boring powerpoint presentation.

This is information by way of the budget process which is also videotaped, luckily by Rogers who can be counted on for significantly more reliable streaming service than what the town delivers.

Who would willingly click on these videos and watch them through to the end is anyone’s guess, but given that the town will have the ability to capture these metrics it should be interesting to learn who, how and when they were viewed.

If some of the intent is to put a face and a name with the operations of the town then one question I have with respect to the video for the Town’s Bylaw Services video is why would anyone approve the inclusion of a slide showing the position to be vacant:

Or how about a slide that claims under the main objectives for Leisure Services to be the management and display of the “Aurora Historical Society Collection”:

Um, no. The Town is not responsible for the management and display of anything to do with the Aurora Historical Society’s collections. The Town is responsible for its own Museum & Archives that thankfully it owns due to a great deal of neglect on behalf of aforementioned Historical Society.

But perhaps the most noticeable error I found was to do with the main objectives for the Infrastructure & Environmental Services department. Read #1:

These videos were published in May, 3 months after council voted not to implement a clear bag program.

If it is the practice of the Town to “only communicate approved items”, as pointed out in Clr. Thompson’s motion back in April: https://wattstrending.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/rules-of-disengagement/ then how exactly did town staff approve this video that contains disinformation?

These videos may meet the criteria of “increasing a social media presence” but it’s a hard sell to claim that at an average viewing around 50 views per video that they are effectively engaging the community.

Only an idiot wrestling with how to achieve said engagement would make a concentrated effort fully expecting a different outcome.

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