I wasn’t too sure about this project at first. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all good with the creative aspect and the idea of inhabiting someone else’s life actually inspired a few interesting story ideas that I tucked away for future use. But in this case, it was the technological part of this that made me nervous. I have absolutely zero experience with Periscope and was concerned about letting people actually view my life for any period of time. (I know other people seem to have no problem with that, but it’s not exactly my thing). In reality, it turned out that my fears were (somewhat) justified when it turned out that the creative part was by far the most fun and the actual process of getting the posting together and up on the site was far more painful than I would have thought (and admittedly more difficult than it probably should have been).
Meeting with my group was a good way to kick off the project. I had initially thought about creating an ad that would offer the lurfer an opportunity (“swapportunity”) to be a child again. I had a vision of me riding my bike down a hill in the sunshine when I was 10 or 12 and feeling like there was simply no weight on my shoulders. No responsibilities, none of the pressures that would come later in life. Enticing right? However, in discussing that with my group I initially thought a classmate was doing something similar. And then when she switched, I felt like perhaps others on Air-B-N-Me would do it. I haven’t come across a similar idea on the site. Oh well. During our discussion, Melissa talked about giving some insight into what it was like to do her job as a waitress and I decided to take one of the unusual aspects of my job and make it the subject of my swapportunity. Thus, I decided on PreDawnDriver and gave people the chance to ride with me (instead of me?) to work at 4am from the Jersey shore all the way into NYC. The pitch? Enjoy a quiet commute with no traffic and no one bothering you – just you, the moon and the empty road. Creating the ad was easy and I accomplished it without difficulty. I created the video over the course of a few trips and then cut it together with Windows MovieMaker, added sound and posted it to YouTube. The problem was that I could not figure out how to post the video. I could see other people’s video links under their own posts. But when I tried to add to my forum posts I got this.
Error 404 – Not Found
The document you are looking for may have been removed or re-named. Please contact the web site owner for further assistance.
I tried a couple of different routes. I went back to the original instructions here. Nothing under settings. Clicking on Content under my account just took me back to the main swapportunities page. Nothing. I even tried to switch from Google Chrome to Firefox. Still couldn’t figure it out. I even reached out to Melissa to see if I had to sign up for Periscope and that I had simply misunderstood the directions. She said no, I simply had to create the ad and put in the URL for the YouTube video. But how do I do it???
After probably an hour over a series of sessions, I finally figured it out. Go to Forum Posts, then to the available listings under the Forums Index and I had to crate a New Topic. Problem is, this wasn’t intuitive to me. I couldn’t see what forum I was posting in. It didn’t say anything about the ad. Why not at least put a NEW button on the page with all the other Forum Posts. Or label a button New Posting. I wasn’t even sure where my post would wind up until I actually posted it and saw that it had (to my relief) shown up where everyone else’s had.
I also took some time to look at other people’s ads and found them creative and interesting for the most part. I will give a shoutout to our classmate Colin for an exceptional post. I also check out this post and this post and commented on both. Some of the others seemed like people simply mailing it in (so to speak) – shooting something, anything for 30 seconds and posting it. I wonder if in the next incarnation of this, we push people to videotape the wildest, most fascinating and unusual moments for people to “swap” with. It would take a bit of a change in the narrative behind the project, but might make for interesting results (and could prove to have more of a life beyond a classroom project.) All in all, I enjoyed Air B-N-Me – I thought it was a very creative idea nd I enjoyed taking part -just would have done the site a little bit differently.