For the fourth year in a row, security company Trend Micro is sponsoring the “What’s Your Story” competition designed to encourage young people from the United States and Canada to submit videos that answer the question: “What does the good side of the Internet look like?” Videos should be short (between 30 seconds and two minutes) and can be produced using virtually any type of equipment, including cell phone cameras.
Contestants are encouraged to “tell us the good stuff you (and others) are doing … whether it’s connecting in kind ways, staying safe, keeping good reputations, doing cool things, being smart about cell phone cameras, or making a difference — for just one person or many.”
There are two grand prizes and four runners-up. One individual filmmaker and one school or classroom that collaborates on a video each win $10,000. Two runner up individuals get $1,000 each and two schools get $1,000 each.
The contest is funded by security company Trend Micro (which helps support ConnectSafely.org, the nonprofit Internet Safety organization where I serve as co-director) and is co-sponsored by several companies and organizations, including Meetme, Tumblr, Family Online Safety Institute, 3BL Media and the Identity Theft Resource Center.
Judges select from a group of finalists and finalists are determined, in part, by ratings from the public based on online viewing before the judges’ meeting.
“It’s designed this way to encourage peer to peer messaging and it’s important these messages resonate with other young people,” said Lynette Owens, who coordinates the project for Trend Micro. Contestants are encouraged to promote, embed and link to their entries using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google (GOOG)+ other media “to showcase a positive use of social media,” said Owens.
Having judged previous contests, I can tell you that originality and creativity are more important than production values, though that counts, too. Material must be original and all elements — including background music — must respect others’ intellectual property rights and shouldn’t include any inaccurate information. We’ve disqualified some entries for quoting statistics that came from unreliable sources.
Entries, which must be submitted by April 16th, will be posted to the Web and can be viewed and ranked by the public until April 30th. A summary of the contest rule are here.
This post is adapted from a column that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News