What I got out of the Video Per Day Experiment

When you accept a challenge with the intention of making positive change in yourself, sometimes you don’t know at the outset what that change will be. This was my case with the Video Per Day Experiment (#VPDExperiment). I knew it would be a change generator but I didn’t know what exactly that change would look like. It turns out the effects were bigger than I initially expected.

Here's a screenshot from the last #VPDExperiment I did on Day 30.
Here’s a screenshot from the last #VPDExperiment I did on Day 30. È finito.

Learning new technology tools

One of my primary goals of this experiment was to learn about the technology side of creating videos and posting them online. There wasn’t a curriculum or real guidance to the experiment, and this was intentional. The goal was to be as simple and uncomplicated as possible. However, along the way, the participants shared ideas and discoveries that made it easier to produce the videos, edit the videos, and post them to social media sites.

One thing I learned was that different social media sites have totally different ways of posting videos. For example, if you upload a video to Twitter on a mobile device, it will default to only upload the first 45 seconds of the video. You have to manually adjust the video to increase it longer than 45 seconds. I also learned that Twitter videos can’t be longer than 2 1/2 minutes. However, you can post the video to YouTube and then share the YouTube video on Twitter and the whole video will show up on Twitter.

Additionally, Twitter really likes square shaped videos, not long portrait shaped videos. If your video is not sized properly, the preview picture on Twitter will be cropped, and you can’t control how the crop is done (or at least I couldn’t).

There’s a lot more that I learned that I’m going to share in a post related to tips and tricks for #VPDExperiment participants.

Gaining confidence

It goes without saying that before this experiment, I was too scared to post a video to social media. I didn’t like the way my voice sounds and I just didn’t feel confident to post a video without people thinking I was just a big ole dork. This experiment forces you to take this fear by the horns and find a way to get past it. Like one of the mottoes of the experiment, get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Just like any other time when you conquer a fear, this confidence spills over into other aspects of you life. I was initially afraid to start this blog site, but gaining the confidence of writing on it helped give me the confidence to participate in the VPDExperiment. This experiment gave me the confidence to start posting more videos just as a different way to interact and share updates.

Getting to know other accounting professionals

The #VPDExperiment wasn’t explicitly limited to accounting professionals, however since it was lead by someone in the accounting profession, it turned out to be only accountants participating.  I already knew or was familiar with some of the participants, but there were many I had never met. As the 30 days went on, we all got to really know each other and support each other in our journey. Everyone approached the experiment differently and the different approaches helped us all learn something about ourselves and how to conquer fear and/or self-doubt.

Self discovery and other intangibles

One of the topics that came up in a number of the posts was the concept of conscious inclusion. This being a different aspect to diversity where you acknowledge bias, especially unconscious bias, exists and you’re consciously trying to overcome internal biases that you encounter. This grew out of the simple act of adding subtitles to our videos.

The first experimenter to do this was Megan Tarnow with this Day 2 post:

As the time went on, many of us started using online tools to add the captions. It started out as way to, as Megan puts it, “create more equitable content.” Doing this, I learned that a lot of videos on social media are actually watched while the device is on mute. This could be because the viewer isn’t able to hear or simple in a place where they can’t play the audio without disturbing others. Regardless of the reason, simply adding subtitles makes the video more accessible to more people. This follow-up post really sums up what I learned about diversity and inclusion:

But wait, there’s more. Adding the subtitles is one of the tips I want to explore in a separate post, but you actually learn A LOT about yourself when you start adding subtitles to your videos. You’re forced to listen closely to what you said so you can dictate it or use a program that will do this automatically for you (hint kapwing.com is your friend). You’ll start to learn how you speak and what your natural cadence is when you speak. This is really revealing. During the process, you’ll be aware of how much easier it is to follow what you’re saying when you speak slower and clearer. I started to learn that if you speak clear enough for the software to translate your words, then your viewers will also have an easier time following what you’re saying.

In the months since the VPDExperiment ended, we’ve had online discussions about other areas of diversity and inclusion which have been very inspiring. To me, these topics are important personally and professionally, so I have really enjoyed the community we created where we can share our ideas and learn from each other. One important thing I’ve learned is that we all make mistakes when it comes to inclusion, but it’s the thought and constant attempt to improve, that really counts. And, extend grace to yourself and others when mistakes happen.

For more information on this, I really encourage you to search the hashtag #InclusionWithoutAssimilation. 

A fun learning experience

I’ll leave you with a link to the first and last post that I did for the #VPDExperiment. Hopefully you’ll notice a little bit of improvement that I made along the way.

Day 1

 Day 30

Join the Next VPDExperiment

If anything in post inspires you to try out the Video Per Day Experiment, then you’re in luck. There is a new session starting on January 1, 2020. I think it’s a great way to start a new decade, and a new year, with a learning and fun experiment. You can contact Twyla Verhelst on Twitter or through this post:

For more information, you can check out my Video Per Day Experiment page with additional resources and information.