Tuesday, 11 October 2011

What would you cut 3.0?

Update 21/10/2011

They got back to me with the cost of this video:

This single video cost £9950 and has had 1330 views, it cost £7 per view. The content of the video is described by occ as:

"This film details the excellent transport planning that Oxfordshire County Council has previously implemented (Park & Ride, the 'Hamburger' Roundabout) as well as some of the challenges that the council faces over the coming decades. The film has been made for a forthcoming Local Government Association conference."

Anyone who has used public transport in Oxfordshire or driven around the county will probably dispute the "excellent transport planning" that OCC sees fit to spend 10k on a video to boast to other councils about. This obviously bumps up the average cost of the videos and the estimated cost of the OCC youtube channel. I won't do the calculations but obviously if they are still making videos now then this pointless self promotion internally and to other councils via the pointless and costly Local Government Association is more important than social care and libraries.

I just received a partial response to my FOI on the costs of the Oxfordshire County Council You Tube Channel. To stay within the FOI limit I was only allowed the costs of ten videos of my choice. The ten videos I chose were:

  1. Turn It Up! Film Part 1
  2. The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury
  3. Lisa Michelson and Des Fitzgerald - Policy and Review officers
  4. John Jackson's introduction
  5. Transforming learning
  6. Volunteering in Oxfordshire
  7. Spinning the Wheel
  8. Climate Change
  9. Transport planning in Oxfordshire
  10. Oxfordshire County Council's Skills for Life case study

I will post the full FOI at the bottom, I'm just going to extrapolate the costs of the eight videos (Still waiting on costs for 7 and 9) and do some cost per video/cost per channel view statistics. OCC use one week out of 52 to do annual library visits so I think using 8 videos as a basis for the approximate costs of 95 videos is fair.

Of the 8 videos I have been given data for 3 were done externally for free by other bodies as minimal or zero cost to occ, this gives a percentage of 62.5% of the videos had a cost.

In some cases there were internal costs as well and for one of the examples they gave me a cost per hour of £19.3. I will have used this to map to the other examples where they gave me staffing hours but not costs.

Here are the figures, it is worked out on the five videos that have a cost, and the percentage of costs/non-costs videos extrapolated to the entire channel:

Obviously this is extrapolated data from a sample of around 10%. Without the full costs it is impossible to know the exact figure. I think it gives a good indication though, each video they pay for costs thousands, very few people watch them and 62.5 percent of the videos are paid for by Oxfordshire taxpayers.

This hasn't been cut by the way, the spending is still ongoing, they are still uploading videos. The last one was six days ago:

Strategic Joint Committee Toolkit

This video has had 10 views (two of them were me!) and is ten minutes long. It asks the question "why do schools have to work in partnership" and features the Education Transformation Manager and the School Governance and Accountability Manager talking about schools working in partnership. I have a couple of great ideas just on this one video:

  1.  Send the headteachers the words you are speaking and the pictures on the video on bits of paper or via email, they can read
  2. The two managers should focus more on the failing schools rather than filming videos.
This video came out recently and may have cost nothing to OCC, and indeed some of the other videos have actual merit, The building a sandbag wall, making a complaint, becoming a councillor.

But I'm sorry but there is little cost benefit from most of these videos, they have been made at great expense to the taxpayer and nobody is watching them. I know what I would cut.

Here are a couple of examples of videos on youtube that actually get watched and have merit in my opinion:

Keith annoying the students:

Keith talks about democracy! And it shows him with the picture of Maggie on his desk watching over him

And a tip to OCC on youtube videos and getting views:

Include funny cats:

Seriously watch the cat video, its what you tube is for and if it doesn't make you laugh then you are dead.

Here is the link to the FOI on the videos:


Remember if they don't cut libraries they have to cut adult social care, Keith said so.

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