Two-Minute Engagement

A recent piece in University Affairs profiles Toronto lawyer Arshia Tabrizi and his academic community engagement start-up, Vidoyen. The name, the article explains, blends “video” and “doyen.” But I’m not sure how many Deans, if any, are on the roster: The site does, though, boast “academics, scholars, experts and thought leaders.”

The site features two-minute video mini-expositions falling in a range of categories. In a quick look through the categories, I don’t see any law professors or practitioners, other than Mr. Tabrizi himself. The slate of advisors includes Former Mayor David Miller and David Cohn, the Director of News at the fine news-gathering app Circa.

It seems the goal of Vidoyen is to connect academics with the community, for all of the good reasons that exist to do that. Given the medium of video, the crossovers with MOOCs and the like are evident. The divergence is in the style: the brevity of the Vidoyen product connects it to social media—not quite Vine, but definitely not Khan Academy. “TED talks meets Twitter,” Mr. Tabrizi says.

Vidoyen has its sphere, for now, of academics in various disciplines. But I wonder about the potential value of a two-or-so-minute portable video blog format, as a community engagement tool for law professors, or perhaps lawyers.

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