Sponsored by the city of Seattle, Puget SoundOff is a youth-run, cause-based, social-networking website that encourages youths from 13-21 to express themselves in a public forum, and video is a dominant medium in the forum that is Puget SoundOff.
On Puget SoundOff’s homepage there is a list of 13 issues ranging from animal rights to government and politics to ending violence that the teen viewers are encouraged to express their opinions on. A visitor to the website who clicks on any of those issues will likely find a video on the subject.
Some of the videos are designed to draw attention to an everyday problem, such as “Transportation in the Vista” in which a teen waiting for public transportation at a bus shelter is bothered by trash littering the shelter. He proceeds to clean it up.
While “Transportation in the Vista” tells a definite story, most of the videos are not as complex. Many of the videos are of young people simply sharing their opinions on a subject, such as on the schools they attend, or the effects of smoking in their community.
But there are also deeply personal videos, such as “My Granny” by Yazmine Mobley, who goes by Yazzy Mob, in which she tells of the ways she feels respected by her grandmother.
Because Puget SoundOff provides a place for youth to express their ideas and feelings about social issues, education channel officials, as well as school video producers, should look to the website as an example of how to get youth to use video to say something.
For showing what teens can do with video, Puget SoundOff is Government Video’s Website of the Week.
Click here to access the website.