Create a montage of different voices/people answering the same question.

From the latin phrase for voice of the people, Vox Populi (sometimes called “Man on the Street” interviews) is an effective way to introduce multiple perspectives into an issue or topic by asking the same question to a variety of people.

The key is to form a question that allows for a wide variety of answers, one that also is not a simple “yes/no” response. Include an aspect of why in the question or as a follow-up by you as an interview. Frame or ask it as well so it can be answered quickly; the idea is to create a montage of responses. It works well if you can do this in a public space where there is a mix of people. Be sure to explain what you are doing before recording a stranger, so they have an opportunity to decline to participate.

Examples

Listen to the example listed with this Challenge. Others that may give you an idea, although done as video, can give you a sense of the pacing of this type of recording.

Doing a One Question Challenge

The recording app we suggest using for this challenge is:

With this app you should make sure you save the sounds to a location where listeners can hear them them via a URL. Our suggestion is to use the option to save the audio to  SoundCloud — if you use a SoundCloud URL in the response form, it will display as an embedded media player.

  1. Try to think of a question that is open ended enough. Conjecture about other times or places can work as well as people “what is the best/worst” of some kind of experience, a favorite team/sport/food, or quizzing people on something that may not be widely known.
  2. Find 3-8 people you can pose the question to. When you record on your iPad, you will want to make a single recording that doe snot need to be edited together, so include the question with the first subject, record their response, and press pause. For subsequent response, start the recording after you answer the question.
  3. Publish your final audio to SoundCloud, a Public Drop Box, or Google Drive so you have a URL than can be submitted as a response below.

Example for "One Question (or Vox Populi) Audio Interviews":
https://soundcloud.com/moo-cow/where-would-you-like-to-wake

Complete This Challenge

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Resources for this Challenge

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46 Responses Completed for this Challenge

2 Resources for this Challenge

  • You Can Do Man On The Street Interviews Like a Pro (Alan Levine, @cogdog)

    Tips for doing person on the street interviews from Watchdog Wire a site that promotes citizen journalism.

  • Fifty People One Question (Alan Levine, @cogdog)

    Fifty People One Question is an ongoing social experiment and film series exploring human connections through people and place. The project began in New Orleans in 2008 and has since traveled across the globe, touching millions of viewers. Along the way, the films have captured a small slice of humanity; to discover dreams, losses, reflections, stories and secrets, some shared and some completely unrepeatable.

Creative Commons License
This work by Alan Levine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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