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

From the latin phrase for voice of the peopleVox 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.


Listen to the example listed with this Challenge or a few more below.

While these examples are done as video, can give you a sense of the pacing of this type of recording.

Doing a One Question Challenge

  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 aspect of a course, 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, you will want to make a single recording that does not 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 ask the question, so you pick up just your subject’s response

You can use any audio recording device. On laptop computer or desktop with a microphone you can record directly into recording software you may have such as Audacity (free, open source). On Windows you can use the built on Voice Recorder app; on an Apple Computer, you can record audio in QuickTime Movie Player. Most smart phones have some kind of voice/audio recorder built in or that can easily installed. And you can use browser based one such as Twistedwave Online.

The main feature is to be able start a recording, pause, continue, and then finish to create a single sound file that you can then export and post online.

There are quite a few places you can post audio to share. Our suggestion is  SoundCloud — if you use a SoundCloud URL in the response form, it will display as an embedded media player. You could also store your audio as a shared item in a DropBox account, or opload to Google Drive so you have a URL than can be submitted as a response below.


Example for "One Question (or Vox Populi) Audio Interviews":

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After you do this make, please share it so it can appear with other responses below. If your response exists at a public viewable URL, you can add the information directly to this site.

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

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