Count me in on the streaming live video front now.
As the McCain/Palin ticket graced the fringes of the Twin Cities metro on Friday I had a unique opportunity to witness some of it live. Not in person, not on the television, and not on a mainstream media news site. Instead, it was on www.theuptake.org.
The Uptake is an aggregation of citizen journalists, using a central site for coordination and distribution. We can now say that citizen journalism is nothing new. However, the critical difference is now that technology allows them to stream live video from their compatible devices [ a hacked iPhone in the clip I viewed, as the cameraman described it to an interviewee. ]
These streams are available on theuptake.org live as they happened, and also in archived form after the fact. They use the service Qik for the live video back-end, and blip.tv for archived/produced pieces.
I have been aware of the technology since Qik’s release, but thought that it might be an answer looking for a question. The tech itself seemed sound enough, but the missing link to me was in notification to potential viewers. How would people that wanted to see the video know to visit The Uptake to partake?
The answer was now simple, as it was how I found out. One of my Twitter followers, @noahkunin, is a correspondent for The Uptake. He sent out tweets that preceded the event, and while it took place.
Now, the picture is complete. The tech to harness the moment live to teh Internets is in place, an aggregator like The Uptake is in place to coordinate the coverage, and, a suitably viral method to notify people about it is also in place. The archive in is place; it is the last and oldest piece.
What does this mean?
It means that now things will be covered in a way that they haven’t yet been covered. Citizen journalists are not only equiped with a phone/camera/video camera in their pocket; now they are packing what is just shy of a complete news studio. And that is a big deal.