Alister Cameron // Blogologist

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Mobile livecasting is going to kill the 6:00pm news

2085629343 7706c8b2c5 m Mobile livecasting is going to kill the 6:00pm newsWell, I’m not sure if it’s going to kill it completely, but think about this…

Ingredients

  • 3G/HSDPA mobile phone broadband
  • A mobile/cell phone with a 2+ megapixel camera
  • Installed software and an account with qik.com or similar
  • An eye for something interesting to shoot

Recipe

  • Bring ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix and set aside for just a few years (to let every the technology and adoption rates reach, say, every second person with a mobile phone).
  • Take small fistfuls of mixture at a time, shaping each into a mobile phone
  • Distribute around the Western world, India, China, etc

Serving Suggestion

  • Serve most liberally in cities (like LA) where the traditional media is most concentrated… watch them weep as they’re always beaten to the “scene” by citizens with cell phones, uploading live to ustream, qik, and soon youtube (of course!).

Seriously now…

Imagine the earthquake in China this week. Imagine the same event in just a few years time, when cell phone usage is so ubiquitous, along with 3G/HSDPA and live streaming video functionality…

Imagine emergency workers digging like crazy trying to find survivors. Now, assuming the cell network is not destroyed, what if trapped survivors have videos and can broadcast their location and surrounds. One of the big issues with digging people out is not just finding them but assessing their conditions properly, and not risking the lives of the emergency crews too.

Or imagine that police bashing that was caught on camera by a helicopter TV crew earlier in the week (or was it last week?). Imagine the same event, but the footage is picked up by half-a-dozen onlookers, livecasting from their mobile phones.

This is not a fantasy! This is real and it’s happening right now among (very) early adopters. Take, for example this guy using qik to livecast this conference.

Now, there’s no way qik won’t get bought out soon enough by (probably) Google, or possibly Facebook. Certainly Scoble is talking it up, Arrington uses it, and lots of people are having fun with it. It would make a powerful addition to the YouTube “arsenal”.

(Meanwhile, I’m sooking coz qik is only a Nokia S60 think at the moment, and I’m WM6. Sob.)

Prognosticating…

I have no idea where this livecasting thing is going to take us, but it’s very exciting. I am especially excited because I have always felt that, as passionate as I am about writing, the QWERTY keyboard has had a lot to answer for in terms of the way it has made blogging hard(er) for many people – myself included.

But now, if communicating by video becomes as simple and as seamless as making a phone call or sending an SMS, then we’re going to see a revolution. And not just communicating by video, but publishing by video… the livecasting way.

Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s why I’d love to see Facebook buy and “integrate” qik, or a similar service.

Chamath Palihapitiya, vice president of product marketing, described Facebook as “the next-generation platform of the Internet that can turn any ambitious entrepreneur (with the right application) into an overnight success.” He was of course talking about application developers building Facebook apps.

Now, if you do the research and read the stats, you’ll see that the most successful apps on Facebook are those which provide functionality and features which are the most natural “fit” for the Facebook “DNA”, which is all about social activity. That’s because Facebook is a social platform: it’s the platform and the plumbing to allow people to socialize, commune, share, interact, befriend and otherwise participate together online.

However, to my mind, so much of what happens on Facebook right now is, as I’ve already said, limited by the QWERTY keyboard. We send messages, write on walls, poke and pinch and punch and throw sheep, we mark up photos, we play Scrabble, we comment on things, and we add things (lots of things!). All very text-heavy and keyboard-heavy.

When vision catches up to text…

So imagine for a moment what the next few years are going to bring, if livestreaming is in the middle of it. Imagine a Facebook “social world” where vision is at least as easy to communicate via, as text.

Imagine Facebook where 50% of all user activity is via vision, not text. Or at the least, where both work hand-in-hand. Imagine a “default” setup for things on Facebook where it is assumed you’re on camera, as are the other participants.

Imagine if the messaging section of Facebook defaulted to video, because people find it easier to talk than type?! Of course, I can think of a lot of women (especially) who need two minutes of make-up time for every minute on camera, if they can bear to be in front of it at all… but we won’t go there!

Eyewitness News?!

It seems to me every 2nd city in the English speaking world has a TV station which calls it’s 6:00pm newcast “Eyewitness News”. The implication is, they were there and you weren’t. But what if you were?! What if no matter what they’re screening, someone else got there earlier, took better footage, and was on the inside of the story, with access the journalist can’t or won’t get?!

Television newsrooms are already relying more and more on cell phone footage for vision. They’re now advertising email addresses so you and I can send in our “eyewitness” mobile camera footage for their use. They can’t stop us recording the stuff and if it’s good they want it!

But we don’t have to give them the video to get it seen! And that’s the point. If you’ve been watching how people are using Twitter, you’ll see that when a big news story breaks (say the China earthquake), people are talking about it on Twitter (i.e. gathering the pieces of the “news story”) well before a word is mentioned on any “real” news network.

Now, of course the written word will never be replaced by video. You could never “digest” video as quickly as you can get through a page full of “tweets”. But that’s not the point.

Make a start!

The point is… actually I’m not sure what the point is. I just know we’re in a very exciting time! We are living in a time of absolutely amazing change, when the humble IP protocol is changing everything.

The one thing I’m sure of is that video won’t kill the Twitter star, and it probably won’t kill the TV News star either. But it will make stars out of a whole new group of people who could never have been “seen” before. It will make you a “star” with a very specific niche following, at least much more easily and effectively than ever before.

The age of the ultra-powerful TV network is almost over, to be replaced by millions of “channels” broadcasting live to small and dedicated followings within small and dedicated “niches”. So go get that 3G cell phone and start messing around with livestreaming. At least start testing vlogging, as I am about to.

(It’s a pathetic start, but I do have a channel on ustream tv.)

<plug> My buddy Eugene is the brains of online video. Check this out. </plug>

17 Comments

Note: Commenter website links are not no-followed, in case
you were wondering... I believe in rewarding commenters!

  1. Posted 6 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    Just with 3G/HSDPA mobile phone broadband plus with a 2+ mega pixel camera enough to kill 6 P.M news?This is the power of technology. Reading news about China disaster is causing a lot of heartache for everyone here. May God bless them.

  2. Posted 6 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    Nice insight. I really enjoyed that article. As communications become so simple and seamless, we won’t have to be home to get the news, that’s for sure.

  3. Posted 6 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    This is the first time I’ve heard of qik. First we have twitter with live text updates, then taking pictures and uploading it in our blogs, and now video.

    I believe its true that one day mobile livecasting will probably be more popular than the evening news.

  4. Posted 6 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    LOL! Very funny. @.@ Interesting way of introducing a new stuff. Too bad the 3G at my area is pretty expensive =/ And it doesn’t cover lots of area. Cheers and thanks though.

  5. Posted 6 years, 5 months ago // Permalink

    Interesting post,how you can post this kind of unique post,learn something new from you.

  6. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    I have honestly not started using qik, but have seen it done well. Once it starts supporting phones besides Nokia, I will begin to use it. Video holds so much for each and every niche industry out there, especially real estate. Can’t wait for the next wave to come!

  7. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Great insights with thorough analysis! You are right, that could probably happen but perhaps not too soon as 3G/HSDPA mobile phone broadband is not that cheap yet. And at this point of time, I still prefer getting my news feed from my trusted online newspaper because I only want to know those events/happenings that are big and worthy to know.

  8. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    good analysis on this! i’m going to agree with elvis. although now smart phones allow many features not able in the past, their prices are still steep. and also you have to subscribe for this service!

  9. Doug Rosbury
    Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    All that we do ought to be in behalf of our Heavenly Father.
    Why is it then that we ask for recognition of what is written in behalf of our own name?——Doug Rosbury

  10. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Doug, no problem with your sentiment… but I can’t connect it to the conversation… what is your point?

  11. Doug Rosbury
    Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    My point is, Why give credit to an individual personality and satisfy the false ego when, in fact, all things come from God?

  12. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Doug, I’m still not getting it. But you and I are probably not on the same wavelength anyway. You sound like you’re saying “Christians can’t speak in their own name. They can’t promote anyone but the Lord.” If so then… email me privately or something. This is not the forum for two Christians to have a “shop-talk” discussion.

  13. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    Im guessing you are from the states. We are so far behind. The Japanese are already at this stage. They love there gadgets, but hell they make most of them. :)

  14. Posted 6 years, 4 months ago // Permalink

    I guess it will come down to price abit on these things I have been surprised with the drop in price of memory sticks but ipods and phones though improving, memory still seems to be an issue and a costly one. No point blaming the companies for this as though the technology maybe advancing quickly they need to let products live there market life, release it, wait a year or two then release next one so everyone has brought one and then wants to update.

  15. Posted 6 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    As a Orwellophile, I can’t help but wonder if the government will have any need to monitor us soon. We seem to be doing a great job of monitoring ourselves.

    Perhaps the Orwellian concept of a compulsory TV will soon be replaced be a compulsory blog. I think Centrelink could adopt this technology already to monitor those on employement benefits.

    Parole officers would also have a far easier job.

  16. Posted 6 years, 2 months ago // Permalink

    Very very well written post. I think I should refer to your site more to learn writing skills.

  17. Posted 3 years, 3 months ago // Permalink

    I like the idea of this but im not sure the quality of the pictures from live streaming of mobile phones is really up to the job especially when you talk about youtube and the like , you see some real poor quality vids from some mobile phone uploads, but maybe the phones which are capable of this are higher quality mobiles, thanks for sharing

5 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. shoot Recipe Bring ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Mix and set aside for just a few years (to let every the technology and adoption rates reach, say, every second person with a mobile phone). Take small fistfuls of mixt Original post bysms – Google News

  2. caznikwrote an interesting post today on Here’s a quick excerpt Ingredients. 3G/HSDPA mobile phone broadband; A mobile/cell phone with a 2+ megapixel camera; Installed software and an account with qik.com or similar; An eye for something interesting to

  3. tech scene. Luckily this blog is just part of b5media’s tech channel, which features blogs on every imaginable aspect of well… tech. Let’s see how much time you’ll spend looking through all these: How Would You Improve RSS?Mobile livecasting is going to kill the 6:00pm newsMOTOZINE ZN5: a photographer’s ROKR Blogging’s Naked Truth The 1 Focal Length Weekend Challenge VoIPER: VoIP Exploit Research Toolkit Plurk Your Life Away: Twitter is SO OUT! [editor’s note: snap snap]

  4. tech scene. Luckily this blog is just part of b5media’s tech channel, which features blogs on each imaginable aspect of well… tech. Let’s see how much time you’ll spend looking through all these: How Would You Improve RSS?Mobile livecasting is going to kill the 6:00pm newsMOTOZINE ZN5: a photographer’s ROKR Blogging’s Naked Truth The 1 Focal Length Weekend Challenge VoIPER: VoIP Exploit Research Toolkit Plurk Your Life Away: Twitter is SO OUT! [editor’s note: snap snap]

  5. [...] Mobile livecasting is going to kill the 6:00pm news [...]

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