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Aha with live streaming | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Aha with live streaming

Picture 67

Picture 66

There’s very few days when traditional media isn’t under attack. Whether it’s news papers or magazines, radio, the entire music industry, film, tv, they’re all finding it difficult to evolve from their dna of yesteryear. It’s fascinating me to go through those aha moments when I realize how things were aren’t coming back. For getting my news it was seeing the headlines a night early before the paper went to press, than later on it was getting my headlines from Twitter with people I trust as opposed to an editor I didn’t know. For music it was trying to get multiple cd’s onto a player—so I bought a mini disc player, then it was about compressing multiple discs which is when the iPod came around and solved the file size issue. The drive for owning my own music was because I had little control over what the radio played considering how repetitive it was. Along came the iPhone and all the apps which has quickly evolved most of the medias I just mentioned. Last night it was live video streaming. The easier technology makes it for people to use something, the more likely a person is going to try it out and probably continue with something new. For me personally it was easier to go the US Open Tennis website and watch the match than to turn on my tv. That was a major moment for me, not because I watch a ton of tv but for seeing how dead my very large tv seemed. All my tv offered was a one way stream. Seeing the tennis match on my laptop I could click on some minor data points. I could see some player stats and read what others were up to. Nothing really new for online interaction, but putting that together with great quality video was enough to make the tv seem really dead.

While all that was going on I learned via twitter that the Communications Director for the White House was answering questions live on video stream, with the questions coming from people logged into Facebook. Whether you agreed on what was being said is up for debate, however the fact that there’s the apparent ability to talk back and forth is quite amazing. I only caught a couple minutes of that talk but we should all take a moment to pause and realize that it wasn’t that difficult to watch both the US Open, the live moderated discussion and get tweets from a different application talking about those same events.

The only catch with all this live content is how it’s archived, if at all. It is pretty damn tough to find old tweets of people you know and sort of remember mentioning, and if you can’t remember a key phrase for a search term it’s near impossible to find anything. And even if a site had the best ways to find archived video, the size constraints don’t exactly make it easy to store for years. That’s something I think might be missing from this type of discussion at the moment. Funny how print didn’t have that problem as much.

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  • Subbu

    The core is 'news'. How you deliver it – Newspapers, TV, Web etc – is a choice that media houses should make. The fact that they seem to be obsessed with the 'vehicle' is the reason for their decline. This is unfortunate as they have phenomenal strength in the 'core' in the form of writers. For example, nobody can deny the quality of penmanship of NYT writers. They should capitalise on this to get out of the rut.