Posts Tagged ‘video’

The Search Generation

June 13, 2011

The Connected Generation Doesn't Need Today's ToolsOne of the ways I hope to keep myself on the professional cutting edge is to offer a fresh perspective on the way content is consumed.  One of the best ways I know to gather this information is to watch my kids (11. 0 and 8.5) and their friends as they gather around an iPod or computer.

Today though, I had the chance to go into 8.5’s third grade class and talk her peers.  While under the guise of talking to them about journalism and news (which we did a little), I used it as an opportunity to find out how my daughter and her generation seek out and share information.

While it’s not a huge surprise (at least I hope its not), TV, radio, newspapers were not even in the discussion.  I was a little surprised-Facebook and Twitter was not either.  There are a lot of reasons for the latter-responsible parents is my hope, but the reality is 8-10 is well under the age requirements for those sights.

However, based on the discussion-text, text chat, video chat and especially search are far more important anyway.

On the discovery side-when I asked a class of 20 or so third graders how they find things out-and things I defined as news, information, websites, songs, videos, movies and entertainment-search was the number one way to find things.  And when I pressed the kids, they didn’t care what the search engine was (Google was as good as Yahoo was as good as iTunes search).  All they need is a search box and an execution point.

The quick take away on this is to over tag if necessary, but make sure tags capture all the keys to the content and all the imaginable entry points.  While I am among the people who believe SEO, as we know it today is a dying art, the reality is SEO will continue to be a discoverability driver in some form.  (An interesting note, one of the kids wanted to know about a way to search content shared via text chat, hmmmm).

On the consumption side, once again search was a huge driver to finding content.  One of the girls in the class even talked about setting up an RSS homepage-similar to Pageflakes or MyGoogle to capture key elements.  But a huge consumption driver for text and video is images.  It’s a concept I am late to embrace but important.  In the digital clutter, you still need to capture eyeballs.  See any of the e-book stores (Amazon, B&N, iBooks).  Which books are you likely to purchase if you are just scanning a topic?  Eye-catching cover art is the driver.

Finally, when it comes to sharing information text, text chat chat (including video chat) was the focus.  One boy in the class said (and his classmates agreed), “I can send an email, but no one reads email,” from the mouths of 8+s comes great truth.  Email has been a dying medium for more than five years now.

The take away here is to make sure your packaging includes interoperability to share via text-because that is a key driver to reach the generation that is not tethered by Blackberry Enterprise Server, Outlook Exchange or Gmail on the go.

From Film at 11 to We are Here Right Now

October 14, 2010

I don’t consider myself to be old, however, my daughters (the older one especially) likes to remind me that I am creeping up there in years.  So it’s with that backdrop perhaps that I got a little nostalgic as I was watching the live video of the miners being pulled safely from their underground home of more than two months.

I am old enough to remember the tag line “Film at 11.”  Now I don’t remember it in my professional experience–but growing up I can remember Chuck Scarborough on WNBC (Channel 4 in NYC) or the late Bill Beutel on WABC (channel 7 in NYC) saying that line during what I later learned was the :57:30 cut-in.  You know it as a tease for the late news that comes during primetime viewing.

For those without the reference–here is a one time ABC News colleague of mine Christina Lund with the familiar tagline (this one delivered on KABC-Los Angeles in 1976)

And that’s what happened.  If you wanted to see the story you waited for the news to come on.  In talking to some of the long-timers at places I work or have worked, by 1976 the conversion to videotape was well underway-but the myth of film at 11 lived on for years beyond that.

Fast forward to Tuesday night into Wednesday and the miners.  Gone was the quaint notion of video.  Obsolete the idea of waiting 10 minutes, much less until 11.  This (like so many events) played out in real-time in bits and bites transferred in real-time around the world–with instant commentary from Twitter, blogs and news organizations like CBS (where I work) CNN, NBC etc.

And as all of this was going on — generally in that lull when the rescue capsule was being sent back down to the miners and being reloaded and resurfacing — I was able to think about the change I have seen in the news model both as a consumer and a professional.

I did wait for film (or video) at 11.  I can remember when a reporter going live was a big deal.  I’ve sprinted across snow-covered fields in New Hampshire to a feed point to make slot.

I’ve also pulled out an air-card or MiFi and upload a video file, used QIK to send breaking news video back and updated a story via Twitter using my smart phone camera.

I am not sure I know the “tipping” point in all of this-when the idea of waiting became quaint, but its a good thing.  News  is a commodity as is information.

While I truly do not think “back in the day” that information was being hoarded and doled out–there was a certain eloquence to it.  I also would not have been subjected to Ali Velshi on CNN cramming himself into a model of the rescue capsule.

And that’s not to pick on Mr. Velshi (whom I do not know). It’s the rest of the story.  Because we demand to see these things unfold in real-time and unedited, the ability to package and present may be a victim.

Flashback to January of 2010 and the Miracle on the Hudson.  Gripping pictures, a story with a happy ending–and miles of instant analysis.

Even when the news is bleakest–9/11 is the moment that leaps to mind the need to “fill the void” was evident.  I can even think back to the crash of TWA flight 800 off the coast of Long Island–and the long night I spent on a boat listening to coverage that did not equate with what I was seeing (my Nextel died so I was on my own until the boat came in)–but it’s not all bad, it really is not.

Because all of those sources, all of that information–gives us the power to be the packager.  Yes, news organizations need to be the gatekeeper.  But I can be my own editor and decide what makes sense.

So turn to Twitter, see what your social network is sharing via Facebook–check the blogs watch the video–its part of the human experience and its the job of my colleagues and me to make sure its there for you with context.

Would You Believe?

July 15, 2010

It was one of those days when through varied implied and implicit connections I managed to have conversations I had a seven in the morning ring true by four in the afternoon–without having any knowledge that one would lead to the other.  It’s a true Maxwell Smart, “Would you believe?” moment.

In the morning I was talking to a commuting buddy of mine about how blogs and social network can drive the news cycle.  The example we were discussing was the issue reported in the iPhone 4 device.  Here’s a good write through on that if you need the background.

The upshot of the discussion though was how a few bloggers can grab hold of something–and drive via Twitter, Facebook and comments a story until the “main stream” media picks up on it.

So today–what would happen if the BP capping of the well spewing oil in the Gulf was staged.

Step away for a moment.  How easy would it be for them to design a set similar to the one we’ve seen for more than 80 days from the bottom of the Gulf of oil spewing.  But this time–with no oil and this cap in place?  Switch the video source–and what do you know, it’s a capped well, right?

A few conspiracy theorists blog about this.  Spread it via Twitter.  A few Facebook shares–and you have a rumor ready to rumble along.

The final connection to all of this was an email today that CBS News was going to support the News Literacy Project.  One of the goals of this project is to help primarily students differentiate fact and fiction in this connected world.

Play it out–in Dallas in November of 1963.  Imagine a wired world, with instant mobile images and video.  Twitter to share the news far and wide and the second gunman theory? What would that look like today?

Would you believe we have the power to make things happen–to make people listen.  I guess it’s equally important to have something to say.

You Want Audience, You Got It. Now What?

June 12, 2009

I am admittedly fascinated by this development today.  YouTube is now leveraging Twitter and Facebook connect. That is a mass audience.

Now what?

So three of the biggest social media brands are now interconnected.  Its nothing new that Facebook and Twitter worked together. I have been updated my Facebook via my Twitter for more than a year now.  In fact, I use HelloTxt to update MySpace, BrightKite, LinkedIn and more. (feel free to follow me on any of those places)

But today, was huge-its true interconnection.

But now what?

What is the business model? In social media circles these are top tier brands.  YouTube, FaceBook, Twiiter. I would argue anyone reading this–and there are a pretty good number per day checking in here (that is a whole other story) have at least one if not all three of the aformentioned accounts.

But what is next? Its three brands with narry a business model–and there in lies the problem. What are they to do? Either seperate or apart?

It been my belief for some time now that traditional banner advertising is not the answer.  The monetization (read business model) comes when there is an understanding of how one of the three lynch-pins affects the other two.

Earlier today I saw this link via Twitter, but ignored it on Facebook. But the vidoe is on YouTube.

So in my network (1100 or so on Twitter and 550 or so on FB) it took a while for it to sink in and make it something I should watch–and you should too it pretty fucking funny.

That aside, its how the networks inter-relate with one another and then further how they relate with the end user that will make each distinct, vibrant and complimentary.

Not sure I have the answer–but I hope I have the direction.

Convergence-and is it Game, Set Match

March 4, 2009

So I have to thank Howard Lindzon for pointing out a great write-through on the state of the media today-and why TV may have lost the battle for eyeballs with interactive (read here computer and mobile) media.  I encourage you to read Paul Graham’s insight, its an interesting take.

Since I am a TV guy by training, and one of the job skills I use to sell my self with is an ability to boil things down–let me save you some time.

It comes down to accessibility of the platform and socialization.  On line and on mobile its an open canvas and we can all join in.

Mr. Graham (whom I have never met) continues that networks (which is where I work) have been slow to respond-and while that may be the case in the past-I do not think that is the case today. My network has a site dedicated to on-line viewing of shows and an iPhone app that carries that content.

I am actively working to bridge the gap between local and network–to allow for synchronicity.  Is it coming slower than it should? Probably.  But its happening–and at the end its a good thing.

So yeah–we’ll still have appointment viewing.  There will be an Evening News at 6:30 (or something like that) but it won’t be the only way its available.  In the case of CBS News–that 6:30 Evening News cast is available every night online, on MobilTV (Sprint) and on MediaFlo TV. 

Its small steps, yeah. But we are moving in the direction of accessibility, and in the end, thats a good thing.

What We Twitter (or Plurk or Ping) and When

February 5, 2009

An interesting discussion occurred in the CBSNews.com newsroom yesterday. It involved CNet correspondent Natalie del Conte, CBSNews.com correspondent Cali Carlin and a CBS News photographer about Twitter.  This convergence of people came about because Natalie was being interviewed about a segment she did on the CBS Early Show yesterday on the new Google Latitude.

The photographer (who is just getting onto Twitter so I won’t share his name until he is more comfortable) is trying to figure out if Twitter is a good utility for him and is something he can sustain.  Natalie and I were telling him about the media folks who run the gamut who are on Twitter including NBC’s Jim Long, CNN Steve Brusk etc.

The commentary turned to my Twitter/Plurk/Ping stream–and basically its about going to the gym at 430 in the morning, the weather I encounter on my way, my morning LIRR commute and my morning web-surfing where I check to see if the world is safe.  The latter is accomplished by perusing my Google reader, Social Median and Digg primarily, and then I will buzz my Twitter followers for cool links.

But it got us talking about what we Twitter and when, why and where we Twitter from.  Now Natalie and I are pretty regular users of Twitter.  Cali and the photog are on the cusp of jumping in.

I think the goal is to offer some level of controlled voyeurism into our lives.  Not that it is all that glamours, but it kind of is an opportunity to put stuff out that we want.  On my Twitter roll is Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Tina Fey, Katie Couric, Shaquile O’Neil–and they all do different things with their Tweet stream.  But I think in the end its still a way to manage their public discourse.

And from that discourse we establish our social network, and the social networks of our friends, families and followers. 

I think its fascinating when New Media Jim (an NBC News Washington based photographer) takes us behind the scenes at events he is covering. I wish my network had a photographer doing the same thing–it shows a different side of the news.  The same way as when Katie Couric popped out a quick video of her green room interview with Joe Torre:

Its about connecting, making connections and delivering to our audience–not unlike TV, web or mobile.

So, it worked

January 21, 2009

Wanted to share a blog I posted to CBSNews.com.  Overall, I think the use of CBS Eye Mobile in inagural coverage was a success–baby steps.  Not sure what is next, but I think we can build on these successes.

Fighting to Be Heard

January 20, 2009

Certainly it was not unexpected.  Put millions into a confined area-like the Mall in Washington, DC and it will stress the mobile bandwidth that we have all become reliant upon.  While the network certainly did bend, I don’t think it broke.

While I was not out on the plaza, I am making that assessment based on watching Twitter, CBS Eye Mobile, Facebook and other sites-where users were posting their updates from the crowd on the mall.

But there were still some great moments captured and shared:

Like John Legend hanging with the Obama family.

The reliance we have on this mobile backbone though has never been more apparent. A good friend was in the crowd, and was trying to send an MMS of his view of history (which was from about a mile away and shaky).  It didn’t arrive to me and others on his personal distribution list until well after 1pm (ET).

His carrier (I don’t know which one) queued up the message and then sent it out.

Here in NYC, there was evidence of this stress too.  As we sent out news alerts to our customers, the experience as a content provider was interesting.  The devices and carriers that are usually the first to get the alerts got them late.  The carriers who tend to queue up the alerts had them flow right through.  In talking to our MMS aggregator, the issues all came after the gateway, which is where the message reaches the carrier.

In an interesting Tweet from the Mall, here is what @dceiver had to say about his experience trying to update via his BlackBerry:

To review cell providers: Verizon, T-Mobile, great. Cingular, failed miserably. Guess what network my BlackBerry is on

But that did not stop the content from coming in-this is the age of the citizen journalist after all.

So keep those videos coming, wherever your share them, this is our collective digital archive after all.

Measuring Expectation, and Result

January 17, 2009

So, I am happy to say the network I work for is jumping into social media full force for the inauguration of Barack Obama-now with most of the planning and and creating done, we have to be patient, sit back and see what happens.

One of the biggest challenges we’ll all face (from the broadcast side out to the online side and into the mobile side) is the expectation game.  In some cases, I really don’t know what the expectation is-other than just do it.  And, in reality, I think its the right approach-be out there and do it and see what happens.

Still, there are challenges.  Some we can manage (like moderation, putting high end devices in the hands of people we trust etc), and some we can’t like the availability of connectivity.

We have our social media site all set and ready to go, and we are tied in with all the usual susects (Twitter, You Tube, Flickr etc).

Follow the progress @cbsmobilenews, @theearlyshow, @cbsnews or contribute. Upload your pics and vids by email obama@cbseyemobile.com

News and Social Media Experience

January 6, 2009

So I am kicking it into gear today after 11 days in Hawaii-followed rule number one and did not take a five day week my first week back, although not sure I should have made the flight from Hawaii to NYC yesterday (a different blog post perhaps). But one of the interesting discoveries I made while vacationing (along with the whales, dolphins and volcanoes) is how beneficial being connected can be.

I was able to dip in and out of what was going on-and not just the usual back and forth banter with friends, "friends" and followers-but truly getting an update while on the go. Start with the first day we were on Ohahu. The national press corp is camped out on the same Waikiki beach we are on:

PE traveling press on the beach

So what, I shared a vacation spot with Barack Obama, right?

But then so much happended as well. Israel and Hamas renewed their long standing rivalry-and it played out in real time on Twitter. And the information-from eye witness accounts, -and eventwitter.com/israelconsulate all updated regularily. Made following and drawing my own conclusions about the events possible.

One of the areas (and its one I can change) that I found unfulfilling was how the major media companies used social media to get word out on the story. Too often it was a headline and a click through to a web site–very unfulfilling and automated. It did not have the feel of something that I needed to take action on. And even worse–being on the go, and living off my iPhone and BB, too many of these "major" media companies have crappy mobile experiences. My BB got locked up opening up a Java filled page. My iPhone took forever to open up full websites–its a crappy experience.

For the major media companies, social media has to be about connecting to users–not driving traffic.  And if you really do need to drive traffic with your Tweets–at least use Tiny URL or something similar–and put more content into the Tweet.

There is a viable and usable flow of information available–and major news organizations are doing some great reporting from Gaza, Capitol Hill and elsewhere where news is happening.  It would be great to sue these tools to share the reporting-and not just drive traffic.

Perhaps we can do both.


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