If you haven’t already, check out NewsOK.com/live. It’s a pretty cool tech mashup.
Live video, live chat, live blog updates, two live Twitter feeds, live Flickr photo feed, updated traffic reports for OKC and Tulsa…
Isn’t this what the Internet is supposed to provide? Instant information. On demand. Live.
So here’s what we’re doing:
David Jones and Tim Money are driving a silver Jeep Cherokee around the streets and interstates of Oklahoma City.
Honk if you see them.
We are using a Sony Vaio, a mini laptop.
We’d like to experiment with a netbook, which are pretty cheap these days. This Vaio is running Windows XP, and we’re making it work. We’ve plugged a wireless card into the Vaio for mobile Internet access.
We have a Sony HVR camera (similar to this one) placed on the dashboard, using a Firewire connection to the netbook. We are using Adobe Flash for the actual encode before it goes to Mogulus, which is then embedded onto the template of newsok.com/live.
Very simple. But it’s working very well.
Yesterday morning, I met with Jones about this idea. We decided to go for it and see what level of quality we got. We’ve used the wireless cards in Norman during our live Campus Corner Pre Game Shows. The quality hasn’t been this good. But, we’re not using any audio on purpose to save bandwidth. We suspect this may be helping. Also, we are not running into thousands of people using their cell phones like at the game day situations.
So the live video has been successful. We had a steady audience of about 300 people on Monday watching the afternoon drive. Today’s crowd was been lighter as expected. Fewer people are actually in the office.
Then we embedded a smaller Mogulus player on the NewsOK home page. We’re around 500 viewers, lurkers, voyeurs this afternoon.
Jones is using his iPhone to Twitter updates of their location. We created the #OKice tag and are pulling that onto the page. Jones is also using bit.ly to shorten his geo location from his Tweets.
But it’s not just the video. It’s the whole mash up of technology. Right next to the video feed is an embedded live chat. We use CoverItLive. It’s free (there is a new premium version) and works well. We used it on game days, primaries, election nights and for the Thunder basketball games.
I kidded Mike Koehler about being our virtual Magic 8 Ball. He has been monitoring the chat room, feeding stories and information from the NIC and moderating the online discussion. But he’s also been asked for advice, which shows the power of the mash up to generate conversation. I asked him what I should consider for dinner.
If you scroll down, you’ll see the traffic map of OKC and Tulsa and more Twitter feeds. We also pulled in a Flickr feed for user submitted photos.
Yesterday this page was visited more than 5,000 times. We are promoting our live coverage page from the top of the home page of NewsOK.com.
So Sam Bradford made the big announcement. OU Coach Bob Stoops said it was much bigger than any signing day announcement, or something to that effect. Bradford is returning to play his junior season for the Sooners.
Tim Money shot the press conference for us. David Jones went with him to stream the presser live. Then Brad Belyeu pursued with the wireless Cricket card that we forgot. Tough to do live Internet video without, you know, the Internet.
We had the live stream up and running just as Bradford was speaking. The viewers instantly spiked from the 15 or so (probably all in the building) to 320 as online editors posted the live link on the NewsOK home page.
Jones snapped a few pics with his iPhone. Angi and I taped a quick update in the studio and used the photos for scene setters.
Interesting. More people are watching video, from YouTube to full length TV shows on their laptops. The rage recently was IPTV, with Apple and others offering set top boxes for consumers to watch their multimedia stuff on their big screens.
And few bought the set top boxes.
But what if it were built-in to your flat screen?
Now that makes sense. The Wall Street Journal breaks down how TV companies are exploring the sub category of Web ready TVs, coming to a living room or lounge near you. Perhaps soon.
We’ll hear more about these TVs from this week’s CES show in Vegas.
Amid other developments pegged to this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Yahoo Inc. and Intel Corp. plan to announce support from several major consumer-electronics companies to sell TV sets that come with software, dubbed widgets, that make it easier to call up Web content on TV sets using ordinary remote controls rather than computer keyboards.
Imagine the impact on the cable companies, or even the network or local affiliates:
Still, the topic remains a hot one in high-tech circles because of the potential impact on existing business models in the entertainment industry. Instead of the often expensive packages of video content from cable and satellite providers, the Internet could theoretically deliver a much wider array of entertainment and information choices — many of them free.
This article mentions TV Widgets, something Yahoo! has been developing:
TV Widgets are small Web applications that make it easy to surf your favorites sites with your remote control. Watch Web videos, track your favorite teams or stocks, interact with friends and family, and stay current on news and information by clicking on the compact, interactive apps that sit on top of your normal TV picture.
And here’s more from newteevee.com:
Watching web video on your TV set isn’t anything new. Set-top boxes like TiVo and the Apple TV have been offering web video options for a while, but recently we’ve begun to see where it’s heading. YouTube HD streams on an HDTV look pretty sweet, and Netflix, which is already streaming content (some of it in HD) to a host of set-top boxes, will soon be streaming content directly to LG televisions with no external box required.
And it’s not just the web video content that’ll be showing up on oldteevee. Intel is also working with Yahoo to widgetize TV sets, offering weather updates, ticker symbols, Flickr integration and more.
And finally, another post from newteevee.com on Netflix’s big announcement today:
Netflix announced today that its streaming service will be embedded directly into broadband-enabled LG HDTVs coming out this spring. This marks the first time that streaming Netflix content to a television set won’t require an external box like the Roku.
Now imagine when all those TVs start offering all those video services (and more!). You could watch new release content through a la carte rental, courtesy of Amazon; library titles through your Netflix subscription; and your favorite web video through YouTube — all with the push of a button on your remote (I pity the UI designers tasked with making all that content navigable and searchable).
Top story around noon is how Twitter is still being debated as a news source. Journalism peeps wear me out sometimes with their slowness to embrace new technologies. Twitter is a great aggregator of commentary and information. Is it always correct? Nope. But the correct stuff always overwhelms the incorrect stuff. And the more peeps you have in your Twitter network, the more informed (or entertained) you are.
Some people don’t get Twitter. It’s not for everyone. I hear that some people don’t even check their email every 15 minutes!
Anyway, TechCrunch pointed out that the tragedy in Mumbai yesterday was first reported – and firsthand – by those using Twitter in India, well before the mainstream media figured it out.
UPDATE: CNN now has a story about it. But even the lead sentence indicates a bit of being behind the times.
It was the day social media appeared to come of age and signaled itself as a news gathering force to be reckoned with.
Last day in Vegas. I could come back this weekend.
Got an email from Ed Kelley, Editor of The Oklahoman, earlier this week. He’s in DC attending the NAA conference.
Says Ed: Here’s a quote from a trade pub covering NAA/ASNE in DC, from Martin Baron, editor of the Boston Globe: “Collecting audio and video is supplemental. We try not to do NPR style reports online. We look for video and audio that complements text but doesn’t replicate text. We would like to do three videos a day essentially, and I think we’ll get there relatively soon.”
Whoa. That’s some old school thinking there. I’m sure Boston.com is not realllly thinking that. Right?
Meanwhile, lots happening in the world of online video:
“The service estimates that close to 135 million users spent an average of 204 total minutes each viewing Web video over the month. Users watched the videos for an average of 2.7 minutes, with an average monthly consumption of 75 videos per person.”
NewsOK.tv viewers watch a similar 2-3 minutes per visit.
- People continue to say attendance is down at NAB. Some of the vendors note you can find similar information online. And some vendors are simply saying “go to our web site” to learn more. While some of the “booths” are overwhelming, like Microsoft and Sony, others are not here at all. Apple and Avid, two majors players in video, decided it wasn’t worth the effort. Apple said something like it wasn’t the best way to reach their audience.
- I spoke with the Associated Press yesterday, eager to learn more about their online video and online graphics packages. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn much from the guys at their display. In fact, they seemed puzzled as to why we wanted video or graphics. Yet at the same time, they announced this week a new OVN 3.0 and mobile video. It’s one thing to promote your new stuff, but you might communicated it through the ranks for those of use eager to use the products.
- The Las Vegas wifi is really slow. And everyone here is smart-phoned out the wazoo. The NAB site is not exactly user friendly for the on-the-go 411.
- Check out these numbers from Hitwise on online video usage.
“YouTube accounted for 73.18 percent of all U.S. visits among a custom category of 68 online video websites. MySpaceTV received the second highest percentage of visits with 9.21 percent followed by Google Video with 4.06 percent.”
Again, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a lot of credit to LostRemote.com for their coverage of the NAB Show conference and the online video industry as a whole.