Monday, May 5, 2008

Livenewscameras.com Aggregates Live Webcast News Feeds

If you're like me, you may be a news junkie. I admit it, I'm addicted to my RSS feeds and when I don't have access to my 200+ feeds I track in my Google Reader I start to get the shakes and break out in a cold sweat. Well not really, but I do get the feeling that I'm missing and losing track of vital real-time information that keeps me informed. If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that my focus is tracking and discussing the technology, trends and news related to online video, streaming media and collaboration. I don't usually track "top story" and "breaking news" that you'd find on TV or CNN.

But for those of you that need your minute-by-minute news fix you should check out Livenewscameras.com. I heard about this pioneering news aggregator, that's currently in beta, other day while reading the Mogulus blog. Max Haot pointed out they are using the Mogulus platform for their live moderator feed and shared a video from G4TV by way of Steve Baron at Livenewscameras.com that is featured below.



Incidentally, I was reading the newspaper today and saw an article, New Web Site Feeds News Habit, by Susan Young of the Oakland Tribune, who said that one of our local new stations, KRON was the first news station in the Bay Area tha twould be joining Livenewscameras.com.

Young writes, "Newspapers and television news are territorial. They don't like sharing. But what they like less is having a news aggregator such as Google come in and make big bucks on their work. So former KTVU-Channel 2 news director Andrew Finlayson, who now works for the Fox station in Chicago, has come up with a plan to share some of those raw video feeds that local TV news gathers and trims for their broadcasts, and turn those feeds into Web fodder... (called) www.livenewscameras.com, which currently has more than 100 live feeds. Click on any of the news logos that line up in a box pattern across the screen. Check out Tampa, where there's a fire going on. The Birmingham station has cameras pointed on a civil rights conference, or go over to another station for a live town hall meeting with Sen. Barack Obama."

Young continued that, "Visitors engage in live chats with each other, which is probably more annoying than helpful. It pops up in the middle of the screen, although you can minimize it. In the upper right-hand corner, there's a live camera often showing a person in the Chicago newsroom who keeps tabs on what's happening, and passes that info along to people logged in to the site. Or sign up for a free Twitter account (www.twitter.com) and get the alerts through your cell phone or computer." (more...)

I spent some time on the web site today and I think they are on to something here with the centralized aggregation of new feeds with a moderated chat room. As Young points out, "(Andrew) Finlayson sees the site expanding to a time when citizen journalists and others can capture breaking news on their wireless equipment and pass it on to the Web. Much like what happened last month when the Olympic torch passed through San Francisco... Finlayson says it's been an interesting experience experimenting with a news future that will be "live from the scene on any screen" and can transfer from the Web site to streaming video live from cell phones."

"Stations from different networks agreed to be part of it, even our competitors, because if we don't, someone else will," Finlayson says. "And it will probably be Google."