Video: Spreecast

Use:  Provide users with access to real-time virtual conversations with reporters, thought leaders, newsmakers, etc.

Spreecast is a “social video” platform that allows users to view real-time, streaming conversations between up to four people.  Publishers can organize conversations, interviews, etc. with newsmakers through Webcams and broadcast that to viewers through Spreecast’s platform.  Video conversations can be shared on social media platforms and are archived for later viewing.

From TechCrunchUp to 4 people at a time can be face-to-face, streaming their conversation live while hundreds of others can watch, chat, and participate by submitting comments and questions to those on-screen. Viewers can also request to join on camera, while producers of the Spreecast can manage the action. Spreecast is also integrated with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ so that producers and creators can broadcast their conversations to their friends, followers, circles, contacts and connections. Once live-streamed, Spreecasts are recorded and then made immediately available for playback and sharing. The platform is browser-based and built on Flash. By default, Spreecasts are public and designed to be social but users can also create private Spreecasts as well.

More:

PCMag.com: Q&A: StubHub Founder Mixes Social Media, Video, Celebs on Spreecast

TechCrunch: Social Video Startup Spreecast Launches An iPhone App And Mobile Web Streaming For iOS And Android

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Social Media: Facebook Conversations

Use:  Supplement news coverage with related real-time conversations on Facebook; provide added value to advertisers with real-time brand discussions

Facebook has launched two new APIs to track and integrate conversations into news coverage.  According to the AllFacebook blog, the two APIs include:  “the public feed API, which displays a real-time feed of public posts for a specific word; and the keyword insights API, which tallies the total number of posts that mention a specific term during a specific time period, as well as enabling news organization to feature anonymous, aggregated results based on gender, age, and location.”

These new features are additional arsenal in Facebook’s competitive battle with Twitter.  As described on Facebook’s Newsroom blog: “Over the past few months, we have rolled out a series of products aimed at surfacing the public conversations happening on Facebook including hashtags, embedded posts, and trending topics. We are committed to building features that improve the experience of discovering and participating in conversations about things happening in the world right now, including entertainment, sports, politics and news.”

The APIs currently are available to only a few media companies but Facebook says they are “beginning discussions with other media partners and preferred marketing developers (PMD’s) and will make it available to additional partners in the coming weeks.”

You can imagine that the new APIs will be mostly useful to national media organizations who are covering topics that impact a larger group of users.  But a big local news item — disasters, college or professional sports teams, salacious trials — could also generate enough conversation that local publishers could meaningfully tap into.

More:

Mashable: Facebook’s New APIs Help Media Outlets Highlight Real-Time Conversations

AllFacebook blog: Facebook Releases Two APIs That Allow News Organizations To Tap Into Its Real-Time Public Posts

PCMag: Facebook Goes After Twitter with Real-Time Conversation

 

 

 

Social Media: Verification Junkie

Use:  Verify the veracity of information posted on social media sites.

Verification Junkie is not a technology but a new “directory of tools for verifying, fact checking and assessing the validity of social media and user generated content.”

Much like this blog (aggregating useful tools and technology for revenue and audience growth), Verification Junkie’s author Josh Stearns will attempt to “profile and link to useful, interesting and emerging tools and apps that citizens, journalists or newsrooms can use in their day-to-day work. The emphasis here is on the useful, concrete tools people are building to help assess the validity and accuracy of social media content – text, video and photos.”

Among the tools currently featured on the site are MediaBugs, Veri.ly, SwiftRiver and Storyful.

More:

Nieman Journalism Lab: Verification Junkie is a new compendium of online tools for fact-checking

Groundswell: Introducing Verification Junkie

Social Media: OpenFuego

Use:  Curate Twitter conversations on topics of interest to your users or advertisers

OpenFuego is the new open-source version of Fuego, a tool created by the Nieman Journalism Lab to automatically monitor Twitter feeds and curate conversations based on designated topics.

Here is how the tool author, Andrew Phelps, describes the process: “You create a database and follow the instructions in the config file….Choose a group of authorities — the Twitter users who will seed the universe you want to track. ….After you identify these 10 authorities, OpenFuego does the rest. The app follows them on Twitter, as well as all of the people they follow, up to a total of 5,000 sources. When one of those sources shares a link, the link is scored according to the source’s influence. Influence is determined by the number of authorities who follow that source.”

The tool provides the back-end curation.  Publishers will have to create their own tool to display the content on the Web page.

Publishers can use the tool to supplement or provide background information on designated topics.  That information can be solely a tool for journalists or can be packaged online for users.  The tool could also be used to find “friendly” references to particular brands that can be added to the toolkit of advertiser services.

More:

Nieman Journalism Lab: Introducing OpenFuego, your very own heat-seeking Twitter bot

 

 

Video: ifussss

Use:  Get access to user-provided breaking-news video

ifussss, which stands for “if you see something, share something,” is a platform for accessing user-generated breaking new video.  The app, which will be available for iOS and Android on September 9, allows users to record and share 30-second clips (metadata will be added automatically).  The platform will filter and clear the rights to each video.

Publishers can monitor and search content on ifussss and download clips for a “small fee”, part of which will go to the original videographer.

Other crowdsourced video platforms include Newsflare and Demotix.

More:

Mediabistro: ifussss: New Video Sharing App and Newsroom for Journos

Journalism.co.uk: New user-generated video app to launch

Content Development: Locu

Use:  Provide extensive information about local businesses to users; add to digital marketing services products for local advertisers.

Locu provides a platform and central database for merchants to provide updated menus and service lists.  The database contains more than 1 million listings which were created originally by Locu staff.  Local merchants can claim those pages and provide their own updates.  Locu also can distribute the content directly to a merchants site or Facebook page or to partner sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Foursquare.

Publishers need not cede local merchant listings and reviews to Yelp and other social directories.  With the Locu API, they can tap into the huge database of merchant info to build their own directory and then upsell enhancements to merchants.  Even though Locu provides the capability for merchants themselves to update once, distribute to many; local media companies can use the power of their traditional products to offer even more value to those merchants.

More:

Update 7/19/13: All Things D: Apple Acquires Local Data Outfit Locationary

All Things D: How Locu Became Every Local Business’s Personal Publisher

TechCrunch: Yelp Partners With Locu, Allowing Businesses To Post Menus, Daily Specials & Photos To Yelp In Real Time

StreetFight: A Year After Big Scores by SinglePlatform and Yext, Locu Makes a Quiet Push

Content Aggregation: CrowdyNews

Use:  Increase engagement by aggregating relevant social media conversations

CrowdyNews is social media aggregation tool that uses proprietary technology to comb specified sites/accounts/news feeds and pulls in relevant conversations and content.  A widget scrolls the aggregated content on the home page and users can select “full screen” to display all of the content.

The Chicago Tribune uses the technology to power their news.chicago.com platform, which includes news, sports and entertainment categories.  Digital First Media is using the technology on their newspaper sites (and calling it SocialWire) to enhance local content.   The New Haven Register, for example, uses CrowdyNews to aggregate content from various Twitter accounts, RSS feeds and video from several media outlets.

More:

Update 8/23/2013: NetNewsCheck: Gatehouse Adds Social with CrowdyNews

Journalism.co.uk: Digital First Media gathers social content with CrowdyNews