Good stories made better, Bad stories made worse – Meerkat

 In News and Events, Tech Tuesday

Meerkat your messageMeerkat seems destined to become the next English word to be “verbified“.

This is thanks to the newly released app of that name, which like so many other apps, seems set to change the way we socialise. Here’s a quote for you – “Meerkat let’s you live tweet video”.

The Meerkat app lets you “stream” not record and upload but simply “broadcast” live video feeds to your followers. Replies from those followers also channel into your livestream. You take your phone, point the camera, and go.  Tell your story, make a speech, report the news, televise an event, get creative.

So the next question is why?  But that’s always the question isn’t it. Why did we want to blog – then suddenly it changed industries.  Why do I want Facebook?, then suddenly, millions can’t live with out it.

History is littered with famously foolish (with hindsight) predictions.  The world market for computers is 5!  Television won’t sustain any market share after six moths  – see these and some other gems here.

A quote from a lecturer I had back in my university days, when discussing the onset of computerised business processes (like Lotus 123 – name the year!!) springs to mind. He said, “A good computer system makes a good process infinitely better, and a bad process infinitely worse“.

Many new social and publishing technologies start out with this immediate barrier to overcome; the”why would I want to do that?”. But, when power to create and be creative is placed in the hands of billions of people, things change.

Publishing from your home, on a blog, on My Space,  then later on Facebook, on Linked In and on Twitter, leveled the playing field a bit, with the giant media corporations. Those with a message to send could send it. If it’s worthwhile, people could listen. Sometimes even when it wasn’t! Live streaming of video is no different.

New technologies always make something  easier. Things that were once in the hands of the “select few” become common place. Technology has broken down barriers to entry in so many industries particularly communication, publishing and promoting your message to the world. This invariably results in a lot more “noise”. It also democratizes publishing, broadcasting and communications. We’re not restricted to the messages a certain few decide to promote.

What new technology does not do though, is give everyone a world changing message to broadcast, nor the creative ability to produce that message.

So here comes Meerkat. And there are other technologies playing in this space too like Periscope (which some may argue will win out in the end).

Live streaming  video, from the phone in your pocket, out around the world, for consumption by anyone who desires it (and for dismissal by anyone who does not) is the next logical step in the onslaught of communication and instant messaging the world now expects.

Live streaming video further enriches the quality of the story you can tell. Those with a valuable message or a great story to tell will be excited by the prospects. Those who don’t want to talk now, won’t.

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