The iPhone craze has seen the uncorrelated development of a new phenomenon, that while expected, is nonetheless a marker in the ongoing shift in media production.
Techcrunch calls it “event streaming”; it involves the genesis of live video/audio production from an on-site event through the internet using widely available tools and services.
Eventstreaming is the missing link in Web 2.0’s challenge to network television.
Who could ever forget the coverage of the London Bombings in 2005 where user generated video featured as a main source of footage. Two years later and the technology has continued to improve; the step from recording footage of an event to streaming it live over the internet has been made.
Jeff Jarvis at Buzzmachine has more detailed analysis:
The infrastructural challenge in this is that we, the audience, won’t necessarily know where to find what’s going on. For a time, there will be portals for live — UStream et al — but it’s already hard to find out what’s happening there. Portals don’t work. So I imagine that news organizations will need to devote people to combing all the live video to see what’s happening out in the world. The real value will then be alerting all the rest of us that something is going on now so we can watch on the internet . . . or perhaps on our iPhones.
And, of course, soon those iPhones will be the means of gathering and sharing that news, as soon as they have video cameras and as soon as AT&T gets its act together. [My son] Jake told me that iJustine, one of the Justin.TV lifevloggers, doesn’t need to carry a backpack; her small camera hooks up to a Vaio in her purse. So the gigantic ENG (electronic news gathering) and SNG (satellite news gathering) trucks with their dishes and expensive equipment and expert operators are replaced by . . . a purse, and soon a mere phone.
For many of us, at first glance this is merely an “ahem, yes, of course” kind of moment. With modestly deeper analysis, it is an interesting indication of the profundity of the changes afoot within those societies where at least a significant portion (whatever that portion happens to be) of the population has ready access to these new tools of production. It has tremendous impact on issues of privacy; transparency; and definitions of solitude. As Jarvis has pointed out in this story and many others, the ease of consumer and prosumer video production should also imply titantic shifts in the economic structures of the firms involved with traditional media acquisition and distribution.
Much as in publishing, and libraries, one of the core questions seems to be the length of the delay before traditional organizational forms are disrupted – and what, eventually, becomes the catalyst for those changes. Most suddenly “traditional” industries – regardless of the changes in technological production – don’t become instantly relegated to backwaters the moment the new technologies hit the market. Rather, some new market is produced within which new media product forms can flourish and provide services perceived to be imperative, or stresses are encountered that older forms cannot accommodate.
Watching this evolution unfold – waiting for all the ramifications to be apparent – will make for an interesting show.