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Push Notifications for Everyone: App.net Launches ‘Broadcast’

appnet alertsYou don’t have to make your own app or hire an editor to handle push notification headlines for it anymore. App.net, the social networking and micro-blogging site, launches a new service, Broadcast, today, allowing anyone — from the freelance blogger to web magazine mogul — to send out their own push notifications.

All you have to do is download the app, released today on both Android and iOS markets, set up your ‘broadcast channel,’ and publish your notification. On the consumer side, they’ll have to sign up, too. And subscribe to you. But CEO Dalton Caldwell doesn’t see it as a hassle: Read more

Wibbitz: Turn Text into Video, ‘Readers into Watchers’

Video editors of the world, unite! Wibbitz is a new news application that turns text based articles into short videos using RSS feeds and smart algorithms, complete with natural voice narration and infographics. In five seconds. It’s either the next big thing or the next sign that we’re one step closer to ‘The Fifth Element.”

They’re backed by Horizon Ventures (Spotify, Siri, Summly, among others), so it’s probably both.

The idea behind the technology falls directly in line with the habits of “news snacking” on mobile devices. But don’t publishers have a problem with taking their content and aggregating it? Not really, Wibbitz co-founder Zohar Dayan told me over the phone this week:

Not once they understand our long term vision. Our consumer facing vision is to be a platform that allows third party content providers to produce their own videos out of their own content. It’s mobile friendly and generates higher CPMs, especially with mobile devices.

We all know that producing videos is expensive, and as Dayan notes, “there’s only a certain amount of videos you can produce on a daily basis.” He hypothesizes that on a medium sized website, about 15% of articles have videos, some produced in house, some grabbed from the internet. “We enable them to leverage their own existing content and turn that 15% into 80% percent. Once they understand that, they’re interested in using it on their own platform, and that’s we’re going to enable them to do in the coming months.” Read more

ifussss: New Video Sharing App and Newsroom for Journos

If you see something, share something. That’s the motto and logic behind a new video sharing app called ifussss. Say it with me now: EYE- FUSS. 

While Twitter and Facebook already have us all gathering images and looping videos, ifuss is targeted to news organizations. Co-founder Edward Brooks explains:

Right now, it’s a ton of effort. Users are looking for good content, they’re interested in things happening in their area. If you know a story’s already broke, you can go to Facebook or YouTube, but even if you find the content, you don’t know if you can use it, if it’s been used before — the whole process in the middle is difficult. 

The concept is the same as, say, Instagram. You see traffic on a bridge, for example. You shoot and upload it to the ifussss network. It’s automatically geo, time, and hash tagged. News editors can search and monitor the ifussss newsroom platform and, this is where it gets interesting, buy the content. 

They still haven’t worked out the kinks on pricing, but it’s going to be a “very low cost” price, says Brooks. ifussss collects that revenue and pays a percentage to the citizen journalists who took the video in the first place. 

Brooks mentions that a contact of his in a local New York City newsroom says they had five or six people combing through user-generated video after Hurricane Sandy. 

It would make that process much easier. We’re not asking you to change that behavior, but now the archive is there, it’s verified content, and ready to use. 

There’s been much discussion around Twitter’s Vine and Instagram video, but both of the behometh’s continue to tell us that they aren’t a media company. ifussss could fill in that gap. The big question is: will newsrooms pay for user generated video content? Brooks thinks they should. 

“It’s about video with value,” he says. “It’s not just about breaking news. I saw a Lisa Liu filming in Washington Sqaure Park the other day… It’s of no value right now, but when that movie comes out or wins awards, the footage could be of value later. It’s in the archives, tagged, and ready to be used.”
The app is set to release in the store in late August, but they are offering limited pre-release access to the app if you sign up now. I’m curious to know what you all think of the concept, so let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

 

What iOS 7 Says About New Media (And Its Consumers)

iOS 7 running on an iPhone 5

Somehow, Apple causes a frenzy every time the company introduces a new product, and its newest mobile operating system, iOS 7, is no exception to the rule.

Earlier this month, Apple announced the forthcoming iOS 7 at its developers conference in San Francisco. The new system has a pretty striking visual. I didn’t think Apple products could look cleaner or simpler, but enough about its aesthetic.

Here are some conclusions I think journalists can draw from iOS 7’s features and functionality:

Reporters are even better equipped to make their iPhones a “one stop shop” 

Gone are the days when writers had to lug around reporter’s notebooks, laptops and tape recorders. At a moment’s notice, you might have to get up and go with only your iPhone in your bag.

Some pretty fascinating experiments have been done on reporting solely with an iPhone in the past, and 10,000 Words’ Lauren Rabaino wrote a piece on the concept a couple years back. It doesn’t seem possible, but now iReporting (to use a CNN-coined phrase) will be a more streamlined process thanks to iOS 7. Read more

WatchUp: ‘Video Centric News Reader’ Relaunches With New Features

As if you needed another way to waste time, WatchUp, an app that aggregates news video content has relaunched with new partnerships, a redesign, and new features.

It’s worth a download, especially if you consider news consumption to be anything but a way to waste time.

Founder Adriano Farano, a self proclaimed ‘digital dinosaur’ who helped found Cafe Babel, calls the app a “video centric news reader” focused on setting a new standard for the news experience on the iPad:

It’s no joke… There are many video aggregators but none that focus solely on the news. We offer all that comes with the immersive experience of video, and a chance to read print articles.

He’s talking about the new Watch and Read feature, which allows you to choose to ‘lean in,’ he says, if something is particularly of interest and click on links to related articles from around the web for context.

Read more

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