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Cutting out the Media Middleman

Cutting out the Media Middleman

Cutting out the Media Middleman

The last few days I’ve been playing around with a service that I discovered some months back, but it only really became a viable option due to a new cellphone plan that I have recently moved to. The name of the service is Qik and the reason why it has become viable is that I no longer have to pay for mobile data, wherever I am in the world (this is a big deal for me, for other reasons - see other blogs of mine). So, what’s this Qik service all about and how is it going to change the world? Well, Qik is a small application that you can install on your mobile phone (only Nokia S60 Operating systems so far). It then allows you to stream live video direct from your phone and onto a web page. The quality is excellent and the delay is only around 3 seconds. So, what’s the big deal then? Well, there is a growing Qik community forming already and due to the bottomless-pit of creativity from the users out there we’ve already seen live coverage from all manner of events; a guy running the Boston Marathon strapped his phone to his chest and broadcast his entire run live; we had the aftermath of a shooting at an American school last week streamed live from the campus, we’ve had live feeds of flash-mobs, Olympic torch protests, you name it, it’s been Qik’ed. What we have here is a new level of immediacy with news reporting. With the likes of Flickr, YouTube, Picassa et al we have documents of history (albeit recent) that are subject to censorship, but Qik allows the user to broadcast live video and audio feeds from wherever they all in the world, cutting out the media corporation middleman. Certainly, with a laptop and webcam and the various “live-cam” services available you can do similar, but ultimately you’re somewhat tethered by the technology; running it off a mobile phone changes the playing field altogether. Qik is also trying to maximize distribution possibilities for live and on-demand video watchers by building widgets for blogs and Facebook, enabling alert systems on Twitter and Pownce, as well as tying into other video services like YouTube, Mogulus, Seesmic and Justin.tv. Qik recently received $3m series B funding in order to invest into their software platform, so it will be interesting to see the developments, to both the company and those that use it.. Matt Grest Head of Future Development PlusNet

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