You may have seen the buzz of late concerning a new app called Meerkat. The rather lightweight app, running on an iOS device (I don’t think there is a version out for Andriod or other platforms yet), which allows the user to stream video straight through Twitter. Right off the bat, I think you can see there would be some “good” and “bad” aspects of that capability. If none come to mind, you might browse through the numerous live streams that were posted on Twitter. Some OK stuff there. Some “who cares” stuff. In general, much like anything on the internet, the first go around the noise to signal ratio is skewed to the former.
I’ve tested the app earlier this week for my non-Civil War private account. Then earlier today I posted a short video stream of the latest Civil War Trails marker posted in Loudoun County.
One limitation is quickly in play… unless you clicked on the link when I was “Live Now” then you didn’t see it… thankfully as the video was poorly framed. Meerkat has already posted some “rules” which govern actions on the app, but not so much behavior. Included in those is the limitation – no reruns. So you can’t go back and see what I shared earlier. Though I can re-post or schedule that at a later point for you to view… provided you have “subscribed” and accept the notification to view. As you see, that can be troublesome. Who is sitting on their smart device waiting for a video feed to open?
However, I can see some application of this app in my near future. So much of the 150th events have been “in the moment” and “you had to be there” experiences. I’ve tried to capture those from the “field” on Twitter where possible. But there’s only so much you can do with text and a picture. Maybe, by working a bit more on the camera techniques, I might stream some of the last few Sesquicentennial events.
We’ll see how that works… or doesn’t. Might add a new facet to live blogging these sort of events. Then again, might not be worth the hassle.