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.
I don’t think we can put a mark on the calendar and say “This is when the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War Ends.” But at the same time, the surrenders of key armies in Virginia and North Carolina is generally recognized as the point of closure. As such, my project focused on 150th blogging will likewise start winding down. I’d taken on a “post a day” challenge at the end of December 2010, as part of my personal observance of the Sesquicentennial. And that will come to a close in the next few months. Reality is there are about sixty days or so to consider, after which the pace of 150ths slows considerably. (Again, not to dismiss the surrenders west of the Mississippi. But there’s a lot of empty dates on the calendar after the end of April.)
There are a lot of areas to explore in regard to the last days of the Civil War. And if you have been reading for a while now, you know I like to work on some of the lesser worked rows, and in particular where the military history (under the classic definition) edges into some other divisions of history. I’m mulling over continuing the posts on the Carolinas Campaign through North Carolina. Unlike that of South Carolina, my perception is that the march through North Carolina has gotten its “due” attention from historians. I don’t think I can improve upon the work done by Mark Bradley or my friend Eric Wittenberg in regard to the Bentonville Campaign or Battle of Monroe’s Crossroads (respectively).
There are some other subjects that I will put focus on through the spring. One is the last military campaign into South Carolina, lead by Brigadier-General Edward Potter and consisting largely of USCT, through the state in April. It’s another “footnote” in the larger story of the Civil War, but one that provides a bridge into the post-war situation in South Carolina. Another topic I’d like to work in within the “day by day” format is President Jefferson F. Davis’ flight through the Carolinas and Georgia. The path is well blazed by markers, so that allows me to showcase some of those along the way.
And of course… I will be “in the field” at several events between now and the end of April, from which I’ll do my best at covering here on the blog, on Twitter, and through Facebook.
All that said…. let me ask what you folks who spend a little part of your day reading the “stuff” I post what would be preferable. More on Uncle Billy’s march? More on something else? I’ll offer up a poll here, but feel free to drop a comment if you would like:
I can’t say that my coverage of Lee’s Retreat or Wilson’s Campaign would be set upon the firm grounding of the …well… full appreciation of the ground on which the actions took place… as I’ve been able to offer for the Georgia and South Carolina operations. But I’d consider taking up the task if the need is great. That is so long as it does not detract from the two topics (Potter’s South Carolina Campaign and Davis’ flight) mentioned above.
Well I was planning to post about the Chattanooga 150th events. But this happened:
So I went to the backup…. the “big” backup that is. Yes, the Internet Archives. There’s a lot of things over there of interest to those researching across the web. Of value in this situation, the “Wayback Machine” is the tool of choice. Plug in a URL and you can find some real history on the web!
The folks at Archives.org anticipated my move and even offer a page of links on their blog. But.. nothing is like having the real thing. Some of the content is cached. Some (like the big, high rez images on the Library of Congress site) is not. And most irritating for my Chattanooga quest, the site link directs loop back to the nasty “shutdown” page.
So… I submit this placeholder page for a later time when I’ll populate the Chattanooga 150th events. No comments please. Thanks.