With Google+ celebrating its public launch a year ago and KOMU 8 celebrating a year of experimenting in the social network, I thought it would be worthwhile to share some of the ways I see a tremendous shift in the way broadcast news is headed in the near future. G+ Hangouts changed the way our newscasts can interact and share but once Google opened up the tool for anyone to broadcast live on YouTube, it allowed anyone to become his or her own broadcaster. Since more and more people have high speed internet at home, more and more of those users are dumping cable and using streaming tools. My kids now use a Roku more than our DirecTV DVR. Netflix is now considered “the biggest cable network.”
So what is regional news doing with this information?
Not a lot.
That’s why I feel so lucky to work with Sarah Hill. She held a “G10 Summit” on Hangout broadcasting today. You can watch it on her YouTube channel. Broadcasting live from a hangout can be as easy as validating your Google Plus profile. Once you have a G+ Hangout Live account, you can start recording conversations, shows… Anything you can think of and include others from other webcams. This isn’t just something a professional can run. Anyone can do it. One of our mid-Missouri news viewers, Chad LaFarge, started a channel and holds hangouts called “Fix My Electronics.” Sarah recently wrote her top ten ways reporters can use hangouts for news coverage.
As Huffington Post moves into a streaming network, YouTube adds more original content channels and tools like Roku make it easier to take streaming networks directly to a television… Regional newsrooms need to experiment. National newsrooms need to experiment. (And some are joining streaming networks.) News content is not just the written word. Video content for the web can’t just be carbon copy from television. Somehow we need to find ways to reach out to the on-demand customer in a timely manner… Something sites like news video site, Newsy struggles with from time to time.
I hope we’ll continue to use the KOMU newsroom as a space to try new while keeping up with the traditional demands of broadcast. (And that’s an exhausting process at times!) A growing number of larger markets are trying new attempts at using Hangouts. But there’s more to be done in the on-demand stream. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep track of the new ideas and put more into action in my newsroom.