Watched an interesting presentation by Robin Sloan of current.tv today, nice coda to last night’s talk by Chris Walton of the BBC. Both networks have harnessed the power of user-generated content in ways that go way beyond the casual contribution – BBC has an entire bureau (“hub”) of editors tracking, databasing, fact-checking, and processing cell phone photography, comments on beeb stories, email messages, etc., all now a staple of their “normal” news gathering process.
The idea behind current.tv was always to be UGC-focused, but many didn’t think it had legs. It has, it’s profitable, and it’s good. The relationship between their web and TV properties is total symbiosis – the web acts like a catch basin, accepting UGC from all comers and posting most of it. Editors squeeze and condense out the best of that into the content stream that feeds the TV network. Brave new world.
In passing, Sloan showed a mesmerizing web experiment called Twistori that sifts and filters key words from Twitter streams. Sit and watch the world of love/hate/think/believe/feel/wish go by. The public mind on parade. Weird and kind of wonderful (and strangely depressing).