Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Live Online Television: New Emerging Formats - Robin Good TV Calls For Grassroots News Reporters

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A live, grassroots video streaming channel broadcasting media and technology news from all corners of the planet. One city / commentator at the break of very hour. This is my vision for the Robin Good TV channel I want to officially launch in the coming days and for which I am now looking for additional qualified contributors.

Photo credit: Michael Pettigrew and Carsten Reisinger remixed by Robin Good

Live video streaming on the net is the most powerful and disruptive media phenomena taking place right now. For those of you who have not yet caught a glimpse of this change-missile shooting by the new online television horizon, the newly born live video streaming industry is still very small, but the opportunities it is about to open up, for those who have original ideas to use them, are absolutely staggering.

The revolution in the happening is that there is absolute infinite bandwidth available for anyone who wants to broadcast a live video channel on the net including to the full infrastructure required to upload, stream, record, playback, integrate ads and mix in multiple video sources: Ustream, Stickam, Operator11, and the newest kid on the block, Mogulus all offer the above at zero cost to would-be signers-up.

But, while everyone gets excited in sitting in front of her webcam for a few hours a day, the time has already come to look beyond the thrill of neophyte and into what kind of "content formats" could be devised for such a uniquely powerful platform.

As my goal is really one of exploring and testing new media opportunities first and foremost from a communication, and not a business, perspective, I have no intention to be another Justin (he is already doing great breaking up new ground in that direction).

I have been thinking along the lines of what I would have liked to see as well as what I have not seen around yet among these emerging new web televisions yet and I wanted to come up with an online television format that could provide a uniquely valuable service while leveraging in full the cooperative and collaborative nature of the web.

I wanted also to give to the "live" aspect that these new technologies offer, a great deal of importance by centering its content focus on something that was deeply connected with timing.

And so here is my motivation objectives and my first profile announcement of what this live video channel will be like:

Why I want to do it - My Goals


As I just mentioned, in setting up this new idea for a live video news channel on the Internet, these are my goals:

  1. Create a new, innovative, online television format that is embodies the winning traits of this new online television medium: grassroots, live, distributed-open.
  2. Do as much as possible without external help and with as little as possible additional financial funding, and economically relevant partners. Use as much as possible what is out there coupled with the knowledge and expertise I already have.
  3. Provide a useful global information service that reaches many individuals across the planet while giving access to content not available anywhere else.
  4. Invent an online live news format that could showcase the communication power potential of a truly grassroots channel organized by its own reporters.
  5. Take the existing live video streaming potential already available via the pioneering personal broadcasting services out there and move it to the next level. Enough talking heads in front of a monitor replicating old media formats that break little new ground.
  6. Show to those convinced that great ideas and opportunities always require start-up money, that this is not necessarily so. Demonstrate if at all possible, that cooperation, collaboration and the desire to innovate by co-modeling new ideas is as a viable model as doing a business with some startup money - and maybe it is even more sustainable and significantly less expensive.

Live World Video News - Profile for an innovative Net TV Channel Format


Here the key characteristics of the live video streaming channel I am about to launch:

  • At every hour a reporter from a different location around the world connects up to our news channel and goes live with her personal newscast lasting from five to fifteen minutes. As the clock arms move this news channel follows independent news sources from contributing time zones.
  • Each newscast is recorded and made available for viewing right after being broadcast. Recorded newscast rotate in between the live newscasts going live at every break of the hour (with more reporters we could obviously increase the frequency of the live newscasts).
  • Newscasters go live with their audio and video from whatever location they are at, and can also intermix their live news reporting with clips and footage that they have either shot and uploaded or that they have found online in popular video archives such as YouTube or other major video sharing sites.
  • Each newscaster covers the news that are important to her. While I am inclined in slecting individual contributors having a strong interest in media, technology, communication and education, I am looking also at unique contributors having particularly interesting perspectives on the daily news. There is no other editorial policy that covering the news that are relevant to each contributing reporter. Their link selection, their editorial or opinion piece, their just finished coverage of the news for today, are all perfect contributions for this news service.
  • The technology that supports this new online live tv format is all browser-based, can be operated from any type of computer / operating system, is compatible with major browsers and requires no software to be installed on the reporter's computers.
  • Newscasters can elect to sponsor themselves and their newscast and can use graphics and titles in the opening and closing portions of their newscast as well as on their dresses to promote and give visibility to products, services and organizations of their choice.
  • The news channel does not use interruptive advertising such as pre-roll ads or interstitials.
  • There is no business model as such. This is a conscious choice. The goal is to explore the format and my ability to create it from scratch and only later, if successful, to analyze and to judge possible monetization opportunities.



The hardest part of this project is putting together a grassroots planetary news team that is qualified and credible enough to be able to attract the attention of new and old media outlets.

So here I am still in need of lots of help.

I have contacted a few of my close and trusted media and technology friends and while I have been able to get a commitment from a small but qualified group, I have found great resistance in finding would-be contributing reporters that were willing to sacrifice their 5 to 15 minutes per day that this voluntary, unpaid job would require.

The initial group of voluntary supporters includes, among others, these people (not all of them will be able to join the starting daily edition - but they will all contribute to the initiative in one way or another):

John Blossom - New York
Michel Bauwens - Chiang Mai, Thailand
Teemu Arina - Helsinki, Finland
Howard Rheingold - San Francisco, USA
Jay Cross - Berkeley, USA
Dina Metha - Mumbai, India
Amit Argawal - ....., India
Gerrit Visser - Groningen, Holland
Ted Shelton - Berkeley, USA and myself
Robin Good - Rome, Italy

I am clearly missing still reporters from Australia, the Pacific, the African continent, the Middle East, China, Japan, East Europe, and all of Latin America just to name the most prominent gaps. But I certainly need more. Many more.

If you are someone that tracks and monitor news from a unique viewpoint... someone who maybe writes a blog or selects news stories for some other purpose... if you would love to share your personal viewpoint with thousands of other people... this maybe the very first opportunity to do so.

I have contacted a number of other people including Rok Hrastnik, Michael Tippet, John Tropea, Lee Lefever, Ross Dawson and several others but they were all either too busy or pressed by other issues to either accept my proposal or to even have the opportunity to learn from me what the scoop was all about. Even Diego Galli, the only Italian I contacted to offer this unique opportunity felt, after 24 hours wrote me he had already too many duties to attend already in his life to take this adventurous chance.

I would love to have two or three of the cool technology analysts from the American West Coast to join this channel as well, but have hesitated to contact the few I personally know fearing that with the contacts they have, they would have run with the ball before me. But as I am now making the project idea public, I have no hesitation in calling for the likes of Robert, Chris, or Marshall or even for the likes of Jeff Jarvis or Dan Gillmor, and many of the other good online friends I have met and exchanged over the last few years to step up and join me in this project.

Will any of the big guys come down from their golden throne and join such a new radical project?

In fact you need not be famous, have a high Technorati ranking or Google PR to join in. There are no strict requirements outside your proven expertise and the will to provide 5 to 15 minutes every day of personal news coverage in English.

Technology-wise these the other requirements:

- Broadband connection (at least 384 Kbps in upstream)
- PC, Mac, Linux OK
- Webcam + microphone
- Headphones
- Web browser
- Some familiarity with video uploading

Technology, media and education-related bloggers have an ideal profile to fulfill this role but they need not be the only category of people that could do this job well. Even if you do not have a blog or web site but feel would be well qualified to do this, do contact me ASAP.

Women reporters are particularly welcome.

I am also lining up a complementary group of qualified opinion leaders and influencers who want to join in the project but who can only spare their five to fifteen minutes slot during Saturdays and Sundays. If you feel you may belong to this groups send me a note right away now.

Testing Time


I would like to run this adventure for about two months before making a first project evaluation of where and how to steer its following future development. It may be a flop, it may never take really off, it may remain an underground attempt or take its opportunity to ignite a new wave of news information channels like the one just described above.

That means that all volunteer contributors joining in, need not make a commitment for life, but just for a month before deciding whether to commit themselves fully to this or not.

But starting time is just about now as I have only a few days before going live with it.

Do You Want Be An Official News Contributor?


If you would like to contribute your skill and time to this world video news grassroots project by being one of the live reporters broadcasting daily please send in ASAP your personal information by including these items:

  • Your Location/Time Zone:

  • Connection quality:

  • Your Blog/Site URL (if you have one):

  • Time of the day you would be willing to offer (give me at least 2 alternatives):

  • Your name / credentials (why should I choose you?)

email ASAP to: Robin.Good[at]


Launching a new project online and hoping to stir enough attention to make your idea mark a new way of doing things, a new approach, a temporary model for a possible new direction is a million times harder than thinking it.

I am a crazy man... I like the challenge, the bruise with the impossible, the taste of trying something innovative and never done before, because my mission here on this planet is indeed one of a joyful explorer testing new tools, methods and approaches to communicate and understand each other more effectively.

If you, like me, want to change the way we use media, you want to enable the small guy instead of another large media conglomerate, if you want to really innovate and question-by-doing media established ways of filtering and selecting your news, this is an opportunity that gives me and you the ability to start modeling for others what the next age of television news may actually look like.

If you like me, want to show to large established media organization, how powerful can the new grassroots media be when supported by inexpensive but efficient technologies, I would love to have you as my companion during this journey together.

Make your voice heard. I am listening.

Photo credits:

Call to action and Goals - Andres Rodriguez

Testing Time by Stanely Hong

Contributors by Dashek

Originally written by for Master New Media and first published as "Live Online Television: New Emerging Formats - Robin Good TV Is Coming"

Readers' Comments    
2009-10-20 06:13:30

Robin Good

Sure, I think that what you are looking for is It provides you with the features you have just described.

2009-10-20 05:44:02


"Newscasters go live with their audio and video from whatever location they are at"

This part makes me curious. I've been googling away for hours on end without any luck. Me and a friend is hosting a live broadcasted podcast where we both use video and audio. So far, we've been using Ustream with its co-host feature to get both videos in there. However, it's a solution that is very complicated (especially since the audio is coming from one source, our skype conversation).

So what we're looking for is a way to get my webcam and his webcam to both show up on some sort of video mixer on my computer, so I can do all the video mixing before the stream even goes on air. That would also improve the audiovideo sync.

You got any recommendations?

2007-06-15 03:01:06

John Tropea

Thankyou for considering me Robin.

Unfortunately blogging alone is cutting into my family life, so I'll have to pass at this stage.

Best of luck, this is a cool idea, but also demanding.

A grassroots news room coming from bedrooms all over the world by self researched news correspondents...who needs a newsroom with a bunch of people.

posted by Robin Good on Thursday, June 14 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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