Getting the Most out of your Mobile Lens

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Getting the Most out of your Mobile Lens

When it comes to basic image quality mobiles today can compete with many consumer dSLRs.  Features such as RAW management and HDR, along with countless apps that extend mobile camera functionality, have led industry big shots such as Vincent Laforet to make bold predictions about a world in which only the most elite photographers use anything other than a mobile.

Still, one key limitation continues to afflict the mobile cameras: the lens. Mobiles have very small lenses compared to dSLR and mirrorless cameras. The size of a camera lens is important in several ways. Understanding a bit about lenses can help you solve some of mobile photo’s thorniest problems. Here are a few tips and examples of accessories that will help you get more out of your mobile.

Let there be light

The lens controls how much light strikes the sensor, which in turn control exposure and the ability to freeze motion. Mobile lenses are much smaller than the lenses in bigger cameras. An average diameter for a mobile camera lens is 4.4mm. An average diameter for a dSLR is 22mm.

It takes longer for the same amount of light to pass through an 4.4mm opening than to pass through a 22mm opening. The result is longer exposure times with mobiles that often lead to blurry images.  Image sensors and stabilization technology is getting better and better but mobiles continue to struggle in low light or with fast moving objects.  

One way to get better results with your mobile is to ensure as much light as possible when you shoot. It takes A LOT more light to get exposure with a mobile than to see with your eyes. Work during the day. Move closer to strong light sources. Open the curtains. Stabilize your camera to avoid blurriness caused by hand movement.

To zoom or not to zoom

There are two kinds of zoom: optical zoom and digital zoom, one good and one bad. Optical zoom, good zoom, is true zoom. Optical zoom lenses in dSLRs and point-and-shoots have several pieces of glass, called elements, in the lens barrel. When you push the zoom button or turn the lens barrel the elements move closer or farther from one another, changing the magnification without loss of image quality.

Mobile cameras have only one lens element and only support digital zoom. When you zoom with a mobile, done on most mobiles by “pinching” the screen with two fingers, the camera is simply cropping the visible image by enlarging the pixels. Image quality -- and stability -- deteriorate very quickly. Bad zoom.

I never zoom with my mobile. Better to physically move closer to the subject so image quality remains high. As an alternative, you can crop the image after you shoot in your native camera app or with a post-production app.

Extend The Lens

As explained above the lens in your mobile does not really zoom. The lens is fixed at a single focal length in the range between wide angle and telephoto. Different mobile manufacturers make their cameras with different fixed focal lengths. Typically the front-facing camera is wider angle than the front camera to make taking selfies easier. But, the front-facing camera is not as good in image quality.

Most mobile manufactures make the focal length of the back-facing lens equivalent to something in the range of 28mm to 35mm in a dSLR. The actual number is relative to sensor dimensions, which change from mobile to mobile. In the product specs the number is often given as the more standardized dSLR equivalent. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has in reality a 2.2mm lens but it is described as equivalent to a 31mm lens on an dSLR.

There are several different types of lenses and accessories you can buy to change the focal length of your lens or give it optical zoom. Olloclip makes a variety of high quality snap-on lenses for mobile phones.  That can extend the focal length of your mobile from super wide (16mm) to telephoto (120mm).  A limitation of these lenses is that they are often manufactured for specific phones and specific cases. Every time you upgrade your phone or buy a new case you need a news lens.

Another approach to improving mobile lens quality is the self-contained attachable lens. For example, the Sony Cybershot DSC-QX30 mounts on your phone and uses Bluetooth technology to connect. The Sony features a high quality lens with a larger aperture and 30X optical zoom. You use the Sony app and your mobile touch-screen to take the photos, making your phone little more than a storage device for the images. An interesting feature of this style of lens is that the lens does not have to be physically attached to the camera. The Bluetooth range is about 5 meters.

An emerging mobile photo and video advance is the DxO One. This device allows your phone to produce extremely high quality photo and video. It features a fixed lens (32mm) with a very large aperture that is capable cinematic image quality. The DxO One plugs into the power port on your mobile. Like the Sony it uses the phone as a camera control screen and as a storage device.

The future of mobile as a production tool for photo and video is not in doubt. Accessories that work to overcome lens limitation and extend functionality are surely part of the equation.

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/getting-the-most-out-of-your-mobile-lens
Going Vertical

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Going Vertical

I have spent a lot of time recently on Periscope. I am an occasional Snapchat user, too. I have also been watch and shooting a lot of video lately on my mobile.

One thing has become very clear to me: It’s time to not just tolerate vertical video in the mobile environment but to embrace it. The reality is that most people hold their mobiles vertically when they watch and shoot visual content. It is just more comfortable. Vertical composition gets the most out of screen real estate.

Not long ago a funny video on YouTube ridiculing vertical video syndrome went viral. Times are changing. YouTube has seen the numbers of vertical videos climb so much that earlier this year it updated its Android and iOS apps to let vertical videos display in full-screen mode. 60 percent of Facebook’s traffic is now mobile. The company -- and its advertiser -- are rethinking design to accommodate this new reality.

Backed by a bit of research and a lot of hands-on experience, app industry wizards understand that there is an emerging generation of video consumers who don’t think vertical video is a problem in a mobile environment. The media industry has taken note of the shift, too. Among others, Mashable to the The Daily Guardian are exploring professional videos shot vertically for the mobile audience.

Traditionalists maintain that we see the world horizontally -- our eyes are next to each other and not stacked. True. Some scenes lend themselves to horizontal composition, and people will undoubtedly continue to watch their favorite movies and TV shows holding their phones and tablets horizontally.

Traditional vs. Vertical

 
Traditional horizontal orientation.

Traditional horizontal orientation.

New vertical orientation.

New vertical orientation.

This side by side set of gifs shows that you need to rethink the frame for vertical, but it also offers new ways of arranging video that hasn't been possible with video before.

As mobiles become the primary platform of news and information of an ever-growing audience, vertical is no longer the video format of amateurs. It is becoming a format on the cutting edge of visual storytelling. Later this month Vimeo’s first Vertical Film Festival will feature some of the creative work being done with vertical video.

Citizen journalists and activists need to embrace the change. Learning to compose and shoot vertically is a challenge. It takes practice to do it well. Embrace it. Experiment. Shoot vertical and shoot proud.

All images credit @SteveWyshy

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/going-vertical
StoryMaker and the Newsroom

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StoryMaker and the Newsroom

Last week we had the opportunity, for the first time, to sit down with a functioning, experienced newsroom to talk about how StoryMaker might help them.

When we started building StoryMaker three years ago, we envisioned not the tool for workshops and training that it has become. Steve and I imagined a tool to help citizen journalists and activists make better content and tell more compelling stories. Since then, a few projects have emerged that used StoryMaker itself as the main platform for telling stories, most notably Mobile Community Zimbabwe, about which we’ve written quite a lot.

We met with the editorial team of a news organization that focuses quite a lot on Iran to discuss StoryMaker. They were very interested in how the app could facilitate gathering better content from their audience. As part of this, we created a curriculum to support citizen journalists in Iran, ahead of the elections there next year. We sat down with them recently at their office, to assess the progress and determine what is still missing.

We are not yet ready to announce the name of the organization we are working with. Suffice it to say they are on online media outlet that has years of experience covering Iran, but is fairly new to the realm of citizen journalism and multimedia content. It is interesting that they envision a hybrid model for their coverage. Rather than assigning their staff to use StoryMaker, they will primarily use the app as a platform for requesting content from citizen journalists.

Winning the time of any working journalist is always difficult, much more so nearly an entire editorial staff. We were really grateful for their time, and learned a lot. In the coming weeks we’ll be implementing some changes in StoryMaker, based on their feedback.

Professional journalists with access to the knowledge and equipment necessary to produce high quality content do not have as much need for a tool like StoryMaker in their daily work. The promise of StoryMaker to them lies in reaching citizen journalists and locating the next generation of professional journalists and storytellers in Iran.

We are thinking a lot about this feedback, comparing it to what we have heard from trainers and citizen journalists in the past, and planning how to respond. We have drafted an initial set of templates for citizen journalists, aimed at providing more specific story formats for some users, and will be releasing those to the public very soon. Remember you can always reach us via Twitter at @StoryMakerOrg and @SmallWorldNews and via our website. We look forward to hearing from you.

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/storymaker-and-the-newsroom
Trainer Profile: Privilege Musvanhiri

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Trainer Profile: Privilege Musvanhiri

This is the first in a series of profiles intended to showcase the trainers who work with Small World News and StoryMaker. We are very proud of our network of local trainers and want to share their stories with the global community of mobile media activists and educators.

Name: Privilege Musvanhiri

Country: Zimbabwe

Professional Experience:  Privilege is a 36-year-old professional journalist with more than 10 years experience working in Zimbabwe. He has worked for local newspapers and the national broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcast Corporation. He received training in online and multimedia journalism in Berlin, German, which sparked his interest in emerging technologies.

He worked full-time as online editor for a newspaper The Zimbabwe Mail, which is now closed. Since 2008 Privilege has worked as a freelance journalist stringing for German radio and TV. He is currently consulting as the lead trainer for the mobile storytelling project Mobile Community Zimbabwe. In addition to Zimbabwe, he has worked as a StoryMaker trainer in Burundi, Kenya, and Zambia.

How did you get into media training?

In 2013, I had an opportunity to be trained and work as a StoryMaker trainer in Zambia for the mobile storytelling project, Mobile Community Zimbabwe. Brian Conley from Small World News conducted the training. This contact led to more opportunities, and I have since developed a strong interest in media training, in particular mobile storytelling tools.

Why do you think media training is important for your country, regionally, globally?

Ongoing media training has become essential. New media is ever evolving and this calls for today’s journalist to stay abreast of basic technologies used in the industry. It is essential that journalists around the world constantly work to update their skills and learn new things.

In response to new technologies traditional ideas about journalism are constantly being challenged. Practitioners cannot afford to distance themselves from these developments. To quote New York Times correspondent, Ron Dixon, journalism has changed; we are now speaking with people not to people because of new technologies such as social media.

The advent of mobile storytelling tools such as StoryMaker has enabled citizens to play an active role in the chain of communication, but it can only be effective if people are trained to use the technology.

In Zimbabwe Media training is essential to fill in the existing skills deficiency in newsrooms. Most journalists learned the basics in school but lack professional training in new media skills and technology. Media training institutions are still using old curricula that are no longer applicable to the modern day setting.

What was an experience that illustrates why training is important to you?

The greatest moment was when one of my trainees was listed in the top four for the 2015 Mojocon & Thomson Foundation Mobile Journalism Award even though in the end he did not win. I am quite thrilled to equip citizens with tools that enable them to tell alternative stories to the common narratives that appear in the mainstream media.

Tell us one thing you would like to share with people who might be interested in media development but have no experience.

Training, keen interest in learning and experimenting with new technologies is key in today’s media development. ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) have opened a huge window of opportunity to learn new media technologies.

Tell us about Mobile Community Zimbabwe.

Mobile Community Zimbabwe (MCZ) is a project that gives young Zimbabweans a voice and a platform to share and exchange information through mobile phone technology and social media. 

Using the StoryMaker application, the project builds the capacity of participants to use high technology devices and applications that enable the development and editing of short mobile videos, audio and picture stories.

Since its inception in 2013, the project has trained more than 100 participants from different parts of the country. The participants have managed to report varied topics from their communities ranging from economy, human rights and social issues.

The project has managed to cover stories that are not normally covered by mainstream media but are of importance to a community.

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/trainer-profile-privilege-musvanhiri
Video Monitoring from Community Out

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Video Monitoring from Community Out

Since the beginning of September our friends at Video Volunteers have been hosting an online discussion among members of the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights about effectiveness of community-based monitoring using video. Video Volunteers is a fellow member of the Video4Change network and has been affecting change in India for ten years.

“[Contributors] report in order to show the world their realities and to get solutions,” writes Jessica Mayberry, founding director of Video Volunteers(VV), about IndiaUnheard Community Correspondents.  “They show the videos back to government officials and communities and then create impact campaigns—either at the village level or, with Video Volunteers' staff, at the national or international level.”

I helped VV design and launch the IndiaUnheard program five years ago, and it’s been amazing to see it evolve. VV and IndiaUnheard have made monitoring from within the community an essential complement to the work done by outside experts. One of the most interesting elements is the way in which VV uses video and the threat of exposure as a means to enact change. IndiaUnheard has shown that often it is the threat of bad publicity and exposure of incompetence or malice that creates change.

My colleague John Smock and I experienced the same thing in Libya during a video workshop three years ago when a trainee succeeded at getting construction of a new medical clinic jump started before his exposé revealing the failing clinic ever hit YouTube.

In VV’s case, Jessica, the director, notes they’ve created several thousand impact videos, pointing to the successes of their Community Correspondents’ campaigns. Additionally they convinced UNDP to turn over the evaluation process of one of their India programs to the “beneficiaries,” and trained 20 women to monitor the program’s success and create videos conveying messages from women in rural India about “what women’s empowerment means to them.”

Jessica says they have found video to be very effective because:

  • You don’t need literacy to produce a video, or to watch it. It’s effective particularly in areas with high levels of illiteracy. Also, people love to watch video—if you put up a screen in villages in India, you’ll have hundreds of people ready to watch and learn.

  • There are certain intriguing processes—like participatory video games—that bring people together and draw their attention towards generating solutions to challenges.

  • YouTube is now the biggest growing part of the Internet—video is an effective way to bring community voices to decision-makers. A video that is entirely produced by a community group can be comprehensible to audiences of experts.

I’ll be joining the conversation this week about Jessica’s piece. I hope you’ll join us and provide your own insights, comments, and questions.

The increasing ubiquity of cameras and other technology holds great promise for monitoring, and increasing the influence of human rights defenders. Video Volunteers makes it clear that’s more possible if we are more creative in our approach.

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/video-monitoring-from-community-out
Shooting Better Sit-down Interviews with a Mobile

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Shooting Better Sit-down Interviews with a Mobile

Shooting interviews with any camera is a challenge. Doing it well with a mobile can often make it even more difficult. But mobile also has some advantages. The cameras are pretty simple, upload immediately and share content significantly faster.

In August I had to shoot some interviews with a mobile during a residency I did at Ideo, a global design firm with a human-centered, design-based approach. I was lucky enough to spend two weeks with them this past August. I want to share some of what I learned about shooting interviews with a mobile.

Simple Backdrop

I used a large whiteboard that was in the office at Ideo to create a background which kept the frame free from distractions. You don’t have to use white. Any simple color will work, though it’s usually best to have it be a lighter color to help keep the image brighter. I was lucky to have such a large whiteboard accessible, but this look can also be achieved with a simple piece of posterboard.

Big Windows for Good Light

Besides the backdrop, I found a corner of the office that has large windows with plenty of light. This works especially well if you can shoot in a corner or a room that has light coming in from both sides. Light from both sides will help balance the light on the subject’s face and reduce shadows.

External Mic

There’s no way around it, sound is the biggest challenge you face when it comes to using a mobile for interviews. You really want to make sure the audio is as good as possible. While my experience showed the iRig Mic Cast did give me a better audio signal, I still had to boost the volume before I posted these interviews.

I don’t know when you’ll ever be able to reliably use a mobile without a mic of any kind. When outside you’re always going to have loud traffic going by. Inside there is often music playing on radios or the hum of fans. In the meantime, the best course of action is to make sure your subject is speaking at a good volume and clearly. Position the mic to minimize background noise. There's a good post about using mics with a mobile written by Brian if you want more details.

Lock it Down

Holding a camera steady is a special skill. There are lots of good tricks people use to get a steady image. If you know you’re going to be in one place, nothing beats a good tripod to make your image rock solid. I used a Joby GripTight Mount with their “ballhead SLR-Zoom for SLR Cameras” which was attached to a tripod that was in their office. The ballhead is a component that is easy to skip, but with this component it is substantially easier to make subtle adjustments to the mobile-this would be far harder to do using only the tripod. This not only gives a stable image, it frees me up to focus on the answers my subject is giving me.

Good technical skills are essential to good visual storytelling. When you’re looking to shoot one or more interviews quickly and can squeeze in the time and effort before you begin, these tips can add a lot of production value.

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/shooting-better-sit-down-interviews-with-a-mobile
Zimbabwe: Citizen Journalism in Action

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Zimbabwe: Citizen Journalism in Action

This week Mobile Community Zimbabwe (MCZ) announced the graduation date for the second year’s students, totalling 76 participants. Small World News, in partnership with Free Press Unlimited, helped launch the MCZ project in 2013. Since then, MCZ has trained 122 Zimbabwean citizen journalists and activists.

Mobile Community Zimbabwe is a project that gives ambitious young Zimbabweans a voice and a platform to share and exchange information through mobile phones, video and social media. Using the StoryMaker app on Android-enabled smart phones, the MCZ project equips young Zimbabweans from across the country with skills to use their devices to tell compelling stories about themselves and their communities.

"Mobile Storytelling is poised for growth in Zimbabwe as more people and media organizations are appreciating the power of mobile telephone story production,” says Privilege Musvanhiri, lead trainer of Mobile Community Zimbabwe.

This week Mobile Community Zimbabwe highlighted Witness Taverwisa’s video about Jiri, a local recycler in the Nguboyenja community:

During the 2014-2015 training year, MCZ, overseen by Her Zimbabwe, partnered with two training institutions in Zimbabwe: the National University of Science and Technology and Midlands State University to train university students. Additionally, a partnership with Alpha Media Holdings led the AMH Voices project to publish MCZ videos at NewsDay Zimbabwe.  Universities are especially excited about StoryMaker, “The universities have embraced the use of mobile for storytelling and are now adapting the trainings into their curriculums,” said Privilege.

This year Mobile Community Zimbabwe stepped up its social media campaigning and interactions online. On their Facebook page, MCZ posts photos of the day from stories and different events in Zimbabwe covered by participants. On Twitter the MCZ team have been championing the #MCZinAction hashtag, providing a way for their audience to keep track of their work and participants’ engaging stories.

One recent participant, Mbongeni Ncube, has started a blog to journal his experience and videos made as part of the program. One of his first videos profiles workers in Cowdry Park, an “underdeveloped neighborhood,” who break rocks with hand tools to make a living. [embed this video: 

The program has served to create a great camaraderie among participants.“MCZ has generated friendly competition among the citizen journalists, with each vying to produce the best video, audio or picture story everyday,”  says Natasha Msonza, MCZ coordinator at Her Zimbabwe. “A project structured in this way has resulted in a stronger, more committed network that advances the democratic participation and active citizenship of marginalized peoples and communities.”

At Small World News we are very excited to see Mobile Community Zimbabwe grow and thrive. Welook forward to the graduation. Good luck to all MCZ participants in your upcoming video competition!

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/zimbabwe-citizen-journalism-in-action
Get more from your Mobile Camera: Separate Exposure from Focus Points

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Get more from your Mobile Camera: Separate Exposure from Focus Points

Photo is the universal language of global social media.  A good photo sums up an entire story in a single frame. Photos do not require that you share a language with your audience. They do not take up a lot of bandwidth to share or a great deal of space to store. For activists and citizen journalists, the ability to produce good photos is an essential skill.

Most smartphones are capable of producing very high-quality images -- if you know how to use them. But getting consistently good results from your mobile can be tough. A common problem is due to  the fact that most native camera apps set both focus and exposure at the same point in the image. This can make it hard to find the right place on the screen to touch when trying balance exposure and focus.

In this image both the exposure and focus points are set when the photographer touches the same place on the screen. 

In this image both the exposure and focus points are set when the photographer touches the same place on the screen. 

Too often the subject of your image will appear out of focus or partially “blown out,” meaning overexposed and white, or too dark and out focus. This happens when you can’t find the perfect place to tap on the screen to set both features at once. To make matters worse, many native mobile cameras will reset after each photo. Even if you solve the problem with your first photo, you will have to do it again for the next.
This can make shooting good
mobile photos impractically slow and extremely frustrating.

In this image the focus point is set on the subject and the exposure is set at  a point that will provide a better meter reading.

In this image the focus point is set on the subject and the exposure is set at  a point that will provide a better meter reading.

Here is a simple fix that can reduce the problem: separate your focus point from your exposure point when you take a photo. If taking multiple images of the same general scene, lock your selections as you go from one shot to the next.

For Android users some Samsung phones and Sony phones have the ability to separate the two built into their native camera application. If you are using an Android phone that does not come with this feature, Camera Awesome ($2.99 USD) will solve the problem. This app allows the photographer to easily separate the focus point of the screen from the exposure point. It also allows you to lock your selections from one image to the next.  It is simple, quick, and the interface is easy to control.

For iPhone users Camera+ ($2.99 USD) provides an excellent solution.  Camera+ works just as well as as Camera Awesome. Both Camera Awesome and Camera+ offer a variety of other images management features that can be useful.

The worlds of social media mobile tools are fundamentally visual worlds. Posts on social platforms such as Facebook generate 180 percent more engagement when there is visual content. Numbers are even higher with photos that are self-explanatory and do not require text to understand. The ability to separate and lock focus and exposure will help you take better photos.

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/26skbh2fa8xudirumio7ry8k181hzu
Silenced by Bandwidth

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Silenced by Bandwidth

At Small World News for the last few years we’ve focused primarily on building a mobile app for making great stories with your mobile device. This struck many as an interesting turn for an organization that had so far prided itself on being technology and platform-agnostic. However, though we have focused in on StoryMaker, we continue to recognize that each job is unique which is why we prioritize finding the right tool or approach based on the need.

Unlike many other applications in this space, StoryMaker does not rely on the cloud for editing, processing, or storing your media. StoryMaker works entirely offline. This is in part because we recognize that the largest body of individuals who lack representation in the media, and who are unheard, lack access to high bandwidth internet. For many, they may lack regular access to low bandwidth internet as well.

We are currently working on making StoryMaker more accessible and more useful to users in highly censored or disconnected environments, such as in Afghanistan, rather than deploying a smartphone-intensive approach to citizen journalism to document the election, we worked with Impassion Afghanistan to create a curriculum for citizen journalists to consume by radio, and encouraged them to participate in documenting the election by phoning and texting reports to the station.

All over the world we have found trainees and colleagues with a deep desire to tell their own stories and participate in global conversations. But in many areas we work, such as Zimbabwe, Burundi, Afghanistan, and India, we find connectivity continues to be one of the most obvious divisions between successful storytellers and the unheard. This was also noted in Nepal back in May, where SMS as well as low bandwidth apps like WhatsApp and Viber proved to be key in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

Many companies and organizations are starting to notice this division. In order to reach those in emerging markets, their apps will have to work on low bandwidth. Last year Internet.org’s Innovation Lab enabled Yahoo and Twitter, among others, to discover “their apps break when on a simulated developing world network. The Broadcast Board of Governors, which oversees a broad array of programs targeting communities with low bandwidth, has been focused on making their content available to these communities for quite awhile. As noted earlier this year, they already have several versions of their apps developed specifically for use on java-only phones. These are great steps, and I hope a focus on developing tools that consider the specific needs of low bandwidth communities will continue concurrently with efforts to increase connectivity. As an organization dedicated to helping diversify the community of storytellers, we will continue to look for new strategies to support them, regardless of income or bandwidth.

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/silenced-by-bandwidth
Getting More out of Meerkat & Periscope

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Getting More out of Meerkat & Periscope

Earlier this year Periscope hit the mainstream and much discussion soon followed about it and Meerkat. Both apps allow users to stream live video from a mobile and were being declared the latest important advances in social media tools for activists and journalists. Ideas swirled about how they could be used to provide exciting live documentation for all sorts of important stories.

For many community journalists and activists, building meaningful audience for live coverage remains a huge challenge. The vast majority of current Periscope and Meerkat users are just there for fun, though you can bet the numbers will continue to grow in size and interests. Some practical tips for building audience and using the tools more professionally are already beginning to emerge.

The services that each app provides around its live coverage differ ––app extras, the ability to schedule events and how videos are saved, for example. Periscope, recently acquired by Twitter, seems to be beating out Meerkat in the marketplace at the moment. You need to figure out which works best for you.

No matter the tool, as you begin to explore or work to hone what you already know, here are some quick tips to help you get the most out of it:

  1. Promote your event -- As with any social media tool, you need to get the word out about your event prior to going live. Become part of the social community related to your topic. Build a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube. Post your event through comments or a hashtag where you know you have a potential audience. Be sure to engage people in discussion about your issue rather than just announce your coverage plan. Partnerships with individuals or organizations that can bring in viewers are also helpful.

  2. Coordinate between platforms -- This is an emerging trend throughout the social media sphere. Here is an example: New York Times Lens Blog co-founders James Estrin and David Gonzalez recently did a walking photo tour in the Bronx, New York, with a group of photographers interested in public art and graffiti. They streamed portions of the walk with Periscope and pointed viewers to content in a related Instagram feed, building great audience for both current and future projects on two platforms.  

  3. Respond to comments -- Live mobile video coverage itself is not new. What is new is the ability to engage your audience directly through comments while streaming. Don’t dismiss this feature. Respond to comments and maybe even adjust your coverage plan accordingly: what do people want to see? What questions do they want answered?  Let your audience influence your coverage plan.

  4. The rules of good video production apply -- The visual culture of these tools definitely favors vertical video. No matter which way you hold your device, your video should be stable. As much as possible plan your coverage and compose your shots carefully. If you pan, pan sparingly and pan slowly. And, of course, think through what you need to do to ensure good audio quality. NOTE: Some live events, such as speeches or rallies might be shot as a series of clips rather than as a long, continuous feed.

These are just a few ideas to get you started with live mobile video. Don’t be afraid to try out your own ideas even even if they take you in a very different direction than you anticipated. We’ll keep sharing our thoughts and experiences. Please share with us any examples of ideas that work for you

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Link: http://smallworldnews.com/blog/getting-more-out-of-meerkat-periscope