Monday, June 15, 2009

VLIPs -- Think Twitter, But With Video Clips -- Citizen Journalists, Just "Vlip It!"

Twitter has become a true force of nature, being used -- and entering the collective global consciousness -- in ways even its founders never could have imagined. This is not mere hyperbole -- Iranian protesters Tweeted their messages to the world and opened our eyes to the realities of Iranian politics. And, importantly, those endless individual messages simply could not be stopped. Virtually everyone, everywhere has a mobile phone. That means virtually everyone, everywhere can Tweet. And, that means that virtually everyone, everywhere now can be a citizen journalist .... whose voice can not be stopped by any government. Wow, that is power! That is the potential for every voice to be heard! That is democracy!

Now, imagine that democratizing power of Twitter to the "V"th degree -- that is, with video. Video Twitter, in other words. Citizen journalists -- rather than Tweet with text, why not press the record button on your mobile phone and record a brief video clip of what you are seeing. I like to call these brief video snippets "VLIPs" (as in video and clips). And, then, after you capture the video, just "Vlip it!" -- that is, publish that Vlip for the world to see (just like you do with your Tweets). (When I was CEO of SightSpeed, we had an initial vision of this Vlip concept two years ago ... a bit ahead of its time; NOW is the time.)

Those Vlips will be even more powerful than Tweets ... particularly in the world of citizen journalism. Imagine ground zero in Tehran for the Iranian elections. Now, rather than rely upon 140 characters to describe what is happening around you, simply record a Vlip and show the world instead.

Now, THAT is true citizen journalism. Nothing beats the power of video ... speaks for itself and in its own voice ...