One of the challenges we faced when I worked at Current TV was how to balance the desire for widespread participation with the reality that there is a finite number of producers who have the skill set to produce high quality “pods” (short 1-7 minute non-fiction pieces). I was really excited to hear Amanda (at the L.A. Mashup) say that Current was moving in the direction of letting people send in snippets – 30 seconds or so of their take on a news story or issue, and that the network would edit them together into cohesive pieces. The challenge, of course, is that it’s very labor intensive to do this — you have to sort through potentially hundreds of submissions to find the one that will work and then create a story made from small pieces. I’m sure that’s why we’re not seeing cable news networks do this unless it’s in response to a huge breaking news story like the Tsunami or the London bombings.
I stumbled across this article today, about how Vh1 and Nokia are teaming up in India to give viewers a chance to create a music video composed of user generated video clips (assuming they will be mobile clips). What’s funny is that Current actually did this awhile back (a la Beastie Boys Awesome; I F–kin’ Shot That!) with The Shins. The producer blogged on Current that “I’m not sure I ever want to edit a piece like this again, it was a bit of a nightmare, but we’re proud with how it came out and how much support we got in putting it all together from The Shins and all the fan/cinematographers who participated.” The Yeah Yeah Yeahs also did something sort of similar by editing together YouTube fan clips for their video Cheated Hearts.
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