Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Time (and Technology) Marches On ...

Eight years ago, only one local website delivered streaming video of Geroge and Laura Bush's visit to Midland, and was only partially successful. This time around, three local news websites promise streaming video of this afternoon's festivities ... and I suspect all three will be successful.

Time - and technology - marches on. While streaming video wasn't brand-spanking-new in January, 2001, it was still in its growth and development stage, as more and more groups were introducing it to their sites, refining it and expanding its capabilities. This was especially true in West Texas. I was editor of mywesttexas.com at the time, when it was a joint venture of the Midland Reporter-Telegram and KWES-TV/NewsWest 9. My part of the proposed sreaming video was simple ... the much harder task was on the technical side, where our engineering staff found themselves wearing an 'IT Hat' in addition to those they normally wore in the process of keeping a television station up and running, as well as setting-up and maintaining a live television signal from downtown Midland that day, and ensuring that all equipment (lights and cables, cameras and microphones, etc.) were ready.

The television broadcast of the rally was flawless ... I wish I could say the same for the webcast. As time went by, we were eventually overwhelmed by all the data and the room it required, and we had to close it down. We carried on from there with text, photos, and uploaded videos going online just a few minutes after they had been recorded. It wasn't live, but it wasn't pretty darn current. Over time, that would change. When I was editor of kwes.com, we would introduce consistent and reliable streaming video for our readers, and let them follow developing stories around Texas, around the nation and around the world.

Today, you can go to three local websites sites - the
Midland Reporter-Telegram, KWES-TV/NewsWest 9, and KOSA-TV/CBS 7 - for live coverage and streaming video of the event, and I suspect that all three will be successful.

Time, technology - and the expertise of the staff for each of these sites - marches on.

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