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Is the De-Monetization of Breaking News At Hand?
openness groundnews livestreaming
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I'm jaunting around New York this weekend which gives me the opportunity to try out the Citizen App. It's an app that facilitates the ability of everyday people to transmit news of accidents, fires, and, more to the talent of Citizen App, the more granular things such as 'guy passed out on sidewalk'.

People could already do this on Facebook or Twitter, as examples, but the Citizen App brings all the tools into a focused single stream of people who both care as individuals around such events, and who also have the impulse to act as informing broadcaster. It's like Next Door but much more fluid and designed to be 'ready at the hand'.

The app allows you to broadcast immediately from the scene of an event, as does Periscope or Facebook or Instagram Live generally, which seems to challenge the monetization process typically associated to the acquisition and distribution of exclusive breaking news type events.

If everyone is broadcasting what would otherwise have taken a for-profit news team or an independent, paid, stringer might have, then what is the value of a for-profit news team or the would-be 'night crawlers' who make a living selling footage to TV stations and the like?

In the video I am posting here you can hear that the Citizen App broadcaster is approached by someone who mildly castigates him for broadcasting without the intent to make money. The male voice apparently gives the broadcaster his contact card and reminds the broadcaster that he isn't making any money using Citizen App.

Openness.org No Longer Points Here
Openness project
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Openness.org no longer points to my web page advocating for open police communications. I am working to set the cause up under a different domain and will have more to say on that sooner or later.

In general for the past 5 months you may have noticed my entire expression platform has been under turbulent reconfiguration to prepare for something 'more' than just a sparsely populated blog. Just stay tuned!

Parkside Underground Transformer Fire
buffaloscan periscope video groundnews openness
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I figured the snowstorm scheduled to hit Buffalo today would be the most interesting event. Instead, an underground transformer fire just outside my house by one block put me in ground footage mode for Buffalo Scan. Here are the raw videos from the Periscope footage.

The fire apparently caused a power outage for some 800 residents on the Parkside half of the event (I live on the opposite side), and, at the beginning, even resulted in some evacuations of the immediate homes. I tuned in just as the fire crews were requesting National Grid and Buffalo Police for street closure control.

Ground footage of emergency response handling to
underground transformer fire on Amherst Street.

Fire on Richlawn

No sooner had I clamped the snow off my shoes after shooting the ground footage above, a fire broke out at a home on Richlawn Avenue. The street was close enough for me to jaunt to without much hassle, so I did. It took almost 15 minutes to get the car warmed and cleaned up enough to safely drive over, so the fire was knocked out by the time arrived.

Fire knocked out on Richlawn Avenue. No sound.

This video doesn't include sound due to a Periscope malfunction of some kind. But it's just as well. A woman skirted by to get closer to the fire but hurled an epithet at me in apparent disgust of someone filming the fire, in the process. I think this is the first time I've been admonished by a random member of the public (a police officer once guilted me for filming a patient being loaded into an ambulance), but, my stance on this remains. Some people are going to gawk at a non-media professional engaging in media collection events as they are unfamiliar with the emerging culture of ground footage 'buffs' or enthusiasts, and assume the act is as frivolous as it must look.

Blogs Consolidated
sitenews wbrail tamparail openness techcity
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I have gone ahead with an idea that I have been flirting with for a couple of months now (and, may have previously -- hard to tell with my admittedly erratic web strategy of years past), which is to consolidate my various other theme blogs with this one.

Specifically, these titles are now hosted in the same framework as that of my personal blog which is the one you are looking at right now:

  • Tampa Rail
  • Wilkes-Barre Rail
  • Openness
  • Tech for the City

Those titles will continue to have the very rare entries represented here at Dave the Web Guy and will be indexed by the category labels tamparail, wbrail, openness, and techcity.

I did this because the overhead of maintaining all those separate blogging presentations was diffusing a cohesive effort to keep my messaging active. Most these blog titles were languishing without fresh content and in turn the respective messages they attempted to deliver was taking a hit. If the flagship blogs aren't active it is too easy, in my summation, for visitors to assume the same about the causes themselves.

The messages are still important to me as is the ability to chronical their respective evolutions in a place that exists outside Twitter or Facebook. Turning these topics into category entries at my personal blog not only allows me to do so, it also restores the energy to my personal blog in the form of a single view overlooking the wide range of interests and causes that I have come to evangelize over the years.

In short, the topics are no longer interesting standing on their own, driven by a single personality, as much as my personality is maybe a little more interesting with direct visibility to the variety of topics that I behold. I look at it as maybe two publishing problems being solved.

There are custom domains that were pointed to the blogs I list above. They will now land here at equivalent custom "pages" that will continue to serve as their headquarters and where a timeline presentation of their individual evolutions will be displayed. Basically I will be taking the existing custom index pages that drove their previous blogs and migrating them one by one to this site. Here is how the one for OpennessOrg looks for example.

My only concern with this new approach is that it may render my personal blog here somewhat discombobulated or "disjointed" of its own message, which is to effectively bitch about the dying World Wide Web alongside issues in my personal life. One day I might be talking about how annoying hangnail is, to be followed in an entry the next day about some contract dispute preventing train tracks being laid in the Poconos (a Wilkes-Barre Rail topic) or another police agency that has gone to a digitally encrypted radio network (an Openness topic). Unless I synthesize the presentation overall very carefully, readers might be confused.

Fortunately though, in this universe at least, I don't post that often and I certainly don't have many regular readers. Nonetheless, here's to hoping this new format changes things for the better.

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