NowThisNews Reports in Just 15 Seconds with Instagram

Reporting the news has been transforming since the advent of technology became affordable for the general population and since then has reached the point where anyone can be a publisher of content. NowThisNews is taking this transformation one step further by shortening news updates to just 15 seconds on their Instagram platform. Typically, Instagram videos are created on the phone with stop motion videography. However, it is possible to upload a video that was created elsewhere and publish it through the platform as well. With, Vine, Twitter’s version of the Instagram Video, uploading content that was created somewhere else was not possible, nor was it encouraged. In fact, people who developed workarounds for this limitation found their videos quickly disappearing from the platform.

NowThisNews seems to prefer  Instagram as their platform of choice perhaps for the additional 9 seconds of video time and because they wanted to publish content that was well developed, not to mention more efficient to create. Stop motion videography can be quite tricky on a smartphone. They do have a Vine videos as well, but they are of a very different format, generally someone talking quickly into the camera without any supporting graphics or background music.

I first found out about NowThisNews through an article on All Things D, a tech blog I read every day for work. In the article, they explain that this startup is backed by the same people responsible for Huffington Post as well as Buzz Feed.

While this delivery of the news doesn’t provide me with the deep insight and details that I prefer to know, it is an interesting way to deliver the highlights of the day in a visual headline -like strategy.

What do you think? Effective or too fast?



UDPATE: I tried to embed one of the Instagram posts here but it kept being eliminated at publishing. If anyone has any tips on this, please let me know. Thanks


In Search of Stories

I’ve been thinking and searching for stories to add to this blog in between classes and was disappointed with myself and my inability to locate them, initially. However, I found one while browsing the internet and falling down the rabbit hole that too often begins with a jaunt down my Facebook Newsfeed.

What I found was a Millennial, same age as I am, living the storyteller philosophy. In fact, his story, resonates with that of Hanson Hosein’s Independent America. Miles Howard drove across America this summer to gather the stories and voices of Millennials in his blog and future book, Drive All Night. He believes that there is more to this generation than what is commonly reported in the news. The post he wrote that caught my attention was responding not directly to the linked article above, but rather to the responses from other Millennials on Facebook who were accepting and relating to the critical article.

I haven’t developed specific insight regarding this topic yet, but wanted to catalogue Miles’ blog because I believe he is doing a great job creating a powerful message with his project. If I were to guess, I would say his action idea would be along the lines of:

As a member of the Millennial generation, Miles Howard has been inspired by the people he has met who represent a very different message than is often depicted by reporters. To contradict the misconception he presents stories to celebrate brightest minds of this generation and their invaluable worth to young people because every generation needs stories of inspiration, success, and hope. 

I look forward to reading more of his entries.

A First Day of Stories

Glacier National Park, MT

Glacier National Park, MT

“An inspiring piece of content made by anyone can connect and move mountains and enact real change. This was not possible at this scale ten years ago.”

I think it was Hanson who said this during the first half of Saturday. I think of all the individual stories of individual people throughout the ages that could have inspired more hearts. I think about the story of Caine and his arcade. Thank goodness that struggling filmmaker came along and recognized the magnificence that was before him.

I think also of Inocente, a homeless teenager who caught the eye of filmmakers through her colorful art contradicting her reality at every stroke.

I think of the poor four-year-old boy who was injected with heroine and from his tragedy rose a community of giving for Safe Place, a local temporary home for children in the foster system. These are individuals with stories that were captured and distributed and resulted in waves of positive impact even beyond themselves.

All of these, but the last one especially, makes me wonder. In “Storyteller Uprising,” Hanson notes, “in the most primordial way, we humans have been conditioned to pay attention to stories that help us make sense of our own lives, to which we can relate both individually, and in a collective way.” Yet, none of the above stories represent a situation I can relate to, nor, do I believe, can many of those people who went out of their way to support these individuals. How do we learn about ourselves through these people, or this baby? But yet, we all feel something.

It must be more than life experience. It must be deep within ourselves that we see these people struggling to hold onto the beauty of their life. We all do that in some small way. Still thinking on this one…

On Saturday, we discussed the potential motive and benefit the filmmaker of “Caine’s Arcade” may have had when he came back to ask the father if he could tell Caine’s story. I wonder does this motive take away from the authenticity of the impact, does it better the overall outcome, or does it even matter? In Inocente’s case, the film won an Academy Award, obviously no small feat for the creators. Personally, I do not believe a piece of content made with the wrong intentions, no matter the story, can be as inspiring or impactful as one made with the right ones.

If you listen to the same radio I do, you’ll realize I’ve heard these stories on KIRO 97.3 FM. I’ve been listening to KIRO consistently for a year, and they are excellent story curators and creators. But it wasn’t until today, that I heard what they were saying differently and understood the potential impact of their work. You might think, well this is a major news source here in the Northwest, of course they have great impact. Sure, that is true. But Inocente’s impact did not come from their coverage and the outpouring of support for Safe Place came from a story given to them by a listener.