“When I say that we all ought to collectively stand, bend over, and moon the rest of the media world, I really mean it. And it’s too bad a few people had crappy times, but that’s entirely the failure of this country to build the kind of communications infrastructure that Europeans and Koreans can’t laugh at. The Street Team project overall just kicked colossal ass. I mean, I’m sitting here watching little Dani (Alaska Street Team ’08 Member) interview the freaking governor on a cellphone, and I can see the flashbulbs going off from behind her and can only think of the press person taking those shots thinking, “What the hell am I documenting here? The governor on a cellphone? I’m losing my grasp on the reality of my job!”
Shelby, Alabama Street Team ’08 Member (http://think.mtv.com/profile/shelbinator/User/Blog/BlogView.aspx)
“Thank you for letting me be a part of that historic event yesterday. The Street Team did a great job with the reporting but I think the biggest story of all was all of us, broadcasting live to the web and in each of the 23 Super Tuesday states. I mean that’s just amazing, and so many people were so impressed by the fact that whatever I shot was going live to the web. Not to mention that the map was just really cool! Traditional media certainly has something to fear, and that’s what new media is all about. So, again, thank you for the chance to be involved.”
Kyle, Massachusetts Street Team ’08 Member (http://think.mtv.com/profile/kyledeb_Think/User/Blog/BlogView.aspx)
“A cameraman from one of the big networks came up to me and said, “Are you reporting?” And I said, “Yeah, I am!” And he said, “How? And I said [pointing at camera phone], “This is live to web, sir.” New technology, kids – pretty cool.”
Sara, New York Street Team ’08 Member (http://think.mtv.com/profile/SaraBenincasaNY/User/Blog/BlogView.aspx)
Super Tuesday was an historic day with incredible youth turnout at the polls (doubling, tripling and even quadrupling turnout from 2000 & 2004!) and so we were making our own history at MTV covering the youth vote in a whole new way – in this case, capitalizing on a new achievement in mobile technology, delivering real-time high-quality Internet-ready audio and video reporting from the campaign trail.
On February 5th Super Tuesday, when more than 20 states held a primary or caucus, the MTV/Knight army of state-based Street Team ’08 citizen journalists covered the youth vote like no one else, delivering the first-ever live mobile-to-web broadcasts – from polling stations, caucuses, candidate rallies and everywhere young voters congregated in the February 5th Super Tuesday states.
The real time, on-the-spot reports were streamed live all day from correspondents’ video-equipped mobile phones to www.ChooseorLose.com. Throughout the day, MTV regularly broke into programming and showcased news featurettes excerpted from the live reports. The effort was part of MTV’s Emmy-winning “Choose or Lose” campaign.
To put all this in context, we have to flashback to 2 ½ weeks ago prior to Super Tuesday. when MTV wireless guru Michael Scogin introduced a fun new toy, a cell phone that could broadcast live to the internet with almost no delay. “Wouldn’t it be cool to equip our Street Teamers in all the Super Tuesday states with those phones” we asked, “and wouldn’t it be even cooler if we could take over the website with an interface that would allow users to access all of that content – in real time – in a comprehensive and easily discoverable fashion?” Indeed it would. So that’s what we did, building an interactive map at www.ChooseorLose.com that notified users when the citizen journalists were broadcasting live from one of the Super Tuesday states.
The Choose or Lose Street Team ’08 citizen journalists used Nokia N95 devices, fully-fledged multimedia computers with a leading-class 5 megapixel camera and dvd-like quality video camera capabilities that allow them to create, edit and upload their stories instantly to the Internet. An innovative application, provided by Flixwagon, powered the mobile broadcasting technology by allowing anyone with a capable 3G phone to stream live video to the Internet and store it for later viewing.
But as I started this blog entry, the best perspectives come from the Street Team members themselves:
MTV’s mobile phone-to-Web efforts on Super Tuesday are an element of its “Choose or Lose ’08” campaign to engage, educate and empower young voters. A major component of this year’s campaign is the “MTV Street Team ’08” – 51 state-based citizen journalists who contribute weekly, multimedia reports (such as short form videos, blogs, animation, photos, podcasts) that are distributed via WAP site m.StreetTeam08.com, carriers in the MTV Mobile family, the Think Community (Think.MTV.com) and several other media platforms, including the Associated Press Online Video Network.