What You Missed at June’s NY Video Meetup

/ Jun 21, 2013


The monthly NY Video meetup crowd was a bit smaller than expected for the June installment, but that was due to the best possible reason: “When we started, I would ask who was unemployed and there would be a big show of hands,” said organizer and co-host Steve Rosenbaum, “now everybody’s got a gig!”

But why New York? “The New York video community has grown and changed tremendously in the past few years,” said Rosenbaum, “There are more makers here, actively producing content. There are more platforms funding and distributing content. And there are more revenue streams and use-cases emerging. New York is the leader in web video — and the growth is accelerating.”

The natural optimism of Rosenbaum is a welcome buoy in the web content ocean, and the presenters Rosenbaum and co-host Biancia Francis were able to assemble proved to be ingredients of an excellent meetup. Founded in 2006, NY Video calls itself “the world’s largest grassroots organization of online video entrepreneurs with over 3,500 members.”

The first presentation of the June meetup was from Ifussss, a video journalism application that allows people on the street to record and post 30-second clips from the scene of newsworthy events. From there, the clips can be sold at a flat rate or placed in an auction model. An additional, brilliant goal of Ifussss co-founder Ed Brooks is to create an archive of content as well, noting, “video with no value in the short term builds value over time.”

Michael Tringe, co-founder of CreatorUp, also presented, showcasing the number of producers and creators affiliated with the site, which allows users to “attend a school” on how to develop, fund, produce, and promote a web series. CreatorUp allows creators to up their web-series game with structured courses that can be purchased in an a la carte model. Tringe got a big response from the audience, revealing that his company is considering a switch to a “freemium” model that would allow potential patrons to check out the first part of a lesson, rather than just the introduction.

The third presentation came from Kris Ramanathan and Maciej Wisniewski of Jollyfy, a “personalized video app” that allows you to create fun overlays for video, such as faux magazine covers, news banners, or simple logo placement. There were mentions of a white-label version of the app, as well as mention of Jollyfy’s advertising partnerships. One of the best audience reactions came from a demonstration of Jollyfy’s partnership with hearing-aid implant maker Cochlear, which helped to create a theme used by doctors to capture videos of deaf patients hearing for the first time.

Jaron Gilinsky and Alex Ragir were last, but nowhere near least. Gilinsky and Ragir are co-founders of Storyhunter, a platform that allows former or displaced news teams from shuttered foreign bureaus to keep creating quality documentary content. Recent partnerships with AOL and MSN allow content creators the chance to get their material seen by a wider range of audiences as well. Storyhunter was also a great compare/contrast with earlier presenter Ifussss, showing that the world of user-generated video journalism is as myriad and complex as any of the other genres of web content.

“We work to book the presenters in a way that provides our meetup audience with a mix of tech, content creators, innovators, and industry leaders. Sometimes, we nail it — and last night’s compare / contrast [between Ifussss and Storyhunter] is certainly an example of that,” said Steve Rosenbaum, adding, “For me, the meetup is a chance to meet extraordinary creators and innovators, to get to see what’s happening in the space, and to feel connected to my peers.”

If you’d like to check out the meetup for yourself, you can watch an archived recorded-live stream of the show at nyvideo.org, thanks to a team from Watchitoo, which is on-hand to regularly record the monthly event.

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