Archives » August 28th, 2005

August 28, 2005

Carson City News Video – On the Web!

A while ago I wrote about how shocked I was to find out that there were podcasters in Northern Nevada. Well, that news did little to prepare me for the shock of finding out there is a videocaster, right here in Carson City. His name is Dave Morgan, and he produces a news program for the local cable access channel. I live in Douglas County, so I don’t get get any of the Carson City cable access, so I didn’t know about his show. But he sent me an e-mail last week pointing me to the show’s companion website, NewsCarsonCity.com. And normally, when I visit a companion site for something on TV, I come away underwhelmed. But when I visited this site, I was blown away to find that all the video he shows on the TV is also available on the web. The site is full of downloadable videos, each one 1 to 5 minutes in length, and loaded with interviews, on-scene footage, and a full news report on the subject. And not only that, but in a follow-up e-mail he said that he was thinking about dropping the broadcast portion of his news venture and moving strictly to the web.

This is something great to see, especially coming out of a small city like Carson. We have no local TV stations or TV news. The only video coverage we can get of local happenings is if the story is big enough for one of the Reno stations to send a crew down, and that happens very seldom. But even with those stories, once they’ve hit the airwaves they’re gone. Here at NewsCarsonCity, Dave is building up an archive of video, all of which can be watched at any time. And, the big surprise, it’s not streaming video either. You can actually download it right to your desktop, which is apparently a concept the big networks haven’t heard of yet. I’ve been through so many hours of frustration trying to fight with streaming video, dealing with buffering problems, or dropped frames, that I’m completely sick of it. The far better model is something like NewsCarsonCity, where you can download the entire show and watch it without those problems.

Online video has really been taking off this year, and I think it’s mostly an offshoot of podcasting. Once podcasting got popular, and <enclosure> tags were showing up in feeds everywhere, video producers started to realize that podcasting would work for video too. One of the first out of the gate was Rocketboom, where you could subscribe to the feed and have a show delivered to your desktop every day. Then the tech-based shows started popping up, like Stysm, From the Shadows, and Diggnation, and more. Add to that the rise of network TV shows that can be illicitly downloaded with BitTorrent, and you’ve got a world of video out there that’s just waiting to be downloaded.

But I didn’t expect to see anything like this coming out of Carson City for a few more years, at least. But here’s this guy, who’s admittedly more of a writer/reporter than a web guy, sitting right there on the leading edge, beating out the local newspaper and the big Reno stations at their own game.

NewsCarsonCity does have its drawbacks, though, and they’re mostly technical. For one, it seems to be just a static page, with no permalinks, and you can only get to the archives by scrolling down. This kind of a site would make an excellent blog, and if I thought I might actually have the time to do it, I’d offer to help Dave switch over to some kind of blogging platform. And also, and this is kind of a symptom of the first problem, the site has no RSS feeds. So that means there’s no way to set up my iPodder to download new videos when they’re released. But these are technical speed bumps, and nothing more. The fact is that Dave is doing something pretty extraordinary for a small market, no matter how humble he may be about it.

Check it out. NewsCarsonCity.com.