Shortwave App

Shortwave Brings Video to Threaded Conversations
Want to start a conversation via video? Shortwave, a free app for the iPhone may be your answer. Shortwave is a bit like Reddit, a threaded conversation that uses video rather than text. Post a question and users answer using short video clips.

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When I download an app I’m thinking about how journalists might use it to improve news gathering and publishing. Right off I thought of the editorial page. Shortwave could offer the often staid editorial page a social and multimedia approach to feedback on topics like gay marriage, gun control, who will win “Best Picture” at the Oscars and so on.

The ongoing video threads were a mixed bag, some were serious topics like, “how do I come out to my parents?” and debates about iOS versus Android. As with all social media there were also ridiculous topics like “which smile do you prefer?”

Its possible Shortwave will be really useful for a news organization trying to innovate commenting and opinion. Then again it could end up like user comments on our news sites…yikes!

Here’s how Shortwave works…

To start a thread, tap on the camera icon in the app, then post a question or topic for discussion.

Decide whether your post should be public or private. In private threads you can invite users to the conversation (this might be the way news organizations use it).

Users reply, leaving short video messages that are built on by the next user.

Users sink or float videos with the most popular rising to the top.

Share the conversation on Facebook, Twitter or by SMS text.