Live streaming City Council Meetings!
No more waiting for Channel 78!
Seemingly overnight – Hoboken411’s relationship with the City of Hoboken has done a 180!
One such example is the new LIVE streaming videos the city will now provide to it’s residents. (clap clap!)
This had been on my “to do” list for almost a year – but the investment (both time and money) wasn’t something I could afford yet. Plus the technical limitations using a wireless 3G laptop card to stream live video is a very risky proposition, in which the results are unpredictable. And the hassle of lugging equipment, setting it up, testing it, and monitoring it (rinse and repeat) – was a mountain of a task to do entirely myself. So I put it off. And put it off, and put it off.
So at Peter Cammarano’s Inauguration Ceremony over at Stevens on July 1st – I had a lengthy discussion with Patrick Riccardi, who handles the video recording of the City Council meetings, as well as other city events. I realized that since he has the equipment, and access to a direct hard-wired internet connection at City Hall – it would be best to share the information I had with him. And what a turnaround!
On top of making the city council meetings more accessible to YOU the residents, it also makes his job much more efficient in terms of time required to encode video, process and upload to the city web-server. A win-win proposition all around.
Premieres at the July 22nd Council Meeting
I hope to have it embedded here on Hoboken411 – along with a LIVE CHAT so you can participate in a “play by play” commentary of the council meeting – without getting scolded by the Council President! Not to mention from the comfort of your own home, and away from the torture seating at city hall.
Some discussion came up whether questions should be allowed from online readers. If it were me, I wouldn’t allow it. For one – the potential for hundreds of questions is possible – and if they were moderated, it could cause many complaints. I’d suggest the city employ a policy of “if you want to make a public statement – get your butt to City Hall!” For now, at least. At some point in time – the way news commentators often read from Facebook and Twitter accounts – some kind of provisions could be made for “good questions” submitted by online participants. But that would require some kind of re-structuring of how City Council meetings are run. Baby steps, my friends, baby steps!
GREAT JOB PATRICK for tackling the technical details – and making it happen much quicker than I thought he would!
Welcome to 2009, Hoboken!
(Note – the USTREAM broadcast has many versions of what you can embed – from just the live “on air” version – to a chat box, and even Twitter feeds! It’s the same service Obama used for many of his events during the 2008 Presidential Election campaigns).
This is what the USTREAM video window would look like (but it’s “off the air” now):
Live Videos by Ustream
Hope it works out for the best!
(Another example of how Hoboken411 sets the bar – and is a valuable asset to the city of Hoboken! Let’s see how long it takes for others to pick up on this story – and whether they have the decency to mention 411’s involvement and influence…)