Here come the video blogs!

I’ve been a voice crying in the wilderness about how vulnerable local TV stations are to losing the only real information niche they have in their communities: video. Well, video blogging may be the straw that breaks the news camel’s back, and here’s an excellent article by Heather Green in Business Week that helps make the point. Like text blogs, video blogs (vlogs) are meaningless without a distribution method. Well, guess what? Our old friend, RSS, is coming to the rescue.

Yahoo, which unveiled a video search service earlier this month, is working with Ourmedia, Creative Commons, and commercial sites such as indie-film service AtomFilms to develop a video version of Really Simple Syndication, or RSS.

Using RSS, Web surfers would choose the types of videos they want to see and have them sent automatically to their computers. The technology also allows independent video makers to submit their films to Yahoo’s search engine automatically. Separately, startup Kontiki, which has helped the likes of CNET (CNET ) set up online video services, is also creating a free service that plans to aggregate online videos together using RSS.

Ms. Green adds that all of this will generate a cult-like following for the many quirky vlogs, and that will likely spawn new business models.
The biggest impact could be the creation of on-demand services, a sort of alternative TiVo (TIVO ) online. If video RSS takes off, it would present just one more diversion from the established media. And like text blogs, it would be a diversion that evolves outside of the control of big media.
This is something local stations should get into immediately and work with software developers to create their own RSS delivery system. Time is a serious enemy.

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