RSS for video

cbs 2I’m not a big fan of television news.

Contrary to what many of my liberal friends believe, I don’t watch Fox. Fox, like every other major news network, is shallow and inept.

Local TV news is worse. It’s the same in every city, but Los Angeles teevee news casts seem to be particularly sensationalistic with an emphasis on titillation rather than information. Teevee news is especially rife with “scare” stories (I couldn’t resist using “scare” quotes there). You know the stories, “Monsters under your bed and they’re out to get you,” or “The next glass of water you drink could be your last. See our exclusive team coverage at 11.”

I’ve been trying my best to avoid local television news for decades.

That’s changing.

Within the past few days I’ve had one of those V-8 moments: Streaming video on teevee news station Web sites! What a concept. They’ve had them for years, but I never really thought about the convenience factor. Hey, not all stories teevee news is bad. Some of stories are useful if not informative, especially when it relates directly to my life or my community..

Every teevee news site worth its bytes breaks it’s 30- or 60-minute broadcast into segments that can be viewed separately. I can skip over the stories about the pros and cons of breast enlargement and get right to the meat of the news.

Here’s another thought I had — Adam Currie and his cohorts need to do for video what they’ve done for audio. Podcasting is great and iPodder is a great tool — but what about an RSS reader to organize and track video content? It would have to work a little differently because not all video can be downloaded. Much of it must be streamed. But it would still be nice to scroll through an RSS feed looking for new uploads of interest. Much easier than visiting a bunch of different Web sites. And it would help democratize video expression the way podcasting has opened up audio.

Of course, any RSS reader could track any RSS feed. There’s nothing stopping any local news station from creating RSS feeds now. I wonder if any are doing it? I haven’t been able to find anything about RSS on the local teevee station sites. Too bad. It would make a lot of sense. Local broadcasters already sell in-stream commercials on their video, so anything that would increase viewership should be a good move for them. And anything that helps online video fans keep track of areas of interest would be a benefit.

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