User-generated content (UGC) plays an amazing role on-air and online in our every day information diet says a recent study from Tow Center for Digital Journalism.  In MICO we’re working to support the development of this emerging content source for the news and media sector.

While UGS is daily used by news organisations on televisions, the best use of UGC is online as the Web offers multiple opportunities for integrating UGC content into news output like live blogs, magazines and in-depth articles. The challenges we’re addressing in MICO with our video news showcase are twofold:

  1. Helping independent news organisations organise and share UGC contents
  2. Making it easier for digital creatives to produce UGC contents

It is clear that above all millennials tend to avoid traditional media and get their news from UGC and social networks instead. A recent research by Ipsos and the startup CrowdTap claims that for young generations UGC is 50% more trusted than other media (here is a link to follow). Now this is particularly true in Egypt where, during the Arab spring, social networks have played a pivotal role in reshaping (or trying to reshape) the political landscape.

Here is Shoof an hyper-local instant video recording application

In the past weeks our team based in Egypt has been working around the clock to prepare for the closed beta launch of Shoof  (in arabic “ﺷﻮﻑpronounced Shoof means “Look here”).

Shoof is a micro video recording application for UGC contents designed as a city storytelling tool for the people living in Cairo.

[hewa_player asset_id=82]

The video of Mohamed, produced from his mobile phone, is sent to HelixWare our online video platform and from there to MICO that will:

  • extract available metadata from the video (GPS information, author, creation date, …)
  • send us back enriched structured data including: changes of scenes, noise detection (quality measures here will include the detection of blocking, black image, …) and more – thanks to the work being done by Fraunhofer and Umeå University
  • enable spatial querying and cross-media recommendations to help publishers promote and interlink videos along with other contents

HelixWare – as shown in this blog post – already speaks with WordPress and the video produced on Mohamed’s Android phone – after being processed by MICO can be embedded on this page using a simple WordPress shortcode (shorcode are simple lines of code that in WordPress crates macros to be used within the post’s content):

[[hewa_player asset_id=82]]

More over I can track the performance of this video via Google Analytics and all structured data that MICO will send us back can be injected on web pages via JSON-LD markup.

As the exciting work for MICO continues we’re happy to invite you all at Egypt’s Online Content Creators Meeup in Cairo on the 14th of March where the closed beta of Shoof will be launched!