Live streaming video apps such as Periscope, Meerkat, Blab.im and many others are hot right now.

As part of the long unwinding of television as a content delivery mechanism, they are a way for audiences to feel primacy at a live event as well as to feel as though they are a part of the event.

We quoted Woody Allen in a previous post, who said, “The audience has to know that they are the audience,” but with the advent of streaming and the rise of streaming personalities who blur the line between performer and engager this may no longer be true.

The real core of streaming is co-creation: Streaming video gives the audience the opportunity to create—along with the performer—a shared experience and produce shareable content for a micro audience. This is why sporting events have reflexively banned live streaming apps from their venues (MLB, NHL, US Open, etc.) and why concerts are thinking about it as well.

There are two things for the peacebuilder to consider when using mobile live streaming apps to build their marketing:

  1. Conflict engagement is all about co-creating solutions to the issues, concerns and conflicts at hand with the parties. Many peacebuilders take this to mean that they fade into the background inside of the conflict process itself, allowing the parties the autonomy to do as they will to get to resolution. However, when the peacebuilder (with the participants consent) live streams the proceedings, then everybody involved attains a level of micro-celebrity.
  2. Conflict engagement is also about being open with processes and procedures in order to educate and edify not only the participants, but also the public (the audience) at large. One of the reasons that many peacebuilder’s struggle with marketing and sales, is that both of these areas require openness and transparency around the product—peoples’ problems—in order to get more people into the room to solve their problems. This creates a level of vulnerability in the peacebuilder with which many professionals struggle. Live streaming used as a way to create “scheduled, must see viewing” opportunities (think of Oprah or Dr. Phil) creates more opportunities for vulnerability for the peacebuilder, not less.

Content co-creation with parties, audiences and peacebuilders is one of the many ways that live streaming video applications can advance the fields of peace, and bring more people into the engagement space around conflicts in their lives.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principle Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: jsorrells@hsconsultingandtraining.com
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