ScribbleLive: Live media technologies for real-time newsrooms

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I recently met with Michael de Monte, CEO of Scribble Technologies, based in Toronto, Canada. The company offers a very interesting media technology called ScribbleLive, which is a real-time newsroom allowing publishers to rapidly organize and publish text, audio, and video content as it happens.

Several large media companies are using it, such as Thomson Reuters, and Rogers (also an investor). Also, Greenpeace uses the technology.

Here are some notes from our meeting:

- De Monte has a long 20 year background working at Canadian media companies and helping run online operations. He and his business partner Jonathan Keebler, Chief Technology Officer like to describe themselves as “newsies”: they are into the news.

- A good example of using ScribbleLive was the coverage of the recent G20 meeting, which resulted in widespread protests and involved many reporters filing live reports from various areas in Toronto. TV stations noticed and became very interested in that capability because they don’t have the resources to station satellite trucks and TV crews at many locations simultaneously.

- The service is sold as a hosted service and it is sold to the ‘top’ and then various media groups within the company can use ScribbleLive. This is opposite from many other hosted services that get their foot in the door through departmental groups.

- The content management system uses HTML, which means the content is easy to index. The content shows up high in the Google index; Google seems to favor fresh content in its rankings.

- ScribbleLive is used for sporting events and also reality TV shows on the Food network. Advertisers like the fact that TV viewers are engaged for long periods on the web site when there is a live event.

- The company is bootstrapped but recently received some investment from the venture capital arm of Rogers, the Canadian media giant.

- Twitter is not seen as a competitor, Twitter is simply an additional channel that is integrated into ScribbleLive.

- Editors can curate the content from their own reporters and outside bloggers and Tweet streams. The system is very easy to use and doesn’t require training. Reuters said it was the fastest technology it had deployed in more than 140 years.

- ScribbleLive also has an archival feature, which shows up well in Google and drives pageviews.

- Media companies seem to have gotten over many of the problems they were facing internally and are now looking for effective media technologies. It appears that some sort of tipping point has been reached and that media companies are now approaching Scribble Technologies.

- The company runs its own infrastructure to make sure it has 100% reliability. It had used Amazon but there were some design factors that caused it to build its own capacity.

- There is a mobile version of ScribbleLive.

- Potential customers can try it out for free.

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