Friction LogoOnline television is growing at a seemingly exponential rate, and the channel formats are quickly becoming the fastest and most creative areas for new media.

Becoming an expert or at least having a good knowledge base of this new direction for the media may be one of the best investments you could make for your future communication skills.

Among the many emerging web TV channel, a few are attacking uncharted waters by providing alternative news, counter information and issues which the traditional media outlets often ignore.

Giving Everyone A Voice

Web 2.0 video services like YouTube have given everyday people a voice, but sometimes lack focus. A new service offers an uncensored forum for debating the issues that often get left behind by the mass media.

Certainly mass media channels are opening up to their viewers, with text messaging, phone-ins and studio discussions, but all are carefully stage managed.

Say something outside of your favorite broadcaster’s list of acceptable topics, and you will be cut off mid-sentence, ridiculed or never even make it onto the show.

The fact is that the old media - TV, radio, and newspapers – were designed for one-way mass communication.

And while it is possible to bolt on interactivity and feedback channels, they will always be heavily mediated, carefully selected and in some cases censored to suit the political and corporate agenda of those running the show.

So where can you go if you want to publicly debate the important issues facing us in the world today? Certainly, nobody is going to stop you shouting from a soapbox on the street, but they might just decide that you’re crazy.

To reach a wider audience what you need is a way to broadcast yourself and your message. Sharing your thoughts with online video is one such way.

But how do you cut through the millions of videos being uploaded to YouTube each week, and enter into a meaningful discussion with people about what really matters?

One solution is a new web video destination built around fostering uncensored, no-holds-barred debate.

Here are the details:

Friction.tv – Overview

Friction Header
Friction.tv is an online platform for user generated news and opinion. We exist to give you the opportunity to air your views and respond to the opinions of others. You can debate issues of local interest to you or discuss points of global importance.

Either way, Friction.tv will provide an interesting and stimulating alternative to the sanitised, agenda driven mediocrity of the conventional mass media.

As the Friction.tv website makes clear this news and debate service isn’t so much aiming to take YouTube on as it is to provide an antidote to the bland, censored messages that make it to mainstream media broadcast.

Here is a service dedicated to bringing news and debate to the web at a grassroots level, unhindered by corporate or government agendas.

Web 2.0 is opening up the possibilities for people like you and I to make our voices heard, and release the information that might never have seen the light of day only a few short years ago.

Friction.tv is a platform for discussion, that makes it easy for users to enter into themed, but entirely open and uncensored debates via video responses and text-based comments.

In the following short promo-video you can get a good idea of the range of debates featured:


Channels of Debate

Friction Channels

It is is perfectly possible to find a debate that you might want to contribute to by scanning through the most recent or most popular videos submitted to Friction.tv.

But if you know from the beginning where your particular interests lie, you can choose from a range of channels, which videos are grouped into for ease of navigation.

So if you’re interested in debating politics, technology, the environment, health issues and a range of other topics, here is an open forum to do so.

With this range of channels available, it becomes quite easy to quickly home in on debates of most interest. If you’re short on time, though, videos can be bookmarked for later viewing, which is a nice idea.

The restrictions made for those looking to participate rather than just watch or comment are that your video must be between thirty seconds and three minutes in length.

Brevity is the key, and the goal of the service is to open up the one thing that mass media can’t compete at – sparking quick-fire chain reactions of conversation and debate.

Diversity of Content

Friction Debates

The greatest strength and greatest weakness of Friction.tv is its unmediated, unmoderated approach to content publishing. With Friction.tv if you want to say it, nobody will stop you, and controversy is actively courted.

This makes for an interesting destination where you are bound to find yourself either angered, challenged or feeling vindicated if you spend more than a few minutes on-site.

Here are people voicing strong opinions, or sharing the news that you won’t be hearing about on tonight’s news.

As such, rather than hearing the same five stories over and over again for a day or so, as you might from the television news, Friction.tv debates and reports are incredibly diverse in their scope and range.

Advocate groups use the service alongside devils advocates making deliberately controversial statements to gain a strong reaction.

The only problem with unmoderated content is that it does create a low signal-to-noise ratio, and it is possible to find yourself scanning through several pages of unengaging content before you hit on a video of real value.

This is a small price to pay, however, for a platform that allows a truly uncensored, open destination for debate and information sharing.

Video Debate – Taking Part

Friction Player

You can begin a debate by uploading your video directly from your account, just as you would on YouTube.

Here you are asked to think of a provocative title, to get the debate started, and to choose from one of the channels available to categorize your work.

Videos can be uploaded in asf, .mpg, .mov and .wmv formats, which is slightly limited compared to the range offered by other services. You can, however, also upload your video via mobile phone.

The other option available is to respond to an existing debate either by video or text, both of which are made easy with large buttons to the side of the main video player.

Friction TV Share

Finally, you can easily share the debate as a link, an image or an embedded video on your blog or website. This way you can take your own, or someone else’s debate to your own site visitors and extend the conversation further.

Conclusions

Internet television is transforming the avenues of access available to everyday people, both in terms of making publishing video easy, and enabling the sharing of opinions and information.

Not so very long ago, if you wanted to take part in a broadcast debate you would be subject to the programming and agenda of mass media corporations.

Now, with services like Friction.tv it is possible to have your news and views seen by a possible audience of thousands.

Furthermore, while mass media broadcasting is very much a one-way communication model, the evolving web video landscape is all about interactivity and conversation.

Uncensored Debate

Friction.tv gives its users the opportunity to take part in totally uncensored, unmoderated debates using web video, so that it is possible to address the issues that the mainstream mass media repeatedly sweep under the rug.

Issues such as the corrupt pharmaceutical industry, the unjust taxation system and the atrocities committed by the US war machine.

It is now easier than ever to broadcast yourself to the world, and at least for the time being nobody has the right to tell you what you can or can’t say online.

What Friction.tv adds to the web video equation is an easy-to-navigate set of topic-themed channels and unrestricted access to what the people really think.

In this crucial respect the mass media has a long way to go to even come close.

Additional Resources

If you would like to learn more about Friction.tv, you might want to check out the following links:

Michael Pick is a contributing author discussing broadband video tools and software. His work can be found on MasterNewMedia. Post has Some Rights Reserved.

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