NBC News Uses Watchitoo For Interactive Online Election Night Webcast


NBC News chose Watchitoo, a real-time social collaboration platform, for a live discussion of election night issues and developments on MSNBC.com.

MSNBC viewers participated in a live, interactive chat at www.electionday.msnbc.com. on November 2, 2010.

The Watchitoo collaboration platform allowed MSNBC viewers to join the online discussion using their webcams, chat and Twitter.

“By embedding Watchitoo’s player on the MSNBC.com site, we were able to give our viewers an interactive platform to ask questions and air viewpoints, with each other and our experts,” – Ryan Osborn, NBC News director of social media

Viewers could chat and tweet questions and comments throughout the MSNBC election night coverage. MSNBC producers were able to identify and select participants to join the conversation, moving them to the “virtual green room,” where they waited in turn to activate their webcams and join the online broadcast.

The newly released Watchitoo allows participants to interact with others via web cam and chat while collaborating in real time. It runs within a standard web browser, with no download required. It is embeddable and brandable.

Watchitoo allows high-definition recording, screen-sharing, real-time moderation, “hand-raising” to pose questions, white-boarding, text and video chat, Twitter and Facebook integration.

“With the rise of blogs and social networks, no one is content to simply watch history as it unfolds. Today, we want to document it, talk about it, and shape the way it is covered. NBC made this possible on Election Day by leveraging Watchitoo’s collaboration capabilities and multistreaming technology. Now, anyone with a web browser can log in, be heard, and interact.” – Rony Zarom, Watchitoo CEO

MSNBC’s use of Watchitoo was publicly available, but the platform can be used internally for a company or restricted through password-protected logins, for a specific audience. Watchitoo says their enterprise platform is “ideal for internal enterprise business meetings, panel discussions, live performances, education, political campaigning, media broadcasting, or any situation where a group of geographically dispersed individuals needs to collaborate quickly and easily while sharing media.”

The free version of Watchitoo allows the same collaboration and content sharing as the premium versions, but with restricted meeting length, number of participants, and file upload size. There are two premium versions, MeetingPro 25 and MeetingPro 50, which allow Recording, Editing, Screen Sharing, and provide Post-Meeting Analytics. An extended premium version can support thousands of viewers for a one-time event.

This system could also be useful for schools and universities, sports clubs or any training where interaction and collaboration are needed.

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start pounding the keyboard. Alan has a fascination with making video and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.