Today I wanted to talk about a new app from Google called bulletin. From what I can tell, it looks like it’s going to be Instagram and blogging sort of rolled into one with a hyperlocal focus and from what I can tell, there’s two pilot trials of the app going on right now. One is in Oakland by San Francisco and the other one is in Tennessee, Nashville I believe.
I’m not in either of those but I know people who are and from what I’ve seen in from watching the video and a little bit that’s on the web about it, it seems like it’s going to be an interesting thing. I say that because I’ve had an interest in crowd-sourced news for a while now, about a year and I’ve been an independent journalist for a long, long time writing about various things from politics to alternative energy to music, film, theater, that kind of thing. I was sort of all over the place but that’s where my interests go. I think the crowd-sourced news is very important especially in our era of fake news because nothing tells the truth like a group of people on the ground where an event happens. Now pretty much everyone has a phone and they can take pictures.
From looking at it, it seems like you know that’s going to be what you do now. I don’t know if it’s going to be shared to the wider Google ecosphere so that it gets indexed and come up in search and stuff like that or whether everything is going to be held within the apps so that only users of the app will see it and to
me that’s kind of you know, it just depends on how popular the app is and how much fun it is because people are already so overloaded with apps and social networks that you know people who are interested in contributing to local news are probably going to want a bigger audience and you know an audience that can find it in other ways. Can this app for example Auto share to all your social networks? Well, that would kind of get it to a wider audience locally. Can it be discovered somehow by local web users? That would be the really cool thing and I don’t know if that’s going to happen.
Let’s take a look at what is here and maybe we can fire up your imagination and there’s a business obviously especially as a local business, this could be another opportunity to put your products and services in front of people locally. There’s a lot of the potential there too and I’m going to do some videos about that in the future because I’ve noticed some kind of negative trends but they are trends that you can potentially capitalize on. The only problem is some of them if not many of them end up costing you money or somehow making it more difficult than it could be for you to compete even locally but we’ll get into that in another video. Let’s assume that this becomes successful. It’s a nice little hyper local crowdsource news app and Google being Google, it seems like they might look for ways to monetize that. I mean the same way Instagram has and Instagram now has image ads, video ads and ads in Instagram stories. There’s a lot of advertising potential within Instagram and of course blogs have always had that so I see it as something that may indeed be integrated at some point. People are negative about advertising but at the same time advertising is what keeps the web free and then other people say “Oh, I don’t mind paying a hundred dollars a month to use the web and I don’t mind the service provider telling me what I can and can’t look at on the web.” Those were all the things that just kind of kill independent news and independent music and it’s kind of I’m just more into the spirit of a free and open Internet and in the same way that I’m open, I’m into a free and open society where as well there are obviously things that you can’t do but for the most part you know we have free speech, we have this, we have that, we have the ability to basically live our lives the way we want to and that should also be on the web with the same kind of limitations so I had any right.
Let’s have a look here. This is the website for Bulletin and it’s Posts.Google.com/bulletin. We’ll have a look at this video. It’s a cute video and you may have already have early access but most of us don’t and so that’s kind of pointless. Bulletin is a tool for publishing local stories straight to the web with just your phone. What’s special about a story on bulletin is it’s an impactful bulletin that helps you to tell the stories that aren’t being told. Open bulletin stories are public and easy to discover on Google search. They’re easy to discover on Google search and I’m suddenly liking this a lot more through social networks or via links sent by email and messaging apps so that discoverability on social just really up the stakes with this app. I like that a lot and it is effortless as in no setup is required to create a story and all you need is a smartphone and most of us have those. With bulletin, you can contribute to local stories and be the voice of your community.
How does Bulletin work? Bulletin is a free lightweight app for telling a story about capturing photos, video clips and text right from your phone published straight to the web without having to create a blog or build a website. If you’re comfortable taking photos or sending messages, you can create a Bulletin story and then it says Bulletin is currently in a limited pilot available in Nashville Tennessee at Oakland California and you can click on that link on this page to be considered early access. So now that video which explains it a little bit better is right here on YouTube and has had 4225 views so it’s had some people interested. Let’s check it out quickly here and we’ll see what it says. It’s a tool for creating public content on the web right from your phone. This is about capturing moments on the ground on the spot while I’m there. My name is Carrie and I am a mother, a teacher, a community activist and I use bulletins. There’s just your average person using bulletin. Let me go on over here a little bit.
Check out the next person. She’s in San Francisco today. We’re going to go to the 30th and your soul food festival in San Francisco. You were there with me.
Bulletin is to tell stories on the block. That’s how I use it. I fully convinced that it will dip the story out to hundreds of thousands or so and that looks actually pretty cool. It looks like something that can be used and like I said it looks like something that will be used kind of in an addictive way.
Facebook has kind of experimented with that. They have an app called Events that is apart from Facebook itself where you can, if you’re in Facebook, of course look at events too that are near you but the app called events which I got and have been using is great and I like it but I also just wanted to see how it compared to Google local businesses with their ability now to post and have free websites generated from Google my business and those are all great things too but they don’t service events very well and Facebook because people use it so much and so much of a percentage of the population uses it, it just seems like they had a
little bit of advantage with events now.
It’s kind of swinging back in the other direction because Bulletin can be about events, news, local sports and local politics. It can be about anything and I think and I hope that you have the ability to utilize 360 degree photos and video on Google Bulletin the way you can on other Google products like YouTube. So, what I actually hope is that Google Bulletin does not just become something like Google Plus that came out with a bang that a lot of people got behind. A lot of people enjoyed including myself. I really thought Google Plus was the thing because it had Google my business and YouTube attached to it for a while and it just seemed like this is the best social platform for people who use a lot of Google products and maybe it still is but after awhile, Google kind of realized it wasn’t good to be the next MySpace and sort of backed off on promoting it and it’s still there but it’s like the Forgotten child from everything I’ve seen and I hope Bulletin does a little bit better than that because I’m so into crowd-sourced news.
Will there be opportunities to promote your business? Sure, just by being a contributor and uploading posts about your business, your products, your events, become an awesome food photographer and upload pictures of your daily specials and your desserts. If you’re an auto mechanic, I hope they let you put little video clips up, video photos and text. If you’re not a mechanic and maybe you want to do quick audio tips or auto repair tips for people. If you have a coffee shop and you want to show yourself brewing coffee, you know like mmm check out the fresh coffee this morning and upload that so I mean there’s native opportunity for businesses. I’m sure to upload stuff but I think there hopefully will be actual advertising opportunities to let you reach even more people and that should wrap it up for today.
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Thanks a lot.
See you next time.