Have You Seen These

Is It Time For Meerkat?

In a few days the iconic South By Southwest (SXSW)  festival opens in Austin, Texas.  The future of music, film and computer technology is presented and explored, including new social media apps.  Twitter was introduced there in 2007 and Foursquare in 2009, eventually becoming booming social platforms.  What about others since ’09?  Nada…Zilch… But, that may change.  I’m watching to see if a new kid in town – Meerkat – takes off.

Meerkat is a social media sharing platform that allows you to view real time video being shot by a friend.  The insanely simple thing about this, and the part that makes me salivate about the disaster communications implications, is it uses Twitter to link to the videos!  Why the hell didn’t I think of that!?!  Pictures speak a thousand words. Video tells stories. Real time video connects lives.  Using Twitter to connect to real time video can save lives, and you won’t need a drone to do it.

Finally, a new SM app that has me excited.  Frankly, the “Groundhog Day” preaching of the usefulness of Twitter in crisis had gotten boring.  Something tells me Meerkat may change that.  Anyone out there tried it yet?  Would love to hear your opinions.

About chiefb2

Retired fire chief,Type 3 AHIMT IC, PIO. Current industrial services safety professional, social media emergency management disciple (no, I'm not a "guru"). Crisis communications consultant. Dad with an open wallet.
  • drydiggins

    A well-known and consistent hashtagging ontology. The killer app for Meerkat and #SMEM more broadly.

  • Brian Humphrey


    To answer the question atop your article – my answer is a regretful but firm NO. I’ve played with the app in a development account, and rather than rambling on – will direct your readers to the passionate comments of Craig Stanford, that – at the moment – pretty much sum up my personal thoughts and experience:


    While things could certainly change for Meerkat, I’m holding on to my VC dollars, and not my breath.


    • Bill Boyd

      Hey Brian, thanks for the link and the thoughts. I’m not sold either. But, the concept is intriguing, and for the first time in a long time has me excited about the potential evolution of #SMEM. While some are still figuring out how Twitter works, I’m looking towards how visual communications can be used to motivate, educate and enlighten. Frankly, I’m tired of talking about Twitter! 🙂 Hope all is well in LA!

      • Brian Humphrey

        Chief, you’re most welcome – and thank you for bringing the tool (and the larger issue) forth for discussion.

        I can certainly remember the earliest days of Twitter, when it was a stepchild of Odeo – and look how far that one tool has come. As such, the horrific linkrot and opt-in by default notification annoyance et al currently associated with Meerkat is merely a passing phase.

        Outside the context of your question, I might seem a little more upbeat, were there not so many poorly adopted (and in some cases already superior) video streaming tools available – including Ustream, LiveStream and their TwitCam subordinate, Twitcasting, Bambuser, Periscope, and at least a dozen others.

        I strongly believe that there is a need and ability for stronger and more well integrated audio and video in the #SMEM biosphere, and like you, grew tired long ago of people declaring that [name their favorite single tool of the moment] was THE definition of social media.

        Thanks for your always thought inspiring columns, and for allowing me to offer my personal US $0.02 – YMMV 🙂