When I first saw a demo of the collaborative video editing tool Stroome at the 2009 Online News Association Conference in San Francisco, its user interface was still a little clunky and unintuitive. It’s been almost two years since then and Stroome is all grown up now — this week they launched a slick new redesign and introduced a new collaboration feature called “groups.”
Stroome is a browser-based tool that allows users to remix videos with each other using the open-source video editor, Kaltura. Stroome received a Knight News Challenge grant in 2010, received the ONA’s 2009 “Audience Award” for best start-up and was named by the Guardian UK as a “Top 5 Social Network Worth a Browse.”
The most noteable use of Stroome in recent news was by the protesters in Egypt during the Mubarak removal when the government shut down Facebook and Twitter (see one of the videos at the bottom of this post or log into Stroome and search for “Egypt”). On a softer note, the world’s first user-generated feature documentary, Life in a Day UK, also used Stroome to create trailers for the film.
Although Stroome doesn’t reveal exact user numbers, they did say the site has grown over 600 percent since its launch with USC’s Annenerg School of Journalism, and they’re adding new users daily, growing at a pace of roughly 10 percent a month. They currently have members in more than 60 different countries.
According to Tom Grasty, one of Stroome’s founders, the new groups feature that was announced this week service the need to create a place for like-minded collaborators to work on projects.
“If the last iteration is any indication, groups are going to be very popular. We had more than a hundred in the previous version, and we expect over time to surpass that number in this iteration,” Grasty said. “Groups are important because they let people from disparate geographic locations work together in private or publically. Schools, citizen journalists, sports enthusiasts, travel afficinados all used the groups function and, I imagine, will start populating the site with them again in the near future.”
If your news organization has limited money for video editing software, or reporters collaborating on content from multiple locations on a deadline, Stroome is worth looking into — especially now that it’s had a facelift. If you’re using Stroome for a project, let us know!