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How to Stream Video From Your Mobile Phone

Mobile video streaming technology is changing the world. Well, at least the world of video and how it can be shared online – and instantly!  Streaming tools run on a few different platforms that enable users with strong networks and a data plan to share their video in the moment and keep a copy in their user account – which you will need to set up in advance.  With an account comes a user profile page, similar to a YouTube profile page, where you can select your settings, describe who you are and enable people to find and download your content.

There are quite a few noteworthy features that some of the providers offer. In particular you are able to:

  • Indicate if your video is public or private
  • Geo-tag your content to document your location
  • Time-stamp your content in an indisputable fashion
  • Make your media embeddable and downloadable by others on the internet

As more ‘smart’ phones and robust networks are introduced and become accessible to more people, streaming video will be a more viable option for mass participation.  However, it has been and is being used in creative and effective ways to support social change campaigns. The following are two brief examples and ideas to spark your imagination.

Streaming video from an action or an event

Activists and groups have used streaming video from phones and even their computers’ web cams to show supporters their actions in real-time.  Smart tactics include inviting supporters to visit their website at a certain time to see what they and their supporters were doing to pressure their targets – often with an air of mystery by using email alerts and messaging that alluded to what was going to happen but just enough to ensure their supporters would come.  In addition to reengaging their supporters and keeping them updated and inspired with the campaign, streaming video can help drive actions to build email lists and garner more attention.

Case Study:  Streaming video to get news out from censored areas

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) continues to be one of the most innovative grassroots organizations, successfully integrating online tools and video to raise awareness and pressure key decision makers.

During the 2008 Olympics in China, SFT worked to bypass the censorship and barriers to getting news coverage and focus on their actions within China to spotlight the campaigns to Free Tibet. Their innovative and multi-tool approach showed the potential of integrating new and old online and mobile tools – including a 24-hour live streaming video from six different cities around the world to cover their actions in Beijing – while keeping the focus on their campaign and supporters engaged. Additionally, they would stream video from their phones while actions took place to ensure the visuals got out and the story was heard.

Every situation is unique and comprised of a plethora of considerations that you will asses to determine your personal safety, which is clearly what is important.  Another consideration is the safety and security of those that are in your footage – how may they be negatively impacted if they are identified.  WITNESS, an international human rights organization that trains activists how to use video for advocacy, has a host of comprehensive guides that cover these topics in-depth.

Resources for streaming video from your phones

Please list company and brief description with links to the phones they support and FAQ pages.

FAQ with list of supported phones


general problems with qik


company website


site comparing qik and flixwagon with introductory videos (2 minutes and 1 minute)



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