Michelle Clancy | 14-08-2013
In a move to capitalise on the role social media has played in reporting breaking world events, NBC News has acquired Stringwire, and has hired its founder Phil Groman.
Stringwire was developed by Groman as a service for news organisations to make use of user-generated content. Stringwire provides the ability to recruit and direct contributors based on geographical location through Twitter, and to instantly access live footage. It will let NBC News leverage a network of verified contributors with connected mobile devices capable of streaming video across the globe for breaking news and stories that have a real-time visual component.
Aside from Groman's use of Stringwire during Hurricane Sandy and the Kenyan elections, NBC News will be the first media organization to use the technology for live event coverage.
Groman joins NBC News as product lead and will be based out of the NBC News Digital Group's San Francisco office.
"Stringwire is at the leading edge of user-generated video products, with immediate value to our on-air and digital businesses. Long-term, we think there is great commercial potential," said Vivian Schiller, senior vice president and chief digital officer at NBC News. "Phil is an incredibly talented developer and inventor who will bring a wealth of innovative and entrepreneurial experience to the NBC News Digital Group."
Groman is a graduate of New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), where he specialised in the design and production of mobile experiences. Stringwire was built out of Groman's Master's thesis. Prior to ITP, he spent two years in South Africa and Kenya as a designer and innovator at Afroes, a mobile development studio building applications for campaigning and education.