YuVue – Doing Good or Doing Well?

by William Fisher

When the YuVue co-founders get together we really do talk about changing the world.  We discuss the democratization of media, the free-flow flow of information, and how to empower professional and citizen journalists.

But as our Kickstarter campaign approached, our marketing advisors (you know who you are!) urged us to stress the tangible benefits we offer our users.  Instead of “values,” they suggested we focus on “value” – as in our value proposition.  What are we offering to our Kickstarter contributors? We make it easier for media companies to find and license your work.  We also facilitate social media sharing.  “You View It, You Upload It, You Get Paid.”  All true!

photo by Aarcus Murelius

But the value of getting paid for the photos and videos you share on social media is only part of our story.  As we look today at images of protests in Mexico, Hong Kong, and Ferguson, we can actually see, hear and feel the impact of photos and videos taken by witnesses who were in the right place at the right time and happened to have their cameras ready or their smart phones in their pockets.

Getting your work in front of the media companies that value that content is our core mission at YuVue.  When you upload to us, we protect your copyright and allow you to share content via social media while directly connecting you with publishers who can license your photos and videos, all over the world.

Or as our marketing colleagues would say, we’re aiming to turn “social currency” into real currency.  Doing good and doing well aren’t incompatible.

Please support our campaign on Kickstarter: http://bit.ly/yuvue


YuVue Launches on Kickstarter – Celebrating the Wisdom of Crowds

by William FIsher

Three..two…one…. and the YuVue campaign is now live on Kickstarter!

And what better way to launch a new platform like YuVue – which puts crowdsourced images at the center of news gathering – than on the premiere crowdfunding platform!

But Kickstarter isn’t just a great resource for entrepreneurs seeking to raise funds. It’s also a powerful tool for building a company’s profile, validating market demand for its product, and reaching an audience who believes in the power of technology to change the way the world works.

We’re using Kickstarter to help recruit a team of at least 250 Beta testers who share our vision of making every smartphone and camera owner a citizen journalist.  In addition to receiving advance access to the YuVue app and our super-cool branded merchandise, Kickstarter contributors will have the opportunity to help shape the YuVue platform and be the very first to put their photos and videos in front of our network of publishers and media organizations for licensing.

Please check us out on Kickstarter, share our campaign link on Twitter and Facebook to help spread the word.  And join us as a YuVue Beta tester or early adopter!

Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/yuvue


Riding the Citizen Journalist Wave at the Dublin Web Summit

by Karen McLaughlin

One of the essential truths of citizen journalism is that “authenticity has replaced authority” in terms of what consumers of news – and therefore media companies – value about news coverage.  That’s what Gigaom’s Mathew Ingram is reporting from last week’s Dublin Web Summit: “…it means that many people (not all, of course, but many) are willing to pay more attention to sources of information that they believe are close to an event, rather than to traditional sources of sober, objective second-hand or third-hand information.” [more here…]

Ingram goes on to discuss the increasing importance of real-time “flow” in how we report and consume news and the increasingly valuable currency of speed and immediacy.  Ingram says, “…traditional media like newspapers or even television mostly lose.”  But it doesn’t have to be that  way.  YuVue can help everyone win: traditional media and the citizen journalist.

The heart of our mission and business model at YuVue is to directly connect eye-witness observers of breaking and trending news events with the media companies and the audiences that value that content.   Where we differ from Twitter and Instagram (the services Ingram discusses) is that we offer content creators the ability to manage how their work is used, to ensure they are credited and paid for it.

Technology had enabled greater credibility in first-hand accounts, empowering citizen journalists.  This has given “authenticity” new-found value.  The opportunity for us is to help citizen journalists monetize it.Web-Summit

YuVue Grows its Advisory Board

We’re thrilled to announce that Josh Anisfeld from the Zeno Group is joining YuVue as an advisor.

Josh is one of those marketers whose career has tracked the explosive growth of digital media. Prior to joining Zeno as VP of Digital Engagement, Josh held leadership positions at Edelman and Golin-Harris. He has collaborated with such acclaimed brands as Nissan/Infinity, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Quaker Oats, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Dove, growing them across Josh Headshot 11-11digital, mobile and social media. We’re delighted that he’ll be helping us to build the YuVue brand.

When we asked him what he found most compelling about YuVue, he said, “the company has the potential to organize the Wild West of user generated content by ensuring that creators are properly compensated for their work and that media outlets have fast, easy access to the best of citizen journalism.”

Josh joins another distinguished YuVue advisor, Tim Hanlon, founding CEO of the Vertere Group and one of the most influential thought leaders in the concentric fields of media, marketing and technology. Tim was previously Managing Director of the Interpublic Group’s Velociter and EVP/Managing DIrector of Public Grope’s VivaKi Ventures. In those roles Tim has served as an advisor or director for over four dozen start-ups while managing successful exits for many of them, including such impactful companies as Sling Media, Brightcove and Navic Networks.

Learn more about Tim, follow Josh on Twitter and you’ll see why we’re so fortunate to have them on our board of advisors.

Is There an App for Launching an App?

by William Fisher

According to articles in Techcrunch and Venturebeat, the cost for start-ups apps like YuVue to get people to discover and adopt their apps is at an all-time high.  There’s a lot of clutter as an unprecedented number of mobile apps compete for attention.

Fiksu cost-per-launch index from September 2014. Image Credit: Fiksu

Fiksu cost-per-launch index from September 2014.
Image Credit: Fiksu

That drives up marketing costs and makes it difficult and costly to get noticed by consumers – or in our case by photographers and videographers. According to Dean Takahashi, writing for Venturebeat: “…The cost-per-loyal-user index, which measures the price of acquiring a user who opens an app at least three times, has hit an all-time high.”

We’re grateful and hopeful that crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter can provide a showcase that allows us, and other startups with cool and original ideas, to get in front or our target users and assess real market demand.

Our Kickstarter campaign launches on November 17. Here’s hoping we prove the conventional wisdom wrong. We’ll be counting on your enthusiasm for a game changing idea to help us spread the word!

$800,000 vs. $0 for Your Photo

While this accomplished chromographic print by the celebrated German photographer Thomas Struth is estimated to sell for somewhere between $500-800,000* when it’s auctioned by Bonhams in November, not all photographers are that fairly compensated.

The University of North Carolina, which has an endowment of $2.3 billion, just  told Durham, NC-based photographer Justin Cook that one of his photos which UNC used on its own website was worth nothing.

The university (which should know better) claims they didn’t know that they had to credit and pay Cook because he had published the image online “without copyright notice, watermark, or any other warning that publication…was prohibited.”  The obvious fact that he makes his living as a professional photographer – and is a UNC alumnus to boot  – didn’t seem relevant.

This letter from the university’s deputy general counsel strikes us as a classic piece of bad faith legal writing and stunningly negative PR for UNC. (Thank you M. Scott Brauer and dvafoto.com for republishing it here)

Justin Cook's image on UNC's Facebook Page

Justin Cook’s image on UNC’s Facebook Page

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) has now intervened on Cook’s behalf but, while UNC has removed the photo, they are rejecting his invoice.

It’s extremely hard for visual journalists to get paid these days in an online world where it’s so easy to drag and drop, cut and paste.

That’s the challenge we set out to solve at YuVue: creating a way to ensure that photographers and videographers can safeguard their copyright, get credited for their work and get paid. Not only that but  our model will allow photographers like Justin Cook to be able to share content on social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter  while still protecting their rights.

Watch for our Kickstarter campaign in November and our Beta test in January.  And Justin Cook: we’ll be sending you a special invitation to be a Beta tester!


*The seller is a private Southern California collector – not Struth.  

Inside First Look: Disruptor Disrupted

No one said it would be easy to “reinvent the newsroom.”

Matthew Ingram‘s piece on First Look for Gigaom – “First Look Finds the Hard Part isn’t the Journalism, it’s Reinventing How a Newsroom Works” – details some mistakes made at First Look – as well as what they’re doing right.

The reinvention of current journalistic practices may ultimately come down to the application of old school management skills – a point also made in this New York Times article.

But Ingram gives credit where credit is due: Pierre Omidyar and his team get full marks for summoning the will to break the mold and test new models.  No one said it would be easy. And First Look is still one of the most exciting new destinations on the Web.

first look