Color’s coverage of the Royal Wedding shows the need for a photo editor

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In my blog yesterday about the new proximity sharing photo app Color,  I mentioned that the first big test would be in the partnership between the Daily Telegraph and the company in social media coverage of the Royal Wedding. 

With the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge driving off toward their (at the moment secret) honeymoon and with Prince Harry hosting the wee small hours party, the site for the Color sharing photos is up.

Problem one.  It is on the Color.com website Royal Wedding page .   That appears to show that The Telegraph, even though its logo is on the site, has ceded editorial control to the app company. That is never a good idea, news media companies have tried letting software companies run their sites for 30 years, since the first days of  videotex and it has never worked due to the clash of cultures. The news media almost always yank back control as quickly as possible.

  Also the site appears to be a raw feed and so who knows what photos could be posted and sent to the server and to nearby users’ phones?

The Telegraph does say that the “best” of the Color  social media photos will  appear in the paper and on The Telegraph site.    So what’s the difference  (apart from lens quality and resolution) from the photos are being sent to the social  media sections of  news sites all over the world by the public, using everything from smart phones to high end DSLRs?

As far as I can tell, there is no difference.

As a news app, Color needs a photo editor.  And given current budget restraints, and potential  legal problems with news sites using raw, unmoderated feeds,  unlikely to be used except in exceptional circumstances.

A great app for sharing photos with friends at a wild party.  (Now if Color was at Harry’s party, that would be a different story!!)

As I mentioned in the earlier blog, an app like Color might be useful in reconstructing the events of a disaster or an attack, but  for the royal wedding there is a lot of chaff and straw and few viable seeds, a high noise to signal ratio.

My verdict:  Not a miracle.  Not ready for prime time.   Certainly at the moment, not the next Twitter, at least as as a news app and everyone concerned with the future of news knows who critical Twitter has become to news coverage.

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