Latest crowd-sourced documentary tells of Egyptian revolution woes

Egypt’s crowd-sourcing platform 18DaysInEgypt has launched a Beta public that allows users to share their photos and stories in addition to helping them sign up.

The latest collaborative documentary project follows the launch of the project’s website in July last year that marked introduction of the world’s first ever “crowd-sourced” documentary.

Launched in January this year, the website is Egypt’s latest online attempt to capture stories and documentaries from first-hand witness accounts of the first 18 days of Egyptian revolution that saw the end of Mubarak era.

During the revolution, a number of Egyptians documented newsworthy event using cellphones, cameras, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

The documentary project uses GroupStream, a new platform that provides an innovative means for online group-story-telling.

To contribute stories, users log in through their Facebook, Twitter, Google or Yahoo accounts from where they create stories by picking a specific day, adding a title and description and a location on Google Maps. The final step allows users to invite friends’ contributions via Facebook, Twitter or email.

With 250 million photos added to Facebook daily, 48 hours of video uploaded to Youtube every minute — and that’s just naming a few of the social media tools available today — GroupStream acts as a platform that brings together top media fragments including Tweets, Facebook updates, and digital photos & videos, to tell stories.

Users can add content to a story using a variety of sites and services. 18DaysInEgypt currently supports Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It also permits adding links, texts and uploaded video and photos.

The name of the service makes direct reference to the 18 days in Egypt that changed the course of the country’s history – from when the uprising began on January 25 to February 11, when the former Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, stepped down.

Groupstream is one of the companies that has made to the final leg of “Ebda with Google,” a Google-sponsored contest in search of top innovators in the country. The competition is ongoing in Egypt with the winner expected to receive US$200,000 for the seed capital.

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