I started livestreaming recently, starting with the protests in Ferguson, Missouri and TSA Checkpoints, and found it to be a powerful tool for transparency and accountability. The footage is impossible to edit live, and nearly impossible to erase, providing an unadulterated version of events rarely seen through a TV news camera. When I was in Ferguson, for example, I covered large prayer circles, and police without name badges forcing protesters off private property, both angles untouched by corporate media.

However, since livestreaming is fairly recent technology, it is not without its share of bugs, glitches, and problems. Many cell towers, for example, don’t have the bandwidth to handle several streamers at once, so grainy video sometimes turns into un-watchable video. Also, if you’re running around, the camera shake can make your video impossible to comprehend and useless for record keeping.

There are several professional camera stabilizer rigs for cell phones on the market, but they will run you anywhere from $200 to 1,000 a piece. The video above shows how to make a DIY camera stabilizer for $10. For activists, you’ll want to pick up a stronger universal joint like the one here, and a vex shaft to hold it in place. This will run you another $10, but you will need the extra weight and grip to create a sturdier setup. I’d also recommend a second, or third, rubber band for protecting the phone from any sudden jars. However, this camera stabilizer will help make sure the records you keep are worth keeping for the fraction of the price of a professional rig.

Dan Johnson is the President and Founder of the Solutions Institute. Want to discuss this topic more? Invite Dan on your radio show, to your group, or just send him an email at thesolutionsinstitute [at] gmail.com.

The Solutions Institute only takes one position: good ideas do not require force. Otherwise, each article published at the Solutions Institute is chosen for its focus on the process and how-to instruction. Any opinions expressed on any other issue, by any author or commenter, are strictly their own. Learn more.


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