Interesting thoughts about online video

Clay Shirky, the author of “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations”, hass been guest blogging on

His thoughts on the future of online amateur video are very interesting, if somewhat narrow – his focus is very much around the way video was used during the recent American presidential election. Having said that, he is trying to make broader analyses from this data. Here he is refering to how video will change for the 2012 election, but I think it is generally applicable:

Two uncertainties produce four possible futures. Consider the future where the motivation of amateurs turns political and
average quality rises; we could label this “The New Agora”, where
online video becomes a key arena of political argument. The opposite of
that world would be most amateurs making video for personal motivation,
and falling average quality. In this world — call it “Lost in
the Noise” — in-jokes and me-tooism would make amateur political video
a sideshow, compared to 2008.

The following articles are specifically on this topic:

Video from the Presidential Campaign, Republican Division

Video from the Presidential Campaign, Republican Division, #2


Uncertainties in amateur media for 2012

from which the quote above was taken.

His full list of articles is in the guestblog tagged secction of boingboing


Yogyakarta EngageMedia Workshop and Screening

Event details


December 12, 2008

03:00 PM to
05:00 PM


Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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Jogja workshop screening

Introduction to Online Video Distribution

Friday December 12th, 2008, 10am – 12 pm, Room F, Benteng Vrederburg, Jogjakarta

The options for independent film makers to distribute their work have grown massively in the past few years. Web based technologies in particular provides opportunities for international distribution and the ability to reach new audiences with new voices. The limited internet infrastructure in Indonesia, though improving, restricts some of these possibilities, however there are a number of tools and techniques available to overcome these limitations. This workshop, run by the online video and media activist organisation, will cover the following topics

  • building a digital video delivery strategy to ensure the greatest impact your work
  • Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and relevant FOSS tools available for video production, distribution, web publishing etc.
  • encoding video for online distribution
  • where to publish and how to use online content in a website or blog, such as embedding video etc.
  • video podcasting, bittorrent and other key video-sharing tools
  • hybrid distribution strategies – combining on and off-line distribution, particularly in low bandwidth scenarios
  • use of Creative Commons and open content licensing, including finding media to use in your production

The workshops will be in English with Indonesian translation.


Saturday December 13th, 2008, 01pm, Room F, Benteng Vrederburg, Jogjakarta

For more information about the festival please see

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Yogyakarta International Videowork Festival

Event details


December 11, 2008 01:35 PM

December 16, 2008 01:35 AM


Yogyakarta, Indonesia

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The Yogyakarta International Videowork Festival (YIVF) theme this year is “Out of It!”, and comprises a collaborative artist exchange, looking at the topics of “Kids”, “VJ Culture”, “Rehabilitation Centre”, “Rural” and “Urban”. It begins with an artist residency program to explore these topics, followed by the open main program. HONF invites any artist without any concern of artist’ disciplinal backgrounds or experiences. YIVF#04 – Out of It! is looking for a diverse opinions and perspectives
in art production using community – based working method that have been
used in personal, groups and institutions in Yogyakarta. HONF embrace
interdisciplinary collaboration and values every discipline as an
important factor in the enrichment of limitless artproduction/learning process.

The main program for YIVF#04 will be held at 11-15 December 2008. HONF will facilitate the collaborative working process between participants, residency artists and HONF members.

The projects, venues and times of the collaboration are dependable and decided by the artists themselves. Artist will be given the chance to make cultural visits in Yogyakarta and also a chance to give a presentation about themselves in an official public presentation of YIVF#04. This main program is open for any artists who have interests in a collaborative working process through community – based activities. A final public group presentation its’ forms, venues and modules in public spaces will be decided by the group itself and will be held just before the closing ceremony of YIVF#04 – Out of It!

More information about this event…


Want to Learn Video Editing/ Compression and/ or Assist Plug In TV at Next Years Sustainable Living Festival?

Event details


December 06, 2008

06:00 PM to
10:00 PM


Hatwhorn, VIC

Contact Name

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The first editing workshop will be held Dec 6th, 1-5 pm at the Hawthorn Plug in TV office (the Possum Shed).

Address: Possum Shed, back of the Augustine Centre / Borderlands
2 Minona St Hawthorn
near corner of Hepburn and Burwood Hw.
Time: Saturday 6 December, 1-5pm
Email: David Murphy – [email protected]

Roles people can take

Filming on the day – do you have access to a camera, can you film forums?
Editing  – would you like to edit some of the forums on one of Plug in TVs computers or your own laptop?
Compression – would you like to compress footage to web, and can you help upload edited footage to EngageMedia?
Tent – can you help with answering questions, recruiting interested people and selling Plug in TV paraphernalia?
Season 5 production of SLF footage – Can you edit one or more episodes
after SLF 09 for C31 for the special SLF / Plug in TV season?

The first editing training will be Dec 6th at the Augustine Centre, and
Engage Media has kindly offered to provide a compression-to-web
training session Jan 14th, exact time TBA. (Thanx EngageMedia!)

Apart from having the opportunity to learn (or practicing your)
filming/editing/ compression skills, the project will have a number of

You will support the wider environmental and social justice movement through media work;
You will support SLF’s speakers capacity to communicate their message(s) with the world;
You will support the ongoing viability of Plug in TV by helping to raise needed money;
You will be part of a rich experience;
You can help inspire SLF participants with the power of integrated grassroots media.

Join the team, and be part of the solution to the many issues we commonly face.


More About the Festival and Plug In TV’s Involvement:

The Sustainable Living Festival showcases a huge range of exhibitors,
talks, workshops, art, films and performances celebrating and inspiring
sustainable communities. It is Australia’s biggest environment festival.

Over the 3 days of the festival Plug In TV will shoot, edit, compress
and upload to web all in one day. So we would be filming forums, tapes
would go to the ‘Plug in TV tent’ which would be located at the
festival (getting lots of interest from people) and they would be
logged and edited on the spot, and uploaded right there.

Email: [email protected]

More information about this event…


The Net is Under Threat

Federal Government is planning to force all Australian servers to filter
internet traffic and block any material the Government deems ‘inappropriate’.
Under the plan, the Government can also add any ‘unwanted’ site to a secret
blacklist. According to GetUp, testing has already begun on systems that will
slow our internet by up to 87%, make it more expensive, miss the vast majority
of inappropriate content and accidentally block up to one in 12 legitimate
sites. Millions of taxpayer dollars have been allocated to developing this
deeply flawed system which will see adult content available only on an opt-in
basis, despite claims from child advocacy groups that there is no evidence to
suggest children have been accidentally stumbling across child pornography
sites whilst surfing the net. In the face of harsh criticism and fierce
opposition from the Liberals, the Greens, the internet industry and the wider
community, live trials of the filters are expected to begin before the end of
the year.

your say against internet censorship by signing GetUp’s online petition
and get involved on Saturday 13 December 2008 when people nationwide hit the
streets in protest. Marches have been planned for Melbourne,
Sydney, Brisbane,
Adelaide, Hobart
and Perth.
Visit the ‘Stop the Clean Feed’ website
for more details.


New Version of Plumi Released

One of the exciting new improvements is that featured videos are now shown
via a flash player on the front page of the EngageMedia website so there’s no need
to go digging for your first streaming video experience!

Helme from EngageMedia believes this new release of Plumi will do much to
enhance the user experience on the website. “We wanted to focus on making it
easier to manage your content on the site,” she said. Other enhancements to the
user experience include a new animation during video upload to indicate
uploading, transcoding messages that are now only seen by site managers, workflow
improvements (consistent across videos, callouts, news and events), a video
listings template improvement (the country metadata on each video is now listed)
and implementation of the latest version of the Transmission Metadata Standard

And what does the future hold for the development of Plumi? According
to Helme, the next major release of Plumi will be upgrading to Plone 3, a big
jump in the development of the underlying platform. “This will contain some
really exciting improvements in the visual HTML editor, versioning of content,
easier collaboration and sharing and inline editing without having to reload
pages,” she said.

For a
full list of changes incorporated into Plumi 0.2.2 you can view the changelog
and you can download this version of Plumi in the Plone repository.


Technology as a “tool” or human as a “fool”?

I was registered with FTX to join the Wireless Mobile Technology for Advocacy training track. This track provides information on the various hardware and secure software packages available for mobile advocacy, including portal text messaging and mobile telephony. The track ran for four days and in that time participants learned about obtaining local and wireless internet connections, using open source software (called “Frontline SMS”) for portal text messaging, and using the the latest open source software for mobile telephony called “Freedom Phone”. Almost every mainstream media provider already offers these features however we learned to source alternative media so we can perform advocacy securely and monitor the software independently as administrators. One of the major issues related to training in these technologies is that it is an area often viewed as “macho”. Training and information exchanges such as those provided by FTX are very much needed in the feminist area to establish an understanding that women are entitled to equal knowledge of technology.

This year, all FTX participants were able to attend the annual AWID International Forum in Cape Town. The FTX training program, which I attended, was held prior to the commencement of the 2008 AWID Forum to encourage FTX participants to contribute their knowledge and apply it during the AWID Forum. During the four day AWID Forum, participants from FTX built an FTX hub that connected all FTX and AWID participants as a means of celebrating technology. The theme of this year’s AWID Forum was the ‘Power of Movement’, which led to discussions on a wide range of issues. One particular area discussed extensively was the use of technology for feminist advocacy. Another topic frequently raised in the sessions was that intergeneration, LGBT (Lesbian-Gay-Bisex-Transgender) issues, and disabled women are all actually women’s issues. There was also some petition for  freedom across the countries held just outside the plenary. The Wireless track I had been participating in with FTX contributed an SMS portal called “FTX SMS” that informed FTX participants of the main outcomes of the FTX Hub and AWID Forum. The FTX hub was a space at the AWID Forum set up primarily to practice the knowledge we had gained during training, before applying those skills in real life.

EngageMedia is well-known as one of many alternative media sources for online video distribution. After participating in the FTX and AWID events, I began to realise that technology plays a huge part in all the changes that occur in the modern world. Each day I think to myself “AHA!” and “Yes” when I think about EngageMedia as the solution to the questions: Where will we screen the video? Who will watch it? What will the impact be after it? This is particularly true as EngageMedia’s focus on social justice and environmental issues matches closely with the “movement” that was discussed at length throughout the AWID Forum. It is now clear in my mind, through my work with EngageMedia, how I plan to address these issues. Beyond the feminist theories mixed with technology that were discussed inside the FTX and the AWID Forum, the most important thing is to explore how we can positively utilise the technology that has already become faster and more effective than we ever imagined. I no doubt consider myself lucky to have attended the two events in Cape Town. Without the knowledge I gained, I may never have fully grasped the idea of how to use the technology as a “tool” rather than letting technology “fool” me.