Kaltura Meetup on Nov 10th, 2009 :: 0:36:01 to 0:56:01
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Next category: OpenMeetings.org

0:51:00 to 1:11:17( Edit History Discussion )
Title: Group discussion

A give–and–take discussion about technology relating to open video.

0:51:01 to 0:52:07( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Moskowitz: It's a really good discussion, I almost feel bad for interrupting it. I'm a coordinator of the Open Video Alliance, which is a coalition of organizations who are focused on building open–video ecosystems. The idea of an open–video ecosystem is something that's really vague and abstract, and hopefully I can do a good job explaining what it means me and what it means to us. The people that started the Open Video Alliance, they are four groups:
 –Kaltura, obviously makers of the really good open–source video platform.
 –Mozilla, makers of the Firefox web browser and really big proponents of standardizing <video> playback in the web browser in a way that's not closed-source, in a way that's not "building a black box."
 –The Yale Information Society Project, which is a really strong research center focused on issues of access to knowledge and information society, which video, and the way that video is treated, is a big part.
 –And lastly, the Participatory Culture Foundation, who make the Miro player, a really good video aggregator, that's something they use.

0:52:07 to 0:53:16( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Moskowitz: The first project of the Open Video Alliance was a big conference, as we mentioned, it was in June of this year. I know a few people here have actually said you were there, George [Chriss] was there, I know. It was a really great event, because it was the first time that a lot of people who where working on this idea of a open–video ecosystem came together under the same roof and discussed all the different issues comprising open video. In many cases that's technology, in other cases it's how the law interacts with the technology, and then in other cases it's just social practice, how people are using video and what it means when people get their hands on cheap camcorders, cheap webcams, cheap software for distributing, and things like that.

0:53:16 to 0:53:58( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Moskowitz: For me, the idea of open video is the idea that the moving image belongs to everyone. It's the idea of democratizing the process of taking video content, sharing it with people, and doing stuff with it. It's the idea of enabling people to go beyond just watching. To do that, you need obviously web technology; for big institutions and for more complicated projects you'll need a video platform like the one from Kaltura. Some people just need video RSS, where everything's really simple. Then some people just need to be able to embed something in a web page. That's the technology. Even assuming that we have the technology to do that, in many cases what you're doing in open video is having a conversation with people. You're using video as a communicative method, almost as a vernacular, and you want to be able to do with video what you can do with text. By that I mean clipping, just copying part of a video, pasting it on a blog, and saying "look, this is really interesting," or re–purposing it or archiving it or indexing it. A lot of things that you want to do with video are hard to do because the technology isn't there or the law doesn't support the ability to do that.

0:53:58 to 0:56:01( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Moskowitz: So that's what we work on, and we mostly do community building and events and stuff like that. We'll obviously have another Open Video Conference, which will be really interesting. If you're in New York, it'll be next year, next summer. It's a little ways off, but you should make plans to come because it's really fun. (It's like a festival, it's less of a conference and more a festival.) We're also doing things to spread this idea of open video, and make it a topic of conversation on people's radar, people who aren't necessarily techies or necessarily in the video community. One of the things we're doing, starting this Monday, is launching a contest. We're asking people to make 60-second videos explaining what open video is and why it's important, and the winner will get to go to SWSX Interactive, a full–expenses–paid trip, and some runners-up will get cameras and interesting stuff like that. <Shay David: Are family members eligible?> Employees of Kaltura, Yale, PCF, and Mozilla are unfortunately ineligible as are their family members, but friends aren't ineligible, so if you want to put 60-sec video in you can be really creative. It can just be a web-cam video, it can be an animation, you can do whatever you want. We have some really cool judges too: Jimmy Wales is one of the judges, Mitchell Baker from Mozilla [Foundation] is going to be another judge, it could be a really good opportunity to get your message out there. Tell your friends too! We want to spread this idea of open video. We're also going to be doing meet-ups in select cities—it's still a little hazy, but what we want to do is to get people who are big lighthouses in the community, people who have a lot to say and are respected. People like Jesse Dylan (who's the son of Bob Dylan), who's really outspoken advocate for stuff like net neutrality just for democratizing video. [In] Boston, we're working with Lawrence Lessig. If you're into the social–political dimensions of what it means when more people get their hands on video, go to our website at openvideoalliance.org, follow us, and if you're interested you'll find a lot of stuff really worthwhile.

0:56:01 to 0:58:18( Edit History Discussion )

Ben Moskowitz: So really quickly, I want to make some examples of what I mean by open video, to fill–it–in a little bit. So George, I think what you're doing is like a perfect example of what the future of video should look like. You've talked a little bit about what OpenMeetings.org does, but do you want to give the pitch again, like "how's does it work?" and "what makes it unique?"

George Chriss: Sure, let me come up front.
Leah Belsky: Are you going to take yourself off-camera?
GC: I never do…

So, um, yeah. Two–three years ago I wouldn't have been able to tell you that my future has a lot to do with video; at the time, [I was] just working with open technologies, [focusing on] community ethics that were touched on here. That said, video is poised for explosive growth in the future, and it does matter how that works both on technical, legal, and social levels. The Open Video Conference I think was very high–impact in terms of starting conversations that are needed to make this actually happen. At the time, one week prior to that conference I actually started the OpenMeetings.org website on the basis that, working on a volunteer basis, I had recorded a whole bunch of meetings for extending conversations that are in those meetings to other communities. (Actually the same community too, because at Penn State it's very unique in the sense that you have an organizational turnover every 4-5 years – 25% of the brightest and most experienced people leave the organization, so it's very punishing for any sort of organizational memory.) That's how at least I got started, and from there I try to do this as quickly as I can, both helping facilitate or contribute in some way to the technical levels, making it really easy to work with open formats and actually get people to use it. You can shoot all the video footage in the world, but unless you actually make it compelling it doesn't really count. That is at least one of the challenges.

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