Ovc Opengov on Jun 19th, 2009 :: 0:00:00 to 0:20:00
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0:15:24 to 0:16:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jake Brewer: C-SPAN is great because it allows the public to participate or to see what is going on in the halls of Congress as they debate.  An interesting thing that happened though, when C-SPAN launched, is that you started seeing things like giant rubber stamps.  You didn't actually see those in Congress before C-SPAN.  Because you put them on video, now people know they will be on video and they make these huge graphs and they make these huge stamps and they stomp and they do a lot more and they're much more animated.  On the house floor, they used to have much more open conversation and say "hey, by the way, this is what I need." "Hey! This is what I need, and why don't we just work this out.  We don't have to necessary grandstand."  So now it happens in club rooms, it happens in parties, it happens in other places.  [Abram Stern: I never see that stuff.]  You never see actual getting along and dialogue when you're flipping through C-SPAN.  The way we see that is that there's a whole ecosystem of influence as having an impact on people's lives all over the country from their congressional representatives, from their state representatives, from their local representatives on all these different levels.  It's our responsibility to figure out ways to make sure that that ecosystem of influence is brought to bear.

0:16:28 to 0:17:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jake Brewer: This is a crowd-sourced site, more or less; it's not as crowd-sourced as we like.  Absolutely, if you guys ever get an invitation to a party from a lobbyist, send it to us and we'll put it up.  The whole point is not to say "hey, by the way, it's awful that these guys are having a party," it's "just to let you know that your congressional representative, by the way, is going to a baseball game tomorrow night for $5,000."  Or "he got paid $5,000 by a lobbyist."  That lobbyist could say—anyone care about the climate or energy in this room?—let's say that you care about climate a whole lot, I come from that kind of clean energy and climate background and advocacy there, so I care a lot about it just as a personal example—if he's going to a baseball game (for $5,000) spending 3 hrs. just chatting about baseball, then also, "by the way, you want to throw us an earmark?"  That kind of stuff is happening all the time, and we just try to make it known that it's happening.  Then basically we try to work with journalists and other people to pull that out.  So that's an example of influence.

0:17:32 to 0:18:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jake Brewer: Now wouldn't it be awesome if you could also say, "now, here they are on video."  Here they are on even photographic stuff.  But getting that kind of thing involves a lot more people than we have.  It involves a lot more people than this room, obviously.  It involves platforms in order to get there, it involves actually looking at what the formats are and all the kind of data and real technical stuff is, which people in this room are really good at.  That's kind of the framework for the conversation and we've taken a lot of time setting the stage I suppose, but really from this point on, we want to listen more than speak as we chat about it.

0:18:12 to 0:18:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jake Brewer: The first part of this: you guys have seen two platforms that I think are really brilliant, at the starting point.  It's kind of the YouTube of politics to a certain degree, and across the board in a way, is kind of Capital Hub.  I hate when entrepreneurs from three years ago that would say "so it's kind of like, uuuh, it's like if you take del.icio.us and YouTube and Facebook and you put them all together?  That's what we do."  It doesn't make sense.  I hate describing things in terms of that, but [prefer to describe it] in terms of politics and how it relates to your actual government.

0:18:48 to 0:20:06( Edit History Discussion )

Then of course we've got MetaVid, which is now indexing stuff in really powerful ways, and creating this stuff.  It's also—correct me if I'm wrong—it's restricted to C-SPAN footage, so far.  You also have things like Google Audio Indexing, has everyone seen that?  This is one of those sites that not too many people know about, so you can search a word like 'economy' and it tells you—just scroll over the yellow here—it actually tells you the sentence in which it appears and then you can play the video.  He says it four, five times throughout that, so if you want to figure out who's taking about 'economy,' who's talking about 'energy,' who's taking about these different things, you can actually search for it.  You have some of these platforms starting to come out and they're necessarily not just C-SPAN, it's some of these other things in other places, but that's also highly restrictive.  If you talk to the guys that run the political division at YouTube they'll basically say "we can't get much more of this stuff."  "We can't index stuff that's happening on the street."

(Copied from the corresponding Internet Archive page.)

Discourse related to the promotion of free expression and innovation in online video.

Crowdsourcing an Open Government: Using Distributed Video to Hold the Elected Accountable

Jake Brewer — Engagement Director, Sunlight Foundation
Robert Millis — Capitol Hub
Abram Stern — Univ. of California, Santa Cruz & Metavid

2009 Open Video Conference

Session held at at 11:08 am on 20-June-2009
NYU Vanderbilt Hall, New York, NY


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