July 12, 2005

The television will be revolutionized

I’m quoted in this article the other day by Farhad Manjoo in Salon (subscription required): The television will be revolutionized. Al Gore promises that Current TV will be as interactive and democratic as the Internet. But already his restless young audience is wondering whether the network will be another rerun. Excerpt:

Viewers might wish it presented a novel, unpredictable opinion on the issue, or a deeper sense of outrage, or anger. It’s difficult to find a non-mainstream point of view in the videos; politically, they stray neither too far left nor too far right. Just now, there’s little on Current’s site that would seem out of place on ordinary TV.

The youth-oriented network, with Al Gore as a co-owner, launches Aug. 1.

And from 925 — The Online Advertising Community: Gore: Ads Aren’t the Boss of Us. Yea right.

As part of their submission policy, contributors are prohibited from posting their videos on their own sites. But for the ever-growing mass of bloggers—or even “vloggers”—doesn’t it seem they’d be short changing themselves to agree to such a thing? J.D. Lasica, a media consultant and the author of “Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation” agreed that when it comes to filmmakers utilize the Web, they “have an expectation of immediacy for their material.” As Lasica told Salon: “You put something together and you want to put it online. You want to get it out there.” Ain’t that the truth.

July 11, 2005

My citizen journalism reports on Bayosphere


I spent all day down in San Jose at IBM’s Almaden Research Center doing citizen journalism reports for Dan Gillmor and his Bayosphere site. Here are my two writeups:

The future of portable computing

New Paradigms, part 2

It was a fun, enervating and educational day — but also a bit exhausting.

Bayosphere is a Drupal site, and I apparently posted the first video they’ve ever run. Unfortunately, the administrator under-the-hood stuff is very geeky, so Dan is scrambling to rework the code so the site supports QuickTime movies.

July 10, 2005

Slowing the flow of illicit uploads

I’m interviewed in a story in today’s San Jose Mercury News: Slowing the flow of illicit uploads. Excerpt:

The recent emergence of Web sites that encourage the public to upload copies of their own video and audio content is highlighting the difficulties of controlling the illicit spread of copyrighted material.

The new sites are coming online at a time when technology is making it increasingly easy for ordinary people to copy, record, edit and upload video and audio content to the Web. …

Ourmedia, a non-profit “grass-roots media” Web site, was launched in March, soliciting independently made video, audio and text files. Since the service opened, administrators have seen about four dozen instances in which users uploaded copyrighted material, a fraction of the 14,000 files currently hosted on the site, said Pleasanton’s J.D. Lasica, co-founder of Ourmedia.

Ourmedia does not screen content before it is uploaded to the site, Lasica said. But volunteer site administrators perform spot-checks “after the fact.”

The site made it clear from the outset that it would not tolerate uploads of copyrighted material.

“We decided early on, even though we’re not technically liable, that we don’t want to open the floodgates,” Lasica said. “We said, let’s focus on `our media,’ not `their media.’ ”

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act puts the onus on Internet users to act responsibly when it comes to copyrighted material — and for Web sites and Internet service providers to step in when they don’t. So Web sites such as Google or Ourmedia are not required to screen content when it is uploaded to their servers. But they must respond quickly when they find out that copyrighted material may have been inappropriately placed on their systems.

July 8, 2005

Photos from Open Media 100 reception


I posted five photos in this Flickr set taken at last evening’s AlwaysOn Technorati Open Media 100 reception in Menlo Park, Calif.

I posted them to Ourmedia as well, which has the advantage of allowing full-size photos for free but the disadvantage of having no sets or collections yet (we’re working on it).

Buzz Bruggeman, Valerie Cunningham and David Sifry (above — or see full-size image)

John Furrier, Nina Davis and Doug Kaye

It was great seeing everyone. I know about half of the people who were named to the list, which Tony Perkins describes this way:

AlwaysOn and Technorati are pleased to present the first annual “Open Media 100,” the power list of bloggers, social networkers, tool smiths, and investors leading the Open Media Revolution. If you fancy Vanity Fair’s annual New Establishment list of the media and IT titans who matter (like we didn’t already know), you might think of the Open Media 100 as the new, new establishment – people you may not know but probably should.

Most of the 100 or so folks who turned out were locals, and it was cool to meet Paul Martino, the co-founder of Tribe.net (who’s leaving for a new venture) and VC Steve Jurvetson, among others. Still, I was disappointed I didn’t get to meet Duncan Black (Eschaton), Eugene Volokh, the MySpace guys Tom and Chris, Jonathan Abrams from Friendster, John Hindemaker from Powerline, Andrew Sullivan and Jason Kottke. Soon, though, I hope.

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July 7, 2005

I’m on ‘G’Day World’

I had a fine time on the Fourth of July chatting for an hour with Cameron Reilly, host of the Australian podcast G’Day World (part of the  Podcast Network), talking about Darknet, Ourmedia, where technology is taking us, my favorite movies, and other sundry stuff.

He’s just posted the podcast here (the direct link to the mp3 is here). And G’Day World’s feed is here.

July 7, 2005

Ourmedia a finalist in UN World Summit Awards

The United Nations World Summit Awards are an international competition created in 2003 to highlight the most innovative digital content being created around the world. The awards coincide with the 2005 UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), an international UN summit that will take place in Tunisia this November. More than 150 countries around the world are expected to nominate digital content in a variety of categories, such as e-government, e-education and e-entertainment, to compete among each other for the international award, to be announced later this fall.

Andy Carvin, coordinator of the US competition, worked with a team of about a dozen judges from around the country, soliciting nominations from around the Internet, then reaching their decisions for US finalists in eight different categories. After reviewing numerous nominations in the e-inclusion category — the UN’s term for initiatives that are helping bridge the digital divide, utilizing the Internet to empower the public, etc. — the judges have just whittled down the list to a single US finalist:


Congratulations, everyone. This is simply amazing. We’re only 3 1/2 months old — and already being recognized on the international stage.