Internet Video Distribution Meeting

On May 7, 2009, MFPL members had a meeting hosted by the Funding Exchange to explore our options for Video Distribution on the Internet. The discussion was initiated with a paper outlining the issues. Members represented included the Funding Exchange, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, Paper Tiger TV, Global Action Project, NY Media Alliance/Sanctuary for Independent Media, Indypendent, and Independent Media Center.

Below are the notes from the meeting.


Problems with current video distribution

  • Branded with corporate logos
  • Associated with other videos that we don't want to be associated with
  • Instructions hard to follow, uploaded video looks crappy
  • Missing important features or features hard to find and use (like hit counters)
  • Live streaming is hard
  • Infrastructure unreliable - threat of content disappearing/censorship - fair use
  • Faceless corporate providers
  • Difficult to collaborate with others - hard to engage people
  • Alternate providers even harder to use than corporate providers
  • No universal file format
  • Hard to convey to our allies political critiques of corporate tools
  • No universal play back software that is free
  • Punished for being popular (getting lots of hits)
  • Difficult to attract an audience
  • Hard to have one system that both streams live and archives
  • Difficult to navigate giving videos for free when selling videos is an important source of independent revenue
  • Corporate tools are more ubiquitous than free tools
  • Unsure what kind of video to make - documentary? feature? short?
  • Navigation/searching is bad - hard to find videos
  • We're reducing our thoughts to blips
  • Thinking in terms of distribution is limiting - YouTube is not a distribution platform, it's part of our culture
  • Don't know who is watching our videos
  • Still reliant on video experts

What we want

  • Alternative ways of production (e.g. cell phones)
  • Easy to search
  • Access at all speeds - not just people with high bandwidth
  • Mass audience
  • Good tools for organizing clips
  • Methods that support community dialogue
  • Non-commercial, unbranded
  • Ability to remix clips
  • Stream live and archive
  • Combine video with other media (photos, audio, etc.) or survey tools, etc.
  • Ability to showcase local content
  • Simple tools - 1-2-3 production
  • Distributed - not centralized
  • Open source/free
  • Ability to customize tools
  • Video conferencing - interactivity
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Promoting a culture of collaboration, not just a tool, but building patterns of collaboration
  • Ability to curate
  • Easily embeddable
  • One package that anyone can install any where (or incorporate in an existing web site like one built on Drupal)
  • Training and training centers

What exists now

  • The Internet archive is a nonprofit building a library of online artifacts (including video).
  • Miro TV is an effort to combine a free media player with free software that aggregates existing video on the Internet, providing a "TV Guide" for leftist video on the Internet.
  • Engage Media is an activist video sharing site focused on Asia Pacific (based on Australia). They are an example of a YouTube alternative for activists.
  • The Transmission Network is an international coalition of groups working on online video distribution tools for social justice and media democracy.
  • The Open Video Alliance seems similar in scope to the Transmission Network. They are having a conference in July in NYC.

Where to go from here

  • Educating arts funders and community organizers
  • Ability to send announcements to wide audiences
  • Create tutorials on how to do this stuff
  • Educate our allies about what we're giving up with corporate/proprietary tools
  • Classes on how to do video on the Internet
  • Not just educate people, but organize them around free/open source
  • Tip sheets on the politics of media
  • Better ways to connect with other organizers
  • Ways of jointly promoting and organizing screenings
Last modified 13 years ago Last modified on May 10, 2009, 10:38:00 AM