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Big Dreams, Small Screens: Online Video for Public Knowledge and Action — Publications — Center for Social Media at American University January 29, 2007

Posted by James G. Milles in Digital distribution.
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Here is a new report from The Center for Social Media at American University: Big Dreams, Small Screens: Online Video for Public Knowledge and Action.  From the Executive Summary:

This study describes ways in which users are employing popular commercial online digital video platforms, such as YouTube, GoogleVideo, and MySpace, to create, exchange, and comment upon information for public knowledge and action.

These new platforms provide a site to test the proposition that new publics are being created around open media spaces on the Internet. These emerging video sites are enormously popular, potentially attracting new viewers to issues familiar to advocates and potentially creating new networks of concern….

Some public-issue, topical campaigns attracted signiicant attention and resulted in action, especially if they used humor, music, melodrama, scare tactics, celebrity endorsements, or personal narratives. Campaigns also evidenced the key role of interaction and response in creating new work. In public-issue work as elsewhere, users are critiquing, celebrating, or mashing up both mainstream content and the videos produced by other users.

Veriication, accuracy, and legitimacy are open issues in these emerging public spaces. The quality of information ranges widely, and some clearly inaccurate and inlammatory work is showcased on an equal footing with other videos.


Wombat wisdom October 25, 2006

Posted by James G. Milles in Citizen Journalism, Digital distribution, Viral marketing.
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The Foundation for Global Community is using short, clever animations as a viral marketing tool to educate people about global economics, the environment, and peace and justice issues.  See what the wombat has to say.

Independent film distribution through Amazon September 27, 2006

Posted by James G. Milles in Digital distribution, Independent media.
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By way of a posting on Denise Howell’s Bag & Baggage blog, I’ve just learned that Amazon has apparently purchased a CD- and DVD-duplicating company called CustomFlix to offer custom distribution of CDs and DVDs on demand.

Videotapes and audio CDs are professionally digitized, and the resulting files are stored in the CustomFlix Future-Proof Archive™ service, a secure storage and formatting platform that allows content to be repurposed into future digital formats. The Future-Proof Archive™ service supports audio CD, DVD-Video, and WMV-HD DVD. Upcoming support for HD DVD and Blu-ray has already been announced, with additional formats coming in the future.

The CustomFlix Disc on Demand service enables content in the Future-Proof Archive to be manufactured as DVDs or CDs and shipped directly to customers as they order. Customers receive professional-quality DVDs in overwrapped, Amaray-style cases and/or professional-quality CDs in overwrapped jewel cases with full-color covers and lacquer-coated disc faces. Inventory-free fulfillment means more selection for customers and lower costs and risks for content owners.

The website says that distribution through digital downloads is coming soon.

Prisoners of Katrina September 7, 2006

Posted by James G. Milles in Digital distribution, Documentary.
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Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise links to a BBC documentary, Prisoners of Katrina, available online in full via Google Video. Here is the description at the Google Video site:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, while thousands fled New Orleans, the city’s prisoners were trapped. Fresh eye-witness accounts reveal what really happened to those left behind, and how crucial forensic evidence was simply washed away.

Digital media and alternative distribution models August 30, 2006

Posted by James G. Milles in Digital distribution, Documentary.
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From the blog if:book (Institute for the Future of the Book): documentary licensed through creative commons to play in second life:

Route 66: An American Bad Dream is an independent documentary film starring three Germans road tripping across the legendary US highway. What makes this film notable is that they released the film under the Creative commons license. Also, it had its premiere in the virtual world of Second Life on Aug 10th. The success of that showing prompted them to host an additional viewing this Thursday August 31 at 4PM SL in Kula 4, which will be presented by its creator Gonzo Oxberger. In the Open Source spirit of this project, they are making the video and audio project files available to anyone with a serious interest in remixing the film.

The entire film can be downloaded from the VEB Film Leipzig website.

One of the aspects of digital media that can work to empower new voices is the development of alternative means of distribution. YouTube does more than allow anyone in the world to upload pirated TV shows and funny videos of their cats taken on a cell phone. New York City-based advocacy organization The Opportunity Agenda has created a YouTube Channel, complete with RSS feed, including:

Video clips that show the state of opportunity – or lack of opportunity – in America. We feature man on the street interviews, produced video spots, mini documentaries, and other videos that we encourage people to share with their friends, and hope that social justice advocates will use in their work.

Taking advantage of existing virtual social spaces like Second Life and YouTube makes it possible to deliver audio and video content to new audiences where they are, rather than expecting the audience to come to you.