September 15, 2009

Toward a Web of open video

Toward open video on the Web from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaA few weeks ago, before and after the Open Video conference at NYU, I sketched out the proposition that open video is a requirement for an open Web in two posts: The promise of open source video and Boxee and the promise of open media.

By some estimates, 90 percent of the traffic on the Internet will be video by 2013, so this affects free and open discourse online. Above is a 7-minute interview I conducted with Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, who talks about how video is really separate from the rest of the Web in that it’s a much more closed system. “We need to look at how to make video a first-class citizen on the Web,” he said.

Surman said he hopes a concerted push toward open standards will “shift the market away from a black box video plug-in, where the video is separate from the rest of the page, to something where video can interact with Javascript” or other elements on a Web page.

Video today is locked up (technologically) and locked down (legally). In order for video to become part of the Web’s innovation ecosystem, Surman said, we need to be able to play, manipulate, transform and remix video in the same way we can with photos and data.

In the past two years, the vast majority of video hosting sites have settled on Adobe’s Flash as the format of choice because more than 95 percent of desktop computers and laptops can play them. But Flash isn’t an open source system, and video producers have been limited in how they can make video interact with other Web page elements.

“That may not sounds interesting to those who just watch videos, but it’ll be interesting first to video producers who can do all kinds of innovative things that we can’t even imagine now,” he said. Continue reading

May 22, 2009

Helping nonprofits grapple with technology

Nonprofits + technology = NTEN from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaHolly Ross, executive director of the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), talks about the organization’s mission in helping nonprofits learning how to effectively use technology and social media.

She talks about three new reports that should be of interest to nonprofits — including the just-released 2009 Nonprofit Social Network Survey Report and Small is the New Big: 2009 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study — as well as We Are Media: Social Media Starter Kit for Nonprofits, a workshop/training series led by Beth Kanter.

All of the conference’s sessions are available as free audio downloads (plus PowerPoint presentations). In addition, several webinars are available as well, such as Using Facebook Pages for Social Good, $30 for members, $60 for nonmembers.

Continue reading