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Plumi 0.1 RC2 Released

Plumi 0.1 release candidate 2 is now available. This fixes two key bugs that affected installation. You can get the rc2 release here http://plone.org/products/plumi/releases/0.1rc2

Thoughts about MediaRights and Transmission

"MediaRights maximizes the impact of social-issue documentaries and shorts. " they say. as a film-maker this article I find vaguely interesting:

"Upstream: Building Community Around Online Identity".

maybe here we're more 'building identity round online community'?

Released! Plumi - Free Software Video Sharing Platform

EngageMedia are very excited to announce the first release of Plumi, a free software video sharing Content Management System. Plumi enables you to create a sophisticated video sharing site out-of-the-box. In a net landscape where almost all video sharing sites keep their distribution platform under lock and key, Plumi is one contribution to creating a truly democratic media.

http://plumi.org | http://engagemedia.org

Plumi is based on the popular Plone Content Management System and enables a wide array of functionality including:

Future features will include:

  • Automatic creation and seeding of BitTorrent files upon video upload
  • Large video file uploads
  • Mobile phone uploads and downloads
  • Specialised calendar
  • Transmission metadata standard
  • Donations system for contributors and online purchasing
  • Integration with gnutella and other p2p networks
  • Collaborative film production tools

For a listing of out-of-the-box base Plone functionality see http://www.openia.com/services/plone/plone-features

Plumi is the system that currently runs EngageMedia
- a video sharing site focussed on social and environmental issues in
Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific. EngageMedia is an Australian
based media/tech activist collective that develops Plumi and runs the
EngageMedia.org site.


For more information and to download Plumi see
http://plumi.org and

For an out-of-the-box demo of Plumi see http://demo.plumi.org or check out http://engagemedia.org

Get Involved
We are keen to have other people developing and using Plumi. If you
are interested in getting involved or have questions about
implementation please join the developers mailing list http://lists.plumi.org/listinfo/discuss
or find us in chat: irc.freenode.net #plumi

To stay up to date with developments you can join the announcement list

The EngageMedia Team
Andy, Anna, Dave, Andrew, Lachlan.

logo01.gif1.95 KB

an update on metadata standardisation, ifiwatch.tv, documentation and subtitling etc - one year on from Transmission in Roma

Metadata standard:
Shiftspace has now been promised financial support from OSI to take forward finalising and implementing the metadata standard across the Transmission and other networks. For a layperson's explanation of what metadata standardisation is, and why it's important, see http://wiki.transmission.cc/index.php/What%2C_who%2C_why_the_standard I'll be working with this process using www.ifiwatch.tv as a test case for feeds in and out, aggregation and sorting and so forth ...using real issues, real information swapping needs to see how the whole thing works.

The other side of this story is that we have nearly completed the recreation of ifiwatch.tv in the free and open source Drupal content management system. we will soon be launching a beta site for everyone to test the feed functionalities, see how the model works, start and if possible keep the sorted video info flowing between our diverse video projects and websites... yay!

Extremely useful in this process is the documentation work mick fuzz, adam hyde and others have been doing so consistently and effectively, focused round flossmanuals.org. Making FLOSS software tools as accessible to non techie-minded people as quicktime, windows media player, u-tube etc currently are. User-focused help files are absolutely vital to this whole area of work, so I'm very happy to be involved in the process of idiot-proofing, at the same time as linking to the latest work in this field from the new ifiwatch.tv metadata upload forms.

Translation and Subtitling
what is more lacking so far, imho, is as much attention to translation and subtitling networks. we all seem to agree when we meet that this is a vital set of tools and connections to have working well if we really want to make a useful, international, set of independent video networks, but who, if anyone, is working consistently on this, speccing out tasks, cheerleading, fundraising if necessary, etc... ????

Who Does What?
is it because a few people are committed to advancing too many parts of this project that a couple of the most important collective processes are falling by the wayside? I guess we all need to be realistic about how much we can really achieve, let each other know when we are over-committed and have to roll back a bit, and inspire, encourage and support new people to take on some of the most urgent tasks...
go for it! we need you.... and thanks!

Good. more news soon.

Plumi is coming

The first release of Plumi, the Plone based video sharing CMS produced by EngageMedia, is just around the corner. The beta should all be out in the next few weeks and available for installation and testing.

from the site

Plumi is a GPL licensed video sharing Content Management System based on Plone and produced by the EngageMedia collective. Plumi enables you to create your own sophisticated video sharing site; by adding it to an existing Plone instance you can quickly have a wide array of functionality to facilitate video distribution and community creation.

Plumi is set for release mid-June 2007. You can see an operational version at http://engagemedia.org

On top of the out-of-the-box Plone functionality Plumi adds the following features:

  • Video uploading in any format (over http)
  • Automatic server-side flash transcoding and embedded playback
  • Expanded video metadata set
  • Classifications system into country, genre and topic
  • RSS2 feeds with media enclosures (or "vodcasts") created automatically from taxonomy items - eg country, genre, member, topic, or through creating custom smart folders
  • Tagging
  • Playback of Quicktime, Flash video, Real and Windows Media within the browser
  • Custom templates for browsing videos
  • Custom profile page for site members with personal latest videos vodcast feed
  • Open Content Licensing including Creative Commons (through their API), the GNU Free Documentation License and the ability to add your own custom licenses

More at Plumi.org

Docs gathering, brief summary

A highly productive couple of days discussion free software online video documentation was had at Dekspace in Deptford, London May 22/23.

Key amongst the discussions was the development and implementation of FLOSS Manuals and Suitecase Manuals as engines to develop a modular documentation repository. The idea being that custom methods could be built by pulling in xml outputs from various modules that were then annotatable and also skinnable. This would allow a central, version controlled repository to exist whilst allowing projects to customise the documentation to their own needs. As such everyone collaborates to create documentation but uses their own format to display it.

To hear a bit more about the FLOSS Manuals project check this audio file. [38mb]

A very fruitful couple of days with hopefully some interesting outputs to come.

Wiki notes

London Docs Gathering

A few of the crew from the Transmission documentation working group are going to be meeting up in London in a couple of weeks to talk online video distribution documentation.

The aim to create a common repository for housing and collaborating on documentation to avoid re-inventing the wheel and to create a better resource.

The dates are May 22/23. More info can be found here

moving along now

anyone seen [http://www.joost.com joost]? what's the initial verdict?

meanwhile, we have new developments afoot with the project that got me into this whole malarkey, that is [http://www.ifiwatch.tv Eyes on IFIs]. we are transferring it into the free and open source Drupal content management system, and creating new data upload forms partially based on the draft transmission metadata standard.

it is getting increasingly urgent to finalise this standard, not least because [http://www.engagemedia.org Engagemedia] are also at a point where they need to implement standard forms for their Plone video package. we're enthusiastic users and ready to test the standard with real world implementation, yet the technical comments on the first proposal have not yet been argued out and integrated....

SO, if anyone is - or knows - a good bright geek with time and energy to finish off the good work done on this to date, I think they will be much beloved by this network - and beyond!

check out the [http://wiki.transmission.cc/index.php/Metadata_Workspace metadata workspace] on the transmission wiki for more info, any (public) questions or comments, please add to this blog, otherwise pls get in touch with me privately.

finally, there is now an [http://www.integrationproclamation.com integration proclamation] on the net for us to sign up to if we like, seems to be intended to raise awareness and provoke funders etc to support this most urgent kind of technical integration work...


Free Media vs Free Beer

The free beer Richard Stallman loathes is everywhere. Media companies are currently falling over themselves to produce the new hive for user generated content. The names have rapidly become common place - YouTube, MySpace, Flickr - and their affect has been enormous, dramatically changing the production and distribution of media globally. Free beer pours from the taps of these new hubs of participatory media as they clamor to get you in the door. But free beer, as Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman has always emphasised, is not the same as freedom.

The Free Software Foundation has a stock standard one liner about what free software is and is not: "free as in free speech, not as in free beer". That is free software is not about price, but liberty. Free software is software that may be freely shared and modified on the basis that those modifications be made available to others. The defining document for free software is the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL).

Free software is the philosophical Genesis of a much broader set of practices that seek to empower the user and challenge the limitations of the proprietary model in the realm of software, culture, media, politics, science and more. The model and ethics of free software production can be ported to a range of other realms. I will explore two activist media and software projects I am involved with that attempt to embody free software principals and challenge the proprietary model.

They are;

  • EngageMedia.org - an Australian based free software project and video sharing site for social and environmental justice film from Southeast Asia, Australia and the Pacific.
  • Transmission.cc - a new global network of social change online video projects co-founded by EngageMedia.

But first.....

What's not free about free beer?
The spread of affordable media production equipment combined now with a global online distribution network provides grassroots media makers with an amazing opportunity. This ground breaking shift cannot be understated, however many of these new distribution networks are a double edge sword, on one side liberating, on the other representing a new nexus of control.

Many of the new commercial media sharing sites offer highly restrictive terms and conditions on their user contributions. The most dubious is that of YouTube who state


semantic web from above - or below... blog repost

[http://halfanhour.blogspot.com/2007/03/why-semantic-web-will-fail.html Why the semantic web will fail]

"Rather than expecting a top-down implementation coming from the established players, if there is any great utility to be gained, I think it will emerge from the ground-up in an initially limited yet scalable form."

Transmission is a network of video makers, programmers and web producers developing online video distribution as a tool for social justice and media democracy.