Monday, April 10, 2006

online video editing, microformats and collective intelligence

online video editing

online video is bigger than ever before - instead of just letting you store video, sites like eyespot or jumpcut also let you edit and remix video: in your browser, no extra software needed. good starting points for exploring the latest videotrends are this review by dvguru (note that the important question "who owns the content?" was never asked), testing grounds that lets users rate video hosting sites and the web 2.0 awards (click the "video" category).

other important video online news: "we are the media" has a longer blog entry about "veoh": it looks like this site is basically stealing content from other sites. hopefully this is not a trend.

but back to what you can do with online video: the true potential lies in collaborative works made possible through tagging video. and not just tagging a movie as a whole, but individual clips, or even single frames or sequences of frames... a project i find very interesting is trac from filmapart. (update: it is of course filmapart working with trac...) (i am also thinking of what one could do when combining track and the previously mentioned sCrAmBlEd?HaCkZ!...)


the basic idea behind microformats is that certain data should work in any environment and can easily be moved around, e.g. data from a calendar. the really interesting thing about microformats is that they don't "invent" standards, but look at what people already use. maybe it is a bit like writing a grammar textbook while a language is still being developed... but microformats is not a programming language: it is simply the attempt to define building blocks that store date in a very open way so that everyone can easily use it - as a consumer and as a developer: no one wants to reinvent the wheel every time they implement certain features on a website. also no one wants another format war.... so microformats is a clever idea that makes a lot of sense: it's about setting the data free.

collective intelligence

once you combine the potential that true video tagging has with what microformats can do, then you can see little building blocks that anyone can take and play around with: the remix and mash-up concept comes to mind...

what we are seeing here is content of all sorts made ready for sharing and collaborating. (and of course licensing models like the cc concept are part of this trend.) in a way it feels like the net was made for sharing, that we needed to build it in order to overcome our old ideas and concepts. in the end this is about being part of a collective intelligence that is smarter than the sum of its parts. it's not about the real world vs. the online world, but about the combination of the two: e.g. there are people who make a living by playing online games and selling game items, or you see dramatic changes in the media landscape because of the net: within a couple of months digg has become a major news portal - maybe already more influential than some big american newspapers - and only because digg lets users decide and discuss what stories come on the front page...!

what will be very interesting to see: how those new concepts will influence our daily real world life. or even further: if sharing information becomes the standard, because everyone agrees that this is a good thing, than we also might see a paradigm shift in our real world(s): from a material and money driven society to one that exchanges things and services, builds upon each other's work: just because we've realised that this is so much smarter. of course ego and concepts like patriotism have to be overcome first, but there is some real potential that the online world, the collective intelligence we are building (and one could go as far as thinking of this as being part of the gaia hypothesis) will in fact have tremendous positive influences on our real life world: we will be able to (re)mix (our) lives/worlds - we will be smarter because we think together. it is as simple and powerful as that.


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