Friday, 20 February 2009

Docummunity

It is interesting to see how sectors outside of libraries approach the capture and sharing of online content within the Social Web / Web 2.0 environment. This is especially true when it is a home grown initiative. I was therefore very interested to see that those clever guys at Portable.com are at it again, though this time they are doing it with documentaries via a project called Docummunity.

"Docummunity encourages members to upload short video clips, photographs or original music based on a specific theme for use in a long form documentary. By contributing to the community, members will be afforded access to all the other uploaded media in order to make their own version of the film."

Last year on the best attended VALA general meetings was the presentation by Simon Goodrich (who is the President of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association) and his business partner Andrew Apostola. Simon and Andrew explained how they are successfully using social media strategies to build online communities around online film content. They were also doing some interesting work with portable devices (i.e. blackberries and iPhones).

Libraries have been using social media to foster online communities for many years. For example, the State Library of Victoria's mc2: My Connected Community or their Inside a Dog book portal for teenagers. However, as libraries focus more and more on using multi-media online content we should be keeping an eye on what the film industry is doing with social media. And remember there is a growing evidence that Gen X and Co. are starting to use youTube over Google as a search engine. Are we seeing an emerging visual rather than text focused generation when it comes to information seeking. As libraries how are we going to respond to this? For background see:

  • Ping - At First, Funny Videos. Now, a Reference Tool. NYTimes.com, 18 January 2009. "YouTube is rapidly morphing into a popular search engine and a new entry point into the Web".

  • Is YouTube the Next Google? ReadWriteWeb, 18 November 2008 "In the first half of the 20th century, people grew up reading books and newspapers. Then there was a generation that grew up on movies and television. The last shift was to the Internet. And now web video is creating yet another generation."

Docummunity should also be supported because it is about sharing content and the democratisation of film content, as distinct from locking content away behind large multinational corporate barriers so it is difficult or expensive to reuse.

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