Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

At the joint Social Entrepreneurs and Global Leaders for Tomorrow meeting in Geneva, I met Gillian Caldwell. She is a film maker and an attorney and the Executive Director of WITNESS.

Witness Mission Statement
WITNESS advances human rights advocacy through the use of video and communications technology. In partnership with more than 150 non-governmental organizations and human rights defenders in 50 countries, WITNESS strengthens grassroots movements for change by providing video technology and assisting its partners to use video as evidence before courts and the United Nations, as a tool for public education, and as a deterrent to further abuse. WITNESS also gives local groups a global voice by distributing their video to the media and on the Internet, and by helping to educate and activate an international audience around their causes.
This is incredibly important work. They are causing a great deal of impact already, but I think blogs could help increase their ability to reach a broader audience. This is such a great reason to figure out video blogging.


Been done by Jeremy Allaire ages ago.

also, seeing is believing has a similar purpose.

Thanks for the links guys... but I have a feeling that video blogging is more than just a list of videos. I want to deep link into video and have it more integrated into my blog...

I just blogged a reaction to this.
I think figuring out both video and audio blogging is important too, but it is more than just a a technical problem, it is defining a new grammar for presentation too.

Human rights defending seems to be peaking! I was involved in a project called Trans/Actions -

We did a pilot and it was a success - but unfortunately, in Australia - its damn hard to find money to keep such projects going. Trans/Actions also wanted to remain small and connected with grassroots organisations.

BUT, I wonder - what are the outcomes of such projects. Does it raise awareness about situations in far away places or does it create the impression that good stuff is being done in far away places.

My massive generalisation for this hour is that I reckon most people are still massively ignorant and indifferent about anyone other than themselves!

Perhaps, if you have time, you could elaborate on what you mean by "deep linking" video?

Integration into the blog is paramount. I feel that Moblogging should do this as well, but rarely see it done.

Kevin Marks mentions defining a new grammar for presentation... I have been thinking about this for over a year now and this is the crux of the integration process.

At any rate, I hope to be experimenting with this in the near future. It would seem that there are many others out there thinking along these lines, but I haven't found a whole lot of dialogue on it.

I am keeping my ears open.

Daniel Burns (coming soon!)

Thanks Joi, for introducing your crowd to the work and for your interest in the deep link video blog. We're going to talk about it this week, because we're in the midst of redesigning our site, and we'd like blogs to be a part of the new iteration. Comments and suggestions from any of you on the site would be great.

As per Eric L's comment, Seeing is Believing is a doc film produced by Kat Cizek and Peter Wintonick (of Manufacturing Consent, re Noam Chomsky). It was inspired by WITNESS and our partner Joey Lozano in the Philippines is the central narrative thread. They also have a site, linked from our home page at

Gillian Caldwell, Exec Dir of WITNESS.

Joi, we use a weblog to push independent videos with major broadcasters worldwide. Actually, the weblog is the front end of our videonews exchange exclusively built on MPEGs, IP protocol,non-exclusive licenses and the principles of open publishing. Anyone can join us and we do as much marketing as we can on their behalf.

we work with professionals, mediactivists and NGOs and their videos (from peace activism to celebrities) have been sold to broadcasters in US, Europe and Japan. It's more than just videoblogging, it is an open video wire for professioanl uses that we like to call Public Internet Newsgathering. And I believe WITNESS should take a look at what before redisgning their site, and we would be particularly happy to help them as WITNESS was a source of inspiration when we designed Lulop back in 2001.

What I would like to be able to do is to create links to video's and to be able to say, "take my narration from here, take 2 minutes of the 10 hours clip from there and show it in a window with a play button there..." I guess you could do some of this with flash, but I wonder if there isn't a better way to have a URL that sent info to a web server so you only got the piece of the video you wanted. I guess it's probably quite hard and shows my ignorance about how video works. ;-p

The gap between Video and Information Technology. That's the problem and the opportunity.

I can blog because I have the tools, techniques, and technology to read, write, and share text. Plus, there is an active community of real people blogging daily and there are inspiring examples for me imitate and learn from. I can get feedback and build a reputation. Where is all this for video? Where is the Google for video? Where is spell check? Where is the Internet? Video blogging needs these things to truly exist and help democratize media.

Joi, rather than constructing the final video (which will, in most cases, end up needing to be updated and revised) it would be easier to simply apply basic rules during production (i.e., shooting, digitizing, editing) so that the video can be dynamically pieced together on the fly, depending on who's looking. By deep linking, I think you simply mean presenting video (and other media assets) based on some sort of contextual analysis. Otherwise, you're simply describing iMovie and 100 other basic video editing applications.

WITNESS and other NGOs, as well as most other media-making organizations, would benefit enormously from IT-based video production. New global support networks, communities, and technical development efforts would make it easier and easier for media consumers to become media producers. Media-making tools and techniques would evolve, and help make the process easier and more tangible. And an entire economy would form around these new participatory media models, and the concentrated wealth among the global media and entertainment corporations would fragment among participating audience members.

Joi, I believe what you'd like to do with videos is common feature in today's TV news production. TV stations store videos in Mpeg2 format in large NT video servers connected via ethernet or gigaethernet. Single journalists can browse those full-quality videos on their PCs, in low quality, and also put markers for editing/effects. Then the machine automatically applies the editing on the remote server. That saves bandwidth and time. Is that a patented technology called Spectravision ? Cant't remember the name but it's standard feature for news desks, and it's fully on IP network. I guess what can be done on an intranet, can be also done on the Internet (given enough bandwidth).

Generally speaking, the TV production chain is more digital and IP-based than most people think, it's just not at all integrated into the worldwideweb. There's a project call nugget (, in Europe, which experiments with live shows produced using only MPEgs and IP over LAN and WAN.

That could also used ove the public internet, the quantum leap depends not on new technology coming on stream but on increases in bandwidth available and, not least, on people able to understand the change and adapt Tv and film production consequently. Those are the bottlenecks we face every day in building out Internet Newsgathering concept: access point in mobility, smart producers willing to source videos from the web rather then from traditional satellite wires.

But thet will change soon, there's a lot going on.

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