Open Media Network proposal

The Open Media Network #

1. What do you propose to do? (20 words)

A common database of media metadata exchanged by RSS in and out, using open industrial standards and neutral unbranded widgets.

2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? (30 words)

There are many aggregators of news (eg, or but they aggregate with whole rss feeds not tags, and new tag feeds cannot be created out of them. Closed-source project vodpod works by tag only as a premium feature.

3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work. (50 words)

visionOntv (a project for distributing social change video) already smart-aggregates 18,000 videos by RSS. Working with this already curated database we can build an exemplar node with de facto open standards.

The project is a distributed database of the human-moderated metadata of user-generated subject areas, making the choice of this exemplar database appropriate.

There are also a number of other media projects who will come in as partners to use the technology as soon as we have something for testing.

4. Why will it work? (100 words)

It is KISS The plan is to make the semantic web work in a very simple way.

Aims to build a big network, but starts small.

Has multiple redundancy by sharing data via RSS in/out.

Incentives for users

They can publish once on their own site and the content appears on a range of other appropriate subject sites. No single hub, no single owner, but rather a horizontal network of nodes. Every node can be a hub (an aggregator). This social/psychological understanding of the need to give people ownership means the project can spread easily. Spam is user-policed out of networks.

Open industrial standards

RSS and atom are used as the database exchange format, as it is almost universally implemented. The leveraging of existing open standards means that 3/4 of the web can already talk to it. Thus we can build a scalable, common, decentralised database. Detailed spec:

Background notes:

The back-end tech for database synchronisation is AtomPub

We implement both of the realtime RSS standards PubSubHubbub and RSSCloud and

AtomPub plug-in for Liferay (visionOntv) cms:

End-users view videos through auto-updating video player widgets driven by boolean logic.

In the future, it would be possible to radically decentralise where the content is itself hosted, using p2p media-serving in parallel with traditional corporate streaming.

5. Who is working on it? (100 words)

6. What part of the project have you already built? (100 words)

We already have the content and much of the metadata for exemplar node visionOntv. There is a database of 18,000 curated and tagged films. Beginning with this node which we control, we can test solutions to UI / security / spam etc issues. And have a practical outcome with embedded media players. We already have one on every page of UK based New Internationalist magazine's site

We have built the OpenPlayer, a version of the open source jw video player which allows a user to add an rss feed of content. This needs to be developed to allow for mash-ups of different rss feeds, and for the selection of content from the feeds by tag.

7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? (50 words)

Flattr is implemented on every page. As a distributed project, it has very low running costs. It would be up to the individual nodes to solve this for themselves. We have a micro-(hyperlocal) advertising model for funding the visionOntv node.

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