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Community/Local Government Content on Democracy

October 4th, 2006 by Dean Jansen

We recently received a message from an enthusiastic individual. He is very excited about Democracy’s potential as a platform for local government video. He requested a message, to forward to officials in his community, explaining how Democracy can help them engage their constituents. We agree that there is a lot of potential here, so we wrote the letter — it turned out pretty good, so we decided to share it with all of you.

If you’re interested in using Democracy in this capacity, give the following a try: find the addresses of some of your local elected officials, fire up your printer and shoot off a letter or three. If you’re resourceful, you might even be able to score a small grant, in order to sart your own community channel.

A Letter for Local Government and Community Organizations (pdf, doc, odt)

Community Organizers/Leaders,

Democracy is a fully functional internet TV system that is perfect for grassroots and municipal channels. Democracy is a free and open source internet TV system built by a non-profit (501c3) organization called the Participatory Culture Foundation. PCF is working hard to deliver free and equal access to tools for both creating and watching internet TV channels. Democracy Player is a free application that allows any person to easily find, automatically manage, download, and watch internet TV channels. Additionally, Democracy has an open channel guide, that allows any organization to creating a freely accessible internet TV channel. Publishing a channel is, relatively speaking, easy and can be done for little to no money (all the necessary tools are freely available on the internet, it’s just a matter of finding someone who knows how to upload your videos). We encourage you to embrace open standards internet TV, as yet another great way to engage your community.

Take a look at:
GetDemocracy.com
MakeVideoFeed.com

Sincerely,

The Participatory Culture Foundation
PCulture.org
508-756-7496

3 Responses to “Community/Local Government Content on Democracy”

  1. Tom Poe says:

    Out in Iowa, where I live, the local news channels all have running photo slots, where folks send in their favorite theme-based photos, and the news team features them on their newscasts. The local papers do the same thing. These observations would seem to indicate there can be a significant level of community interest in submitting digital camera photos, videos, audio podcasts.

    Another interesting thought, about the value of community-sponsored marketing and promo products. Our community has a sister city in another country. One could easily imagine the cities engaging in collaborative channel creation, providing city-to-city dialogues taking place at every level, from kids in school, to neighborhood projects, to civic-shared fundraising campaigns. With the support of city leaders, if only to help spread the word, democracyplayer/broadcast machine, and related tools can achieve some startling new directions for the use of Internet TV.

    Public TV as we know it, and even Public Radio, traditionally have a large cost associated with some of the ideas above. It just blows my mind, when I think about how democracyplayer/broadcast machine blows the cost considerations out of the water. When I approached my state’s Digital Public Radio about getting communities hooked up with low-cost community wireless networks (using tin can antennas), in order to provide a saturation audience for their project, I was politely dismissed. I think there are some obstacles that need to be overcome, to change the mindsets of those who are community leaders.

    I’ll try and fashion something of a “package” that includes your letter, a comprehensive proposal for ramping up a community-based telecommunications network, and post it for everyone. Who knows, maybe it will lead to a polished product that can be distributed, almost as a universal template. All it would take, maybe, is one community to reach a point of demonstration, to have this idea of “by the People, for the People” civil society take hold. For sure, it won’t happen without the “Magic” of the Participatory Culture Foundation.

  2. WebSpeak says:

    I am very internest instarting an online television station.

    The emphasis is on local reporting and giving up and coming artist a chance to broadcast.

    I need help in knowing what to do.

  3. Dean says:

    I would recommend checking out the following:

    http://makevideofeed.com/
    and
    http://www.promotevideofeed.com/

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