Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for December, 2007

Perez Hilton’s Account Yanked by YouTube

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Blogger Perez Hilton recently had his YouTube account suspended, only to create a second account that was also disabled. Kent Nichols (of Ask a Ninja) has a great overview of the situation.

This is a very high profile example of what can happen when one video host has a near monopoly. If this seems like an overstatement, think of how your friends search for videos on the internet; I bet that a good portion of them go directly to YouTube, make their search, find (or don’t find) what they wanted, and watch (or don’t watch) the video. It’s a very common cycle, and it’s not very good for creators or viewers; this cycle puts YouTube in a position to dictate who has access to the largest video viewing audience in the world.

Looking closer at this cycle, we see that it roots from a single entity controlling both the video hosting and aggregation. To put it another way, a single organization, when in control of the creator and the viewer, becomes a gatekeeper. Under these circumstances, no matter how well intentioned a corporation seems, it will eventually be compelled to use the position to its advantage; it’s something we see all the time in traditional media.

In order to sidestep this problem, the creator must be free to choose any video host, and still retain her viewing audience.The key lies in open standards; they’re what make the web (websites, blogs, home pages, etc) work so well. Video should be just the same — the viewer shouldn’t need to know which host a creator published her video to, in order to watch it.

Open platforms, such as blip.tv (for creators) and Miro (for viewers), are a critical piece of the solution. Because both of these examples are built on open standards, they inter-operate with everything else in the open ecosystem. YouTube seems intimidatingly large, until you compare it to all of the open alternatives on the web.

We, along with the folks at blip, have decided to reach out to Perez. We’ll do our best to convince him to publish in a fashion that puts him back in control of his videos.

The Easiest Way Ever to Help Miro

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Today we’re launching a new Miro fundraiser that may be the first of its kind. It’s called I Heart Miro.

You know those referral codes that bloggers use to link to books on Amazon? When you buy something from a referral link, the blogger gets a small portion of the proceeds. Other sites, like the public radio station WBUR.org ask you to start your Amazon shopping at the search box on their site– whatever you buy helps support the station. It’s all part of the “Amazon Associates” program.

What we’re launching today is a special Firefox extension that works the same way. Install the extension, shop at Amazon, and a portion of what you buy will be donated to Participatory Culture Foundation, the non-profit organization that makes Miro. It’s super easy, doesn’t cost you anything, and it makes a *big* difference to our ability to keep improving Miro (maybe we’ll be able to hire another programmer soon).

So check out I Heart Miro, get the extension, do some shopping at Amazon, and help build open media!

Here’s a badge you can put on your site to help spread the word:


Add the badge to your site:

<a href="http://www.iheartmiro.org/" title="iheartmiro - the easiest way to support open media"><img src="http://www.iheartmiro.org/images/iheartbadge.png" style="border: 0;" alt="iheartmiro - the easiest way to support open media"></a>

Thanks for the support!

Alive in Baghdad Correspondent Killed on 12/14/07

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Ali Shafeya Al-Moussawi was shot down in his home during a neighborhood raid by the Iraqi National Guard forces on December 14th, 2007. He was a news correspondent for Alive in Baghdad (AiB).

Alive in Baghdad coordinates a video news blog with a team of native Iraqi correspondents. Their mission is to put the world in touch with a view of day-to-day life in Iraq. AiB is participatory journalism at its core, and is a particularly important counter-point to a lot of the sanitized and overproduced war journalism we’re accustomed to.

Ali was nearly 23 years old (his birthday is today) and he has been survived by his mother and sister. AiB is managing a donation drive to help Ali’s family.

Subscribe to Alive in Baghdad with Miro.

Miro Shirt in the Mozilla Store

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Our friends at Mozilla are now featuring the classic Miro bird t-shirt in their store. Take a look: Mozilla Store T-Shirts. Pretty awesome. Proceeds help us build Miro, of course.

Looking for something?