Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for December, 2007

Miro Teams Up with Webby Awards

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Binary Twirl ThingWe’re partnering with the the Webby Awards! This is our second year as a partner and it comes as no surprise that the video portion of their program is going to be bigger and better than ever, this time around.

These are the winners from the 2007 online film & video category. Everyone is curious to see who will take home the super-coveted “Webby Awards statuettes” for ’08 (For the record, I sort of prefer the term “Binary Twirl Thing”).

Never heard of the Webbies?! Here’s a primer:

Hailed as the “Oscars of the Internet” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Web sites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile web sites. Established in 1996, the 11th Annual Webby Awards received a record 8,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

The Host is the Message

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

The folks at Free Speech TV put together this animation, which challenges our increasing reliance on centralized and highly proprietary and commercialized web services:

While I thought it was a good video, and agreed with their message, I was overwhelmed by the irony in their choice of video host. Why choose such a proprietary and centralized video host to spread what is essentially an anti-YouTube message?

I wondered why they hadn’t chosen blip.tv or some other more creator-friendly host. The fact that blip allows explicit embedding of a Creative Commons license is enough by itself, not to mention other glaring differences that make YouTube seem a lot less web 2.0 by comparison.

To be fair, I asked Steve Anderson, one of the organizers behind Free Speech TV, why they decided on YouTube over a more democratic alternative. He explained that they are well aware of the irony surrounding the situation.

Free Speech TV is aiming to reach out to average users in order to get them off YouTube; thus, they went directly to the source. Steve also mentioned that they wanted to avoid preaching to the enlightened (who apparently hang out at places like Vimeo, Revver and blip).

This story really highlights one of the biggest problems with internet video today: As a creator, you’re forced to choose between accessing the world’s largest viewing audience and presenting your video the way you want to present it. You’re making a trade off when you choose YouTube; you get the big audience, but you’re potentially sacrificing video quality, choice of format, options for monetization, non-exclusive rights, the ability to post video that exceeds 10 minutes, and so on.

Miro acts as a bulwark against this problem — it allows video creators to make a direct a connection to their viewers. In other words, it doesn’t matter if a video is hosted on YouTube, blip, or any other web server connected to the internet; videos are all equally accessible through Miro (or any other application that can process standard video RSS feeds). This is the beauty of an open standard and it’s what makes the internet work so well.

If you’re interested in a more technical explanation of how Miro makes internet video more open, check out this article.

PBS Notices a Miro Related Traffic Spike!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

Hey everybody, pwidmer here. I’m one of the volunteer members of Team Miro. I’ve been a channel moderator for some time now, and I’ve recently been helping by submitting bugs, working on documentation, and helping out wherever else I can.

Just before the Miro 1.0 release, I approved and featured the e2 | PBS channel — I thought it was a great show that other users would appreciate. I sent out an e-mail to the creator of the show (as we have been trying to do for all the channels now) to let them know that their channel had been featured.

I received a response from the Associate Digital Producer of PBS thanking us for featuring their show. He was curious about the huge spike in user subscriptions to their WIRED Science channel and wanted to talk on the phone.

They gave me the following statistics for WIRED Science:

  • 70% spike in user subscriptions
  • 80% of these were from Miro users
  • Their subscription rate jumped by ~15,000 users in a single day!

I explained that the reason their show had received these additional subscriptions was because their channel was included among four Starter Channels in the latest Miro release. Another fine point I raised was that these additional 15,000 subscribers were all NEW users of Miro. If a person was simply updating Miro to a new version, they wouldn’t have counted towards this number — they would keep their pre-existing channels.

It was a great experience and I was also able to get feedback on the Miro Guide itself, in terms of ease of use for a video producer. He mentioned a few bugs, so I promoted the priority of these issues. They should be fixed soon, thanks to Miro developer Paul S!

Overall, the folks at PBS are VERY happy and impressed with Miro. They plan on putting all their channels into Miro Guide, as soon as new shows hit the Internet. Check out all the PBS channels currently in the Miro Guide.

After this experience, I realized the significance of the direct connection between the content creator, regardless of their size, and their channel. By having this direct connection, the content creators can ensure that they have an accurate description of their show, the correct images, etc, and for the user they know for sure that this channel is good and maintained by the producer! Thanks for the great interest of PBS and to Dean for letting me handle this issue!

Update: Hey, it’s Dean — I just wanted to add this plug for Paul’s extended works. If you like this piece, make sure you check out his blog at pwiddy’s 2 cents.

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