Supernova: Reinventing Media

Dan Gillmor (Grassroots Media, Inc.)

Jeremy Allaire (BrightCove)

Suranga Chandratillake (Blinkx)

Lawrence Gelburd (Wharton)

Dan Gillmor

The protection of markets is always one of the great disincentives to innovators.

How is the net becoming a platform not just for text and pictures but for everything. It’s bigger than journalism.

Jeremy Allaire, BrightCove

Founded BrightCove, online service for distribution of TV on the internet. Open model in terms of who can publish. Core premise isn’t anchored in open source media, but more general accross programming. Monetisation of media, and free media.

Traditional distribution platforms for video on a mass scale are scarcity constrained and closed access. Economic/contractual system in place, rights issues, but internet confronting that head on. Opportunities for two audiences:

– existing commercial p rogrammers, line up of tv/sat providers, not necessarily movie studios, but producers of massive amounts of content. but little control over distribution

– secondly, net new growth in who can credibly create video products. Tens of thousands of video producing organisations and have a new distribution path. The net growth of people who have cameras and lightweight production tools will grow exponentially so a publishing model for them is important.

In beta trials, launch later this year. This is a plaform evolution so TV as an internet platfor ms new, it’s not IPTV or TelcoTV, but it embraces the internet models of discovery and communication. Best practices from the net merging with TV.

Surange Chandratillake, is an audio/video search engine, using speech recog. tech to make the audio and video itself searchable. Jeremy’s points aply. Blinx is content agnostic, and have done deals to get trad content into the system, but also open to opensource content.

In many ways this is not a reinvention, just a new chapter in an old story, which has themese like the Gutenberg printing press. It’s about tech being used as an amplifier for the ideas of an individual. Then it’s all about power and influence. The net can be used to broadcast beyond what you could normally do. that becomes interesting.

When first launched product was a download tool, had a traditional marketing plan with ads etc. that people do. Briefed Om Malik, and told him that it could be blogged, that the embargo only applied to ‘real’ media, but three days later had a massive problem with download demand – Om’s blog totally wiped out their servers with demand. That’s the power of amplification.

Blinx allows any submissions, and automatically indexes any content. One issue was a submission form from the BNP, fascit nationalist political party in UK. Irony that they were benefiting from the work of a second generation immigrant.

Lawrence Gelburd

Love biz, tech, entrepreneurship. Building services. Interested in loosely coupled servers etc. Realised that big companies didn’t like it.

Started open systems, open protocols so that anyone with a computer could get all the information needed to control a building. Good for users, not so good for competition. Created national standard -> international standards. Well worth it.

Dan Gillmor

Harder to do good audio than good text, but good video is even harder. Everything is crap, or a lot of it is crap. so how are we going to find the good stuff?

Jeremy: Production values, costs, etc. This is largely tech driven at one level, but as scarcity has been addresed, so moving from terrestial to digital, to satellite to digital TV, as it’s easier for smaller markets to be served with focused content, it’s easier for people to find stuff.

Advent of workstations and hardware/software, the timing of internet TV distribution is not totally coincidental. Micromarkets can be supported, and understanding production values becomes easier.

The methods of discovery for this are no different to what the web already presents. I don’t believe in a programme guide, but in self-programming. People who create content will programme.

The base of discovery which is search, they won’t be searching for video, but they may happen to come across video.

Surange: easier for an endu users to become a producer, and in six months wherein blinx has been live, the content was traditional media, but now it’s swinging widely the other way, 50% self-generated content and that will grow faster than the traditional media. So how do you organise it? How do you find the bit you care about. Predictably it’s following what happened with the internet. So there are directories, that works for a while but breaks down becuase it’s a lot of effort, there are attempts at using folksonomy, which has more chance of succeeding. Because you have more people doing it and they are passionate about their particular areas. One of the most powerful source of discovery is search, the fact that you can go to one place and describe what you want then jump to that info is phenomenal.

Only a few short years ago you had to use a library. Now you can just use Google. Just need to understand the raw data in order to be able to search, but that’s just the first platform. Once you get to that stage then you have to build everything else on top which is where it is interesting.


Save people time and energy from doing search, some businesses woujdl rather pay to have someone else to do it. There will be hybrids of human and machine filtering. Some of this stuff is going to have to be done by machine, too much data. And you don’t want to spend so much time watching to find what you want.

Dan Gillmor

Broadcast flag – the bill to insert the broadcast flag has failed. Yay!

Questions from the floor

Greg Allen: Starting to imagine what technology might look like in the next 5 to 10 years. We’ve reached escape velocity. So waht do you dream about at night?

Surange: Distribution used to be a big problem, and that doesn’t exist for broadband-enabled people. The problem becomes then how you get to waht yhou want – finding stuff is difficult. I believe that it is partly abouthte individual, but also about implicit tech.

Tom: what about machine-readable licenses?

?: XRRL describes this

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