Aspiration Facilitates Plone Video Sprint

Event Date(s): 
October 31, 2009 to November 3, 2009

Aspiration was delighted to partner with EngageMedia and Plone4Artists to run the Plone Video Sprint at this year's Plone Conference in Budapest, Hungary. The 4-day sprint convened about 20 developers to collaborate on open video technologies on the Plone Content Management System (CMS).

Aspiration led the facilitation to help the group focus on priorities. Those include building a shared road map for video on Plone, working on key technical needs such as large file handling, transcoding and BitTorrent support, improving support for FOSS video codecs, publishing and viewing content with mobile devices, bug fixing existing video related Plone collective products and improving documentation.

The Plone Video Sprint was supported by the generosity of the Open Society Institute.

As Engage Media points points out, online video has exploded in recent years, being a major source of the “web 2.0” boom. YouTube, YAHOO Video and other video sharing spaces have been celebrated for making major advances in facilitating citizen media. Despite their success, however, there are many limitations to these proprietary platforms, such as YouTube’s limit on video size, its frequent censorship, the difficulty in downloading videos, the low quality of the flash video employed, and terms of use that allow YouTube to do nearly anything with posted video content.

The ability to host and manage your own content using free, libre and open source (FLOSS) tools is essential for independent media organizations and non-profits.

The aims for the sprint are the following:

  • Increased communication and collaboration between Python, Zope and Plone developers working in the area of open video technologies.
  • Direct improvement of key video technologies and the video feature set available in the Plone CMS so as to increase uptake and improve those sites already implementing Plone video technologies.
  • Improved the ease of use, install and set up of Plumi via technical and documentation enhancements, opening it up to a broader set of users and contributors.
  • Increased skill set among sprint participants regarding how to implement and develop with the Plumi CMS and for video technologies more generally in the Plone CMS.
  • Increase the community of developers working on Plone and video and their effectiveness.

The organizers hope to follow up related work from around the FLOSS video scene – such as Transmission.cc network, Plone4Artists, the recent Open Video Conference in NYC, the annual set of FOMS conferences, and the free documentation work of FLOSSManuals.

An additional aim was to contribute to constructing online spaces where independent media networks can flourish in an open, accessible and transparent way. EngageMedia will continue work on Plumi, their Plone-based video CMS, as a FLOSS tool for local communities and activists to use as a democratic online video sharing space.