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April 26, 2005

Beyond the Type

Heather Green

The eruption of creativity in online media is just dizzying right now. So let's welcome the latest entrant to the stage: Open Media Network, a non-profit that's aiming to be nothing less than the PBS of the Internet. Backed by ex-Netscapers Marc Andreessen and Mike Homer, OMN is built on P2P media distribution technology developed by Kontiki, Homer's latest startup.

OMN is the latest example of social media. In the past few months, Yahoo and Google have announced video search services that pull together video from around the Web. Those giants, along with startups such as Current.TV and Ourmedia, are providing a showcase for the grassroots audio and video works that are being put together by bloggers. That, as it happens, is turning out to be a way for companies to explore and tap into the hothouse of innovation that's out there.

OMN dishes up TV shows, podcasts (DIY radio), video blogs, and indie video for free from bloggers, short film online distributor Undergroundfilm.org, and NPR and PBS stations such as WGBH, KQED, and KWSU. The content is pulled together via RSS feeds from around the Internet and from direct submissions to the site by owners and creators of the works.

It is, frankly, a showcase for Kontiki's technology, which is already being used by the BBC for its Internet video-on-demand service that BW wrote about recently. That service, though, is only available in the UK., so Homer wanted to demonstrate in the U.S. the kind of consumer service that Kontiki is capable of.

I tried out OMN this weekend and found it super easy to use. The directory is intuitive and the quality of the video is really good. Over the next three or four months, OMN plans to add the ability to see shows on TiVo systems and cell phones. It's going to add a ratings system that's powered by the audience. And it will even allow the creative types at some point to charge for their works if they want. Right now, it seems to me that it's an easy call to say that social media is the vanguard of digital media.

Update: If you're still with me, I meant to say that I would love to hear what people think about this service, if they end up trying it.

09:19 AM

digital media

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? Open Media Network Launches Beta from SurfersSurf.com

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Tracked on April 27, 2005 01:57 PM

Comedy Central's Jon Stewart provides an analysis of Al Gore's new venture, "Current TV"

"... Offering a glimpse of the independent network first announced at last year’s National Cable & Telecommunications Association convention, former Vice President Al Gore and entrepreneur Joel Hyatt, joined by executives and on-air talent, revealed this morning [April 4, 2005] that the name of the new venture, formerly known as INdTV, will be Current. ..."

http://vpwpartners.blogs.com/viewpoint_west_partners/2005/04/jon_stewart_and.html

Posted by: WilliamLuciw at April 27, 2005 04:26 PM


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