Overlay this

Posted on Mon 04 December 2006 by alex in geek

I had a quick play with Democracy last night on my laptop. I've now added to my main box (using the very handy overlay concept). At first blush its just an integrated video player which can slurp stuff of things like YouTube and Google Video. Of course it's ambitions are much bigger. Apart from leveraging the existing centralised video sites it aims to make it easy to become a video broadcaster. Where as iTunes is a more of a media store for corporate publishing (and is associated DRM evils) the Democracy project is trying to encourage a growth in participatory culture. In this increasingly connected world it would be silly if everyone just became mindless consumers of big-media companies "intellectual property".

Of course all this open access and easy publication has it's downsides. I'm sure, like the web now, there will be all sorts of pointless junk out there. However I'm fundamentally positive about these sorts of developments. Yes there is a lot of crap on the 'net but I think the downside is easily outweighed by what happens when you make it easy for people to communicate. Now people can look down on TV as the lowest common denominator medium however we are visual creatures. Over and above words on a page and sound off your music player being able to see and hear whats going on can be very profound. And no longer do you have to maintain audience figures in the 10's of thousands to share your vision with the world via traditional broadcasting. Even if there are only 10 people out in the connected world that would like to see pictures of your tropical fish swimming in their tank you can start a community. Perhaps it will grow?

One of the people involved has a speculative piece on what he would like the future of video to be like. It would be good if it lived up to its promise.