Monday, March 21, 2005

Here it is! Free Hosting... with a great mission

I've only just come accross, but after reading their mission, joining up and having a look around... I think its the one we have been looking for.

Ourmedia is several things in one. We are:
• An open-source project built and staffed by volunteers
• A destination Web site that freely hosts grassroots video, audio, music, photos, text and public domain works
• A community space to share and discuss personal media
• A learning toolkit to help our members create rich and compelling works
• An archive so that these works can be preserved for the ages
• A clearinghouse that allows anyone to search for licensed video, audio or music, download it and remix it, with proper attribution. Legally.
Soon we hope to become:
• A 501(c)(3) non-profit
• A resource and global registry to bring freely shareable media to the desktop so users can create image albums, slide shows, jukeboxes and media libraries with a few mouse clicks


Michael said...

Just had a look at the CMS software that is powering Drupal. Looks pretty snazzy, must look into as another FOSS CMS system!

They've got some comparisons of Drupal vs other FOSS CMS's too!

vetNERD said...

My very first website was on one of the grassroots server type thingies, and I can't remember its name, cuz it was 8 years ago.

But gradually, it withdrew free services and then charged. It was mostly about alternative media, but also just hosted web sites.

I guess I would be cautious putting all your HTML eggs in one basket. No matter where we put stuff, its not 'our' server and you have to duplicate your files, one personal back up copy, sotred locally, and one on the web server.

The ongoing storage problem. What about all these photos being stored online now...people like to look at their photos 20 years down the track. Will current open, photo storage technolgoes deal with this. Or just die off and leave us without photo memories?

vetNERD said...

Oh, and beware of getting too dependent on alpha products, and unless you really like mixing it up in the testing world, I wouldn't use at this stage. I haven't really looked into it, but I've been twice bitten by alpas and I don't have the patience or expertise to be involved at that level...

Leigh Blackall said...

That's sound advice, and it doesn't go for just these free servers either. I remember last year the DET servers (or was it just the Institute I was at) going down for nearly 2 weeks! Smack bang in the middle of a course I was doing too... so back up and mirroring sites on other servers is a good idea also.
What if an Earth quake took out the server you got cheap in SanFran? What if another virus struck the DET servers again? etc.

Sean FitzGerald said...

Although this sounds like a great idea, I've had an uneasy feeling about it from the beginning. What if the servers go down? What if they can't afford to keep it going?

According to an IT conversations podcast with the founders I listened to recently, the Internet Archive (hosting much of the OurMedia content)is mainly some millionaire philanthropist who spends his wealth on hard drives which he has set in in his lounge room!

My thoughts were crystallised by this post I stumbled across -

Like Ben, I believe a distributed network would be more reliable. After all, this is what the Internet is - if one section of it goes down it's not the end of the world - the data just travels along another route.

There is probably a lot of unused server space out there for hosting and mirroring this type of content. Utilising something like bittorrent would be the way to go.

Leigh Blackall said...

Ah! Good link to Ben's post on a vulnerability to spammers when large amounts of content are stored on one server or one server service provider... yep. the distributed network is definately the way to go... perhaps even a peer to peer network application like Napster was to MP3... I know a few experiments in edu worlds have gone on with this idea... but for now, storing a little here, and a little there, all backed up on a single server somewhere in case some of the distro net goes down... I realise this is a little techy for some of our readers, but for those of us who are Internet publshing ourselves, this is pretty important.

I think the main point about is that it would be a database of creative commons media. We need a database of free for ed and creative commons lisenced content... AESharenet (last I checked) doesn't offer a database - only the lisence tag... same with creative commons...?

Sean, what's bittorent?

Sean fitzgerald said...

BitTorrent is a protocol for sharing large files.

Instead of making a file available on a server a "seed file" is offered. Users then use a BitTorrent client to locate bits of the original file on ohter user's computers all around the world, and puts them back together again on the their computer.

So if I have a large file on my web hosting account that becomes very popular all of a sudden (gets "slashdotted") it doesn't mean my server will crash with the overload, as often happens.

It's also a great way of reducing bandwidth costs. Instead of using bandwidth on my web hosting account, it comes from hundreds of users' upload limits with their ISPs (which at this stage is pretty unlimited - although that could change if this technology goes off).

It's going to be pretty critical for things like podcasting, and then later videocasting, because these new applicaions really suck up bandwidth.

See BitTorrent - Introduction for more.

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