Ourmedia Looks To Bring Video To Social Networking, a not-for-profit group based in the San Francisco Bay area, is looking to let people share and discuss their videos and other creative works online.
Video is playing an increasingly important role on the Internet, as more households replace their dial-up connections with broadband. Among the areas where use of the media is expected to grow is in social networking., a not-for-profit group based in the San Francisco Bay area, is among those websites looking to let people share and discuss their videos and other creative works online. The site launched in March as a free repository for all media, but video is highlighted on the homepage.

At the site, people can view the works of children who have created their own playground "real-life" story to more polished works from professionals and video bloggers. A video blog is the moving pictures version of weblogs, personal-journal websites that have become popular with individuals and corporations.

In the next three weeks, Ourmedia plans to roll out a social-networking service called Groups, which would let people create their own private circles for sharing and discussing their videos or other creative works, J.D. Lasica, co-founder and executive director of OurMedia, said Friday. Participants would have to communicate through instant messaging or email.

About the same time, Ourmedia plans to let people offer updates of their multimedia works through RSS feeds, Lassica said. This is particularly helpful to podcasters and bloggers who regularly develop new works that they want to distribute.

Ourmedia, which is applying for nonprofit status, hopes to expand through grants and corporate sponsorships. The site currently runs mostly on volunteers, but employs about 30 developers in India, who are paid through co-founder Marc Canter's company, Broadband Mechanics.

Canter founded the company Macromind and developed in the 1990's the popular multimedia authoring software Director. Macromind later became known as Macromedia.

"Our mission is to advance the personal-media revolution," Lasica said. "We're not going to put big media out of business, but there's a real wellspring of creativity at the grassroots level that we've seen over the last several years.

"We want to make it really easy for people to share their creative works with the whole world. We want to be the center of push-button publishing."

Ourmedia has only two rules involving content: No pornography and no violating copyright. The organization has about 30 volunteer monitors who check all content people upload to the site, Lasica said. Out of the 8,000 videos uploaded since the site launched only a handful have violated the two rules. The violators were either suspended or barred permanently from using the site.

"Given the small percentage of problems that we've had so far, it hasn't taken up a large percentage of our time," Lasica said.

Once it gains nonprofit status, OurMedia, which is run mostly from members' homes in the Bay area, plans to open in offices donated by CommerceNet, an e-commerce research firm in Silicon Valley, Lasica said.

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