Denver Open Media Close to Selecting Beta Sites

    by Tony Shawcross
    October 5, 2008

    In just over a month, the 6 organizations who will participate in the first round of the Open Media Beta process will be selected, cooperating with Denver Open Media to implement and develop the set of Drupal Modules that will help automate workflows, engage users in more control of the station, increase your online presence, and take the next step in cooperating as a true network of locally-focused, user-driven community media centers.

    If you know of a Community Technology Center, Public Access TV station, University Media Program, or other non-commercial, community media outlet who may be interested in participating, please invite them to apply at http://deproduction.org/ombeta. They can read more about the program there, or on the Drupal Group, http://groups.drupal.org/open-media-project.

    As requested, we’ve discussed the project with the early applicants and, in an effort to be entirely open and transparent, are providing some early feedback on our appraisal of each organization’s fit for this Beta program. Below are the 11 groups who have submitted an early application, together with our evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of each as a potential participant in this Beta program, as well as our request for any additional steps we’d like each to take. We hope this feedback will allow some groups to move forward in their process with more clarity, and will also provide guidance for those on-the-fence as to what steps they could take that would make their application stronger.


    We’ve separated the applicants to-date into 4 groups: “Already-Started”, “On-The-Fence”, “Needy-But-Appealing”, and “Best-Served-to-Wait”.

    Already Started: The first group includes two groups who are already clearly headed down the same road, with not only a commitment to, but clear action towards, each of the 3 “requirements” of the OM Beta program: All-Digital workflow, increased community involvement and control, and Drupal development capacity.

    Amherst: http://actvamherst.com

    • * PROs: Hiring web community media coordinator, high bandwidth capacity, investing $23,000 in upgrading tightrope system
    • * CONs: Very basic, non-drupal website, externally hosted, Don’t seem to be proactively collaborating with other PEG2.0 stations in development efforts
    • * Request: Support integration with Tightrope. Hire & train webmaster immediately, Provide support for Worcester, BNN, and other MASS groups interested in collaborating on a Drupal network

    Humboldt: http://accesshumboldt.net

    • * PROs: Upgrading to new Princeton Digital server, High Bandwidth Capacity, hiring part-time websmaster, able to allocate additional funds
    • * CONs: No internal webserver, need to develop internal server combined with external media storage for VOD
    • * Request: Need to allocate funds to set up their digital workflow immediately. Provide support for nearby CA Access groups interested in collaborating on a Drupal network

    On-The-Fence: The second group includes 5 stations who have a clear commitment to some or all of the 3 “requirements”, but are not actually moving forward on at least one of them. Our hope is to work with groups who are already headed in a similar direction, as opposed to waiting for (or depending upon) this program to bring them there. Our support will not be sufficient to carry a station through this digital, user-automated transformation. Some of these groups (especially Portland and Vermont) are far ahead of Amherst and Humboldt in some areas, but behind in others.

    CCTV Vermont: http://cctv.org

    • * PROs: Has overlapping grant and goals, Local webserver, drupal website, strong team of contract Drupal Developers,
    • * CONs: OM System is designed for widespread Public use, user-generated content, only useful if CCTV is headed in that direction. User Ingest? User QC?
    • * Request: CCTV is the strongest applicant in the group, but only fit if they are interested in the community playing a larger role in the station, which may not fit as a G station. Need another brief conversation.

    Portland: http://pcmtv.org

    • * PROs: Has overlapping grant & goals, has funds to devote to development, training internal drupal staff member, actively communicating and interested in collaboration
    • * CONs: Currently on Dreamhost, no local webserver, Fiber on its way, but not yet setup, playback system is unfamiliar to us & timeline for replacement is delayed
    • * Request: Establish high-speed internet connection, internal webserver, initiate new digital playback system as planned. These steps have at-times taken stations years to implement, but if they are done soon, Portland is among the strongest applicants here.

    Austin: http://www.channelaustin.org

    • * PROs: Plans to upgrade to new digital playback server, Large Cap Equipment funds available, commitment to being an interconnected community media center, convenient location (since we’re going to SXSWi)
    • * CONs: External website, Cable Modem connection, Synergy playback
    • * Request: move to digital playback server, upgrade web connection, identify/hire drupal expertise

    Urbana: http://www.city.urbana.il.us/urbana/finance/is/uptv/Main.asp or http://urbanapublictelevision.blogspot.com

    • * PROs: Connected to fiber, building a network of community organizations on their fibre network, internal webserver,
    • * CONs: No internal web staff or Drupal development capacity, no physical facility, no Drupal website (using blogspot)
    • * Request: Develop internal webmaster/Drupal development resources

    Worcester: http://www.wccatv.com

    • * PROs: Located near to Miro, Uploading content to Archive.org, willing to devote up to 30% of Capital Budget and 25% of Operational Budget
    • * CONs: DSL Modem, No internal web, IT or Network support
    • * Request: would need to devote up to 30% of Capital Budget and 25% of Operational Budget and develop internal drupal capacity

    Needy-But-Appealing: This third group includes two stations who are similar to the above, but have made less progress towards, and have fewer resources available to contribute to the process. Both are in Colorado, which is appealing to DOM, and would be great examples of how well the model works in the most meager of environments, but its possible that these stations would be best served by using the tools once the Beta-period is complete and we aren’t relying as heavily on them to help us develop the modules.

    Durango: http://www.dcat.tv

    • * PROs: Digital Princeton Playback Server,
    • * CONs: No internal webserver, no web staff or drupal management/development capacity, no local broadcast server in facility
    • * Request: Would need funds for local support and development of website and OM System.

    Boulder: No website currently (no station currently)

    • * PROs: close to denver, Knight Community, good example, possible support from Knight
    • * CONs: No webserver, no budget, no archive, no channels until city council re-activates them (hopefully in Dec)
    • * Request: Submit proposal to Knight Community Grants Program to hire webmaster

    Better Served to Wait: the final group is comprised of organizations who are not likely in a position to contribute to the development of these tools, as we’re hoping for from each of the first 6 OM Beta participants. Our opinion is that they would be better-served to wait until we have completed this initial Beta period, allowing the other participants and DOM to further develop the tool-set such that it is better-suited to implement in environments with very limited resources.


    • * PROs: One staff member with good technical skills, developing a media center
    • * CONs: No Digital workflow, low bandwidth, no website, no webserver, Not ready to contribute to development of these tools at this time.
    • * Request: Get prepared to adopt these tools in fall 2009 when they’re more established.

    Dekalb: http://www.iogcyvc.com

    • * PROs:Good support from Comcast
    • * CONs: no website, no local webserver, not located in the Access Center, incomplete proposal
    • * Request: Get prepared to adopt these tools in fall 2009 when they’re more established.
    Tagged: civic media denver open media deproduction drupal media media technology media tools open source shawcross

    Comments are closed.

  • Who We Are

    MediaShift is the premier destination for insight and analysis at the intersection of media and technology. The MediaShift network includes MediaShift, EducationShift, MetricShift and Idea Lab, as well as workshops and weekend hackathons, email newsletters, a weekly podcast and a series of DigitalEd online trainings.

    About MediaShift »
    Contact us »
    Sponsor MediaShift »
    MediaShift Newsletters »

    Follow us on Social Media