First Beta Site in the Open Media Project is a Success!

    by Tony Shawcross
    February 2, 2009

    Urbana Public Television, the first of six Public Access TV and Community Technology Centers to implement the model and modules developed for Deproduction’s Knight News Challenge project, has launched their new Drupal website with our help.

    Lead Developer for Deproduction/Civic Pixel, Kevin Reynen explains the process of setting up this revolutionary new system with Kate Gorman of UPTV, “Launching a basic Drupal site can be a lot for someone to take in… let alone all of the new hardware, networking changes, file transfers, encoding, projects, reservations, error logging, etc, etc. I’m sure Kate was overwhelmed at times, but she persevered all week and the small test group she brought in yesterday was blown away when they saw the 5-10 minute videos they pulled from DVD show up as Flash files on the server a few minutes later.”

    You’ll notice that the new UPTV website resembles our own at Denver Open Media, but this is only temporary, as with all Drupal sites, the theme can be easily changed without impacting the content and functionality. Kevin explains:
    “The folks at Acorn Active Media are excited to start customizing the TVFrame Zen sub theme and truly making the site their own.”


    This is one of the reasons we felt UPTV was such a good candidate for the program, with a great community of partners interested in the success of the project, we hope this effort will benefit the many noncommercial media organizations in town, such as the UCIMC.

    After a full week working in Urbana, Kevin is optimistic about the future. “I’m sure with the support of everyone I met while I was in Urbana, UPTV’s site will continue to improve over the next 30 days until they officially launch to the site publicly at the end of February.” Next month we begin taking-on much larger partners, first Portland, then Austin, then Boston, Amherst, and Davis.

    The project is being documented and summarized at http://groups.drupal.org/open-media-project

    Tagged: champaign denver open media drupal open source urbana
    • Fred Smith

      A success?

      As the article states, the site is only in beta and isn’t yet publicly available. Success will be measured by the volume and quality of public participation.

      And if Denver’s Open Media project is the model, then then it spells the death of the 1st Amendment for public access TV. But then again, UPTV is a government- controlled station. Hardly a model for civic participation or free speech.

      What a bunch of self-congratulatory hype!

      Get a grip Tony.

    • Fred,
      Fair enough, but it does seem like a promising start. There is a focus on the tech but that makes sense when setting up the tech is non trivial.

      My two cents: it would be interesting to connect the TV part with a Print part. I worked on a prototype when I was at Parsons. We called it a Publishing Center as in publishing is to make Public.

      The thing to keep in mind is that people watch TV, listen to the radio, but read Print.

      But, I’m a Print evangelist so I suffer from the the “to a hammer, everything looks like a nail” problem.

    • I just now saw this comment from Fred. Thanks for the feedback ;) You’re right about the self-congratulatory hype, but I would like to understand the perspective that the OM model spells the death of the first amendment. Free speech is all we stand for and all we work for, and the model has enabled at least one station to remain in existence (some would say “thrive”) even when govt funds are removed.
      The main criticism I’ve encountered is that our model encourages/enables local Govt to withdraw funds. I believe/hope the opposite is true.

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