Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, March 10, 2005

A Film For, By and About Bloggers: Open Source, P2P, Folksonomy-enabled, TheWeblogProject Is Here!

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"What's a 'blog'?" "What do 'bloggers' do?" "'Blogging' - what's that?" "Where's the 'blogosphere' exactly?"

If you're a blogger, and have been brave enough to reveal that intimate fact to friends and family, what's their reaction been? It's very likely that they won't know what you're talking about. The blogging phenomenon has taken the online world by storm over the past year, but in the physical world, the vast majority are oblivious.


Is that lack of general awareness worth doing something about? Should blogging become as well-known an online activity as, say, gaming, to the world at large? Why should active steps be taken to raise the profile of blogging around the world? Who cares?

If you believe that blogging is the catalyst for the creation of a global media revolution, enabling grassroots communication, independent news reporting and media-making, then your answer will be most definitely "yes".

But the question still remains "how?". How do you communicate a phenomenon to the world at large, which, by it's very nature, is constrained within the blogosphere?

To insert the meaning and understanding of 'blogging' within mainstream consciousness, you're probably best off using mainstream media. Something like a TV documentary, or a movie perhaps.

That's why a movie called "TheWeblogProject", the planned end-product of a grassroots online collaborative project, aptly named "The Weblog Project", is in the process of being made. The movie will feature interviews with the Top 20 bloggers around the world, as selected by a combination of grassroots votes and technical factors, such as size of audience, number of links etc. Thrown into the movie mix will be worthy individual clips submitted by bloggers supporting the Project.

The three project founders, Robin Good, Marco Montemagno, a technology show host on Italian SkyTV and film producer Massimo Stella believe passionately in the importance of communicating, both online and offline, the potential of blogging to those who have yet to be be exposed to it, or those who have so far failed to catch on to the major transformative consequences that blogs can have in our immediate future.

"TheWeblogProject is a movie to help people to better understand:

- why blogs are important

- what it's possible to do with a blog

Here are some possible complementary sub-themes:

a) what can be done with a blog today?

b) what social and cultural impact can blogs have?

c) how is blogging impacting news, business, politics and all the social fields around us?

d) how are blogs changing the world of media?

e) how are blogs changing your life and all of our lives?"

Apart from the unique nature of the subject matter, the actual process of making the movie is itself a world apart and embraces all of the free, grassroots, open source, participatory and collaborative concepts and technologies that blogging so well encapsulates.

The movie will be:

"The first open source, FREE, grassroots movie to support and promote the blogosphere where featured stars, producers, fundraisers and actors are the bloggers themselves."

So, do you want to get involved?

Here's how:

1. Cast your vote for the global Top 20 Blog
Once the votes are all counted, The Weblog Project Team will then go and physically visit those Top 20 bloggers, wherever they are in the world, and film them talking about and demonstrating why blogging is so important to them and their unique audiences.

2. Elect yourself as being a blogger deserving of worldwide fame
You can send in your own audio-clips, movie-clips, screen-recordings, video-blog recordings, accompanying music soundtracks, whatever you think worthy of consideration. Every single piece of content sent in to the Project will be placed in the Project's open access library and subsequently reviewed, once the closing date for submissions, expected to be in April/May, is reached. If selected, your 'piece' will be incorporated into the final movie, along with the movies made of the Top 20.

There's no charge to participate, whether you're voting or submitting your own content and the Project is non-commercial.

When I spoke To Robin Good about the financing behind the Project, he said:

"We're not trying to make money. Money is going out. We've estimated that an amount ranging between $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 will be required to produce a high-quality final release with enough clout to make it outside the blogosphere."

That's why the Project founders have come up with two ideas which they think will make the Project self-financing.

Firstly, the Project is asking for voluntary donations from bloggers (and anyone else) who wants to support the Project and make sure all its ideas are achieved. There's also a potentially altruistic motive in making an individual donation - more later.

Secondly, the Project is seeking commercial sponsorship - and it doesn't have to be in the form of money. Companies which have a service or product that could support the objectives, such as hosting services, or providing exposure through other media channels, then they'll be targets.

A list will be posted on the site of a whole number of companies that are regarded as appropriate potential sponsors.

If any one of those listed decides to sponsor the Project, then they'll get their "We're supporting The Weblog Project" space on the site next to their logo, alongside details of exactly what they're donating.

Robin Good stated that "If we collect more money than needed to produce the movie, we'll donate the extra amount to Doctors without Borders".

It was mentioned earlier that there could be, as an individual blogger, a potentially altruistic motivation behind making a donation.

As a donor, you'll be given the rights to make your own complete master version of the movie, with your own title, your own editing, different scenes, different sound track. You will have complete and unlimited access to the individual components of the movie, plus free access to the entire library of the Project.

You'll be able to remaster, edit, transform any or all of the content into your own unique movie - your "movie take on the blogosphere". Something that you can actually play to your family and friends on their VCR's, DVD Players or PC screens that enlightens them a) to knowing what a blog actually is and b) what blogging means in the wider context of the media revolution.

Furthermore, your movie will be made available and distributed through exactly the same channels as TheWeblogProject movie itself, namely via P2P networks, the Internet Archive, showcasing on the Project's blogsite and through widely distributed shows and podcasts.

To watch and hear Robin Good talking about The Weblog Project, see this video interview with Corante's Alex Williams.

This is your chance to take center-stage: the floor's all yours.

Marjolein Hoekstra & Francis Good -
Reference: Robin Good and Marco Montemagno - TheWeblogProject
Readers' Comments    
2005-03-17 15:31:23


no me acuerdo en que blog leí por primera vez la noticia, pero repito ahora lo que dije allí, que vos estés detras de eso, garantiza la calidad del producto

posted by Marjolein Hoekstra on Thursday, March 10 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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