Personal Broadcast Networks?. Downbrigade makes a case for video aggregators. It is already here in the form of RSS enclosures (I still get lots of video and audio clips from Adam Curry delivered automatically to a folder on my desktop). However, not everyone has the bucks like Adam to pay the hosting costs this entails. What is needed is a P2P system that hooks into aggregators and weblog tools.
This is, of course, something that I have been an advocate of for years and years. It just hasn't made it fruition yet. However, with video phones just around the corner, the time is ripe for some movement in this direction. What is needed to get this moving:
- A P2P system like Onion Networks that generates unique file names for all files on the system and content check to ensure there isn't any corruption of the file on the network. Like Onion, this system needs to be viewable by all active participants on the network (systems like KaZaA and Morpheus only show you a small portion of the network, which in turn requires up to ~40,000 copies on the network in order to be seen by everyone). If a file is seen by all network participants, the publisher gets immediate help on bandwidth costs when the first person downloads the file to their system.
- The P2P system should generate a unique code for each file placed in a folder on a weblog publishers desktop. This code could be cut and pasted into a weblog post. When a reader clicks the post, they are requested to download an RSS aggregator to view the content.
- An RSS aggregator with connections with desktop P2P software. Additional control, provided the aggregator software, would let you determine when you wanted it downloaded (now or later). You would also have the option of downloading it as part of your RSS feed if you trust that person.
The end-user experience should be as simple and subscribing to an RSS feed and setting the preferences for that feed (enclosures or no enclosures). Alternatively, if an end-user (reader) clicks on a link to a P2Ped video file published on a weblog they aren't subscribed to, a windlet would pop up to ask them to download some aggregator software — or — if they have it already it would ask them whether they wanted to dowload it now or later.
The end result would be a system that scales (to millions of users), is inexpensive to operate (which means almost anyone could do it with a DSL connection), and is fast (since downloads can come from multiple sources with the same file). It would allow us to move to a world where publishing a news channel is as simple as taking the video and putting it into your weblog. Raw video news all the time. I wish someone had the cohones to put this together.
NOTE: If Dean had only spent $100k of his money on putting the parts (the software is already there — all we need is a high viz demo) together on a system like this, he would have a way to truly put the screws to big media. [John Robb's Weblog]