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EngageMedia delivers skills training to Komas

by Mien Lor, Southeast Asia Content and Training Coordinator for EngageMedia

As part of our Skills Building Partnerships (SBPs) program focussed on developing the online video distribution skills of relevant community organisations, EngageMedia recently delivered a training program in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Komas from 21-22 January 2009. Komas is a Popular Communications (PC) centre established in Malaysia in 1993 primarily using video as a tool for social change.

The first day of the 2-day workshop on ‘How to distribute videos effectively online!’ was a very hot day. Andrew from EngageMedia had arrived just a day prior from Melbourne and was still a little jetlagged. With freshly photocopied notes and coffee still warm from breakfast, we waltzed (or more like, briskly walked) in anticipation of our first SBP training with Komas.

I had previously arranged for five people to attend the training but due to much demand, Komas had six people attending instead. We began the training by discussing their expectations and what Komas wanted to learn from us with regard to distributing video online. We had planned out a strategy to promote their new film ‘Gaduh’, which was appropriate as it made the training content more relevant to them.

komas SBP training, MalaysiaAndrew and I introduced a little more about Engagemedia for the newer staff from Komas and the two directors from the organisation’s board. We also gave an overview of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). We started on compression a little before lunch, allowing the crew from Komas to try something hands-on. The rest of the day was spent compressing and uploading videos as these areas are the most technical and took the most one-on-one time.

Day two of the training began with an introduction to Creative Commons licensing, and how to apply it to the website. We also discussed more on using hybrid methods to distribute videos, how offline distribution like DVDs and screenings can be complemented with videos available online on video hosting and social networking websites. Andrew also showed a video he made on Pirate TV that media activists in Italy had set up.

After lunch, the focus was mostly troubleshooting the technical difficulties Komas had faced in compressing the videos and also uploading. Apparently, the internet bandwidth in their office isn’t really suitable for uploading videos and they plan to upgrade it soon, as they agree that effective distribution of their videos is as important as making them.

Following the training, we received some useful feedback from Komas. The group found the training valuable and have been uploading and distributing videos online more regularly since the training took place. As the first in a series of SBPs scheduled to take place over the next 12 months, the EngageMedia team is excited to assist more organisations and see the results of this program.