by Emily Clark
From 18-19 April 2009, EngageMedia delivered a workshop in Malaysia training participants ineffective methods of video distribution. Due to a mix of participants hailing from as far as the south of Thailand, it was decided to host the workshop in Penang in a mixture of English and Bahasa Malaysian.
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The kindly donated venue wasn’t exactly the Ritz, but workshops presenters Mien Ly and Fahmi Reza did what they could to fix up the place. The upside was that the internet connection was fast and the place had functioning air-con!
There were 18 participants in total, most of which had not met before so the trainers began with a get-to-know-you game. The 2-day workshop kicked off by discussing the expectations of those attending and by sharing details of favourite memorable videos. Following an explanation of FOSS and Codecs, everyone was asked to download Handbrake (a GPL-licensed, multi-platform, multi-threaded video transcoder) to their laptops. The group then set about learning how to transcode their video formats. The three participants from Penang Citizen Journalists were very happy with Handbrake as it converted their unusual Hard Disk Video Cam format into MP4 that they could then use to edit and upload. Fahmi then briefly went through the different online video hosting sites and demonstrated how to upload a video to EngageMedia.org.
Day two of the workshop started off with everyone sharing the outcomes of their home compression assignment before Fahmi discussed Creative Commons and showed two short videos about the concept. He also talked about the importance of distributing videos as widely as possible whilst keeping in mind the target audience. He showed my space and Facebook pages for his own film as examples.
LiLian, a respected blogger in Penang, then demonstrated how to embed videos into a blog and another attendee, Kris, explained what RSS means and how it works. Participants were then asked to install Miro (a free and open internet TV application) and were shown how to add their own channel on Miro using RSS and how to download videos and play them on Miro. Fahmi followed up by recapping the hybrid distribution methods before the group was split into smaller teams and asked to plan a distribution strategy. Everyone presented their strategies using PowerPoint and/or websites.
The day concluded with everyone working on how to upload, embed and RSS their videos. Again, the participants of the workshop found the information valuable and noted an appreciation for the mix of technical (i.e. video compression) and non-technical (i.e. Creative Commons) information.