Posted on May 31st, 2011 by Rob DiCiuccio
Today, the ViewChange.org team is excited to announce the release of Link TV Platform, the open source project that powers ViewChange.org. A semantic video platform, the project combines the rich media experience of video with the data-centric concepts of the Semantic Web.
Link TV Platform is being released as a Rails Engine for the popular Ruby on Rails web application framework. Essentially an application within an application, this modular approach provides a robust foundation, while allowing for your own customizations and enhancements.
We are also releasing Link TV Player, a Flash video player, as a separate open source project. The player supports both streaming (RTMP) and progressive download (HTTP) video sources, as well as YouTube content, and can be used in conjunction with Link TV Platform, or as a standalone player.
Both of these projects are in use on ViewChange.org, as well as the recently launched Link TV News site. However, we recognize that they are neither complete nor perfect. We are actively working on improvements, optimizations, tests and documentation. In releasing these projects as open source software, our hope is to foster collaboration and encourage community involvement in improving the projects. We look forward to your feedback, and are excited to see how these projects grow and evolve.
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Posted on November 18th, 2010 by Hannah Eaves
It’s official, after almost a year of hard work ViewChange.org – our semantically driven video site highlighting stories of change in the developing world – has launched! A flurry of new features have rolled out over the last couple of weeks, including profiles, “playlists” (here’s mine on malaria), and an advanced embeddable player. Not to mention a content API.
On the technology side, ViewChange.org uses the semantic blogging API Zemanta to analyze time-based video transcripts and create smart topics (semantic entities) to categorize the videos. These topics are then connected with matching Freebase and DBpedia entities, and are used to make finding videos on the site easier. They’re also employed in a live search using the Daylife, Truveo and SocialActions APIs to find related videos, articles, and ways to take action from around the Web. This related content appears alongside the chapter of the video it’s most relevant to. For a nice practical look at how this works, here’s a great blog post by a health professional. For a more in-depth look at the technology, read On Linked Data and ViewChange.org, posted by ViewChange technical lead, Rob DiCiuccio of Definition. You can also check out our technology press release, which provides a great look at the tools we’ve created.
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Posted on September 15th, 2010 by Hannah Eaves
Today is the last day to vote for your favorites for the ViewChange Online Film Contest. Finalists will be announced this coming Monday.
Monday itself is going to be a packed day for us! We’re going to start in the morning with a live stream of TEDxChange: The Future We Make, a “chance to reflect on the Millennium Development Goals ten years in, and to look forward to where we’ll be.” Speakers include Melinda French Gates, Graça Machel, Hans Rosling, Mechai Viravaidya, and Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew.
This will be followed by a TEDxLondon event featuring a lineup of speakers that includes film contest judge and novelist Chimamanda Adichie announcing the contest finalists.
The day of live streaming will start at 8am PDT. More details and a link coming shortly.
In other news, I was recently asked to reflect on our experiences with online film contests for website SF360.org. This article looks at contests from the filmmaker perspective: Online Film Contests: Friend or Foe?
Posted on July 7th, 2010 by Keith Laidlaw
We are very pleased to announce that the beta version of Link TV’s ViewChange.org is officially live. Right now we’re sending out invitation codes to everybody who has asked for one. If you haven’t received yours yet, don’t worry—it should be arriving via email soon. You can also still sign up to request access here.
ViewChange.org won’t be publicly available until the fall, but the beta version of our next-generation multimedia website is already fully functional. The very best global development video content is presented alongside relevant news links and ways to take action, thanks to cutting-edge search tools that scour the web for the most up-to-date material. Many more films will be added to the site in the days and weeks ahead.
As you explore ViewChange.org, please remember that this service is still in beta, so you may come across the occasional bug or glitch. If you do, or if you have any comments, drop us a line using the “Feedback” tab located on the edge of every page on the site. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on our new video platform.
Posted on May 11th, 2010 by Keith Laidlaw
Rahim Kanani has written an informative roundup of the 2010 Global Philanthropy Forum for the Huffington Post. He says that one of the most important themes to emerge at the conference was “harnessing mobile and internet technology for change, social impact, and accountability,” and talks about ViewChange.org:
“Start-ups focusing on mobile technology are not the only new kids on the block redefining the industry of social change and social impact, for heavy-hitting philanthropic organizations are also investing in the power of technology to amplify voices in the field, hoping to shift long-standing perceptions on critical issues of our time such as public opinion on U.S. foreign aid and global development. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Link TV recently launched ViewChange.org — a digital media hub that highlights progress in reducing hunger, poverty, and disease in developing nations. It combines powerful video stories with the latest Web technology to make videos, articles, blogs, and actions readily available to key audiences working in global development.”
The full text is available here.
Posted on April 30th, 2010 by Keith Laidlaw
This week has been a busy one here at ViewChange.org headquarters.
First, as you may have noticed, we’ve started a blog. This will be the place to hear all our news as we prepare to launch our beta site in June and the full site in November. Check back here for updates on the progress of the project, technology work we’re doing behind the scenes, info on our top partners, and reports from our diligent group of screeners, who are looking for the best content on global development from around the world.
Second, our awesome ViewChange Online Film Contest is now open for entries. We’re looking for powerful new stories about the progress being made in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), told in short videos of five minutes or less. Your film can be any genre, from documentary to drama, and you have until August 31 to enter.
Online voters will help determine the finalists, while the winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges including Danny Glover, Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Wim Wenders, Angélique Kidjo, and Gael García Bernal. We’re offering prizes totaling $50,000, including up to $25,000 for the Grand Prize winner. Best of all, the videos of winners and finalists will be broadcast on Link TV and other television channels worldwide, and be available for high-quality streaming right here at ViewChange.org.
We know that stories are powerful. They can change how we think and how we act. That’s why we’re launching this site. But now we’re calling on storytellers and filmmakers: Tell your story. Change the world.