Community Media: Moving to Confront an IP-Enable World

Just returned from the ACM conference in Tampa. Presented on the Convergence, Emergence & Empowerment panel with Dirk Konig, Nettrice Gaskins, and Fred Johnson. Hope that the powerpoints will be posted soon. Community Media folks seemed eager to explore the possiblities of the online file sharing environ. Passed out lots of 10speed and cbcmedia cards.

Seems like the future of an IP-enabled world was the big buzz and all the CMC movement seems poised to move forward. Jeff Chester’s opening pre-conference panel “Shaping our Digital Destiny” addressed many of the issues facing communities in a conglomerized world dominated by cable interests. Andrew Afflbach from Columbia Telecommunications Corporation presented some great technology vision, Nick Miller policy, and Inja Coates (MediaTank) an achtivist on the ground perspective.

A panel entitled Caution: Convergence Ahead also debated where these technologies were talking folks. Fred Cohn, Deputy Manager from the City of Monterey presented the fantastic gigabit ethernet I=Net and Cora Wilson from NATOA painted the picture for PEG in the coming years.

Clearly the convergence at all levels (tech innnovation, policy, and program)is starting to shake itself out. Clearly community media folks are starting to think through what these issues mean for them. The question will be what will happen as content becomes less centrally controlled and users interact in with content in individualized ways. What does this mean for public space, interests and ideas.

Thanks to Jason Daniels for giving me a really good metaphor for all of this. Think of all of this stuff as a chess board. There are many players, many strategies and many possible ways to victory. Community Media is a rook = pretty powerful at moving in certain directions. Community Tech a bishop = also powerful for moving in complementary directions. By combining these two we get a queen – the most powerful piece on the board. With this power, we can be ready and flexible for any possible opposition or strategy and our chances for winning much stronger. Thanks Jason!!!!

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