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A Free and Open Source YouTube??
Online video sharing has exploded in the last couple of years and media makers have been quick to take advantage of it's possibilities. Dozens of sites have sprung up offering a host of ways for video makers to get their content out there.
But what if you want to run your own video sharing community and customise it to suit your needs? What if you'd rather not have "web 2.0" CEOs make millions whilst you, well, make nothing? What if you are a human rights organisation with sensitive material?
Video sharing sites might be happy to share their web space but they certainly aren't about to let anyone set up their own site. Most video sharing sites don't open source their software for others to use so the options for doing it yourself have been very limited and generally very expensive. One free option was Participatory Culture's "Broadcast Machine", it was simple and it worked however it's no longer in active development.
Enter Plumi, a free software video sharing platform based on the Plone content management system. Plumi is developed by EngageMedia, an Australian based non-profit who run engagemedia.org, a video sharing site focussed on social and environmental issues. As a non-profit activist organisation they went looking for an open source option for setting up their website, not satisfied with what was out there they decided to build video functionality into Plone, a popular free software content management system.
Plumi packages up the a range of sophisticated functionality and makes it easy to install. Features include, transcoding to flash video, vodcast feeds for members and topics, tagging, members workspaces, profile pages, creative commons licensing and much more. A key aim is to converge media and video activists around a common platform that can be built collaboratively. For organisations with minimal funding running on and contributing to a free and open source platform makes a lot of sense.