The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

The Archive.org Grid?
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We provide free storage and free bandwidth for your videos, audio files, photos, text or software. Forever. No catches.

J.D. Lasica, Marc Cantor, the Internet Archive, and the folks behind Drupal have launched OurMedia.org, which they hope will become the hub of the grassroots media revolution. Robin’s already posted EPIC up there, so we know that when 2014 actually rolls around, we can look back and laugh at how far our predictions diverged from reality, as we perform remote upgrades on our Digital Consciousness servers and sip calorie-free nanolattes in massively multiplayer gridcaf

5 comments

I think ourmedia.org is fab, but a friend pointed out that its non-profit structure, while philosophically great, might not be the best thing for long-term sustainability and reliability.

While I’m sure archive.org is hella well-managed and well-backed-up, I still find myself trusting Google’s storage (e.g. Gmail) more than just about anything in the world, because if they screw it up… THEIR BUSINESS ENDS. That’s a pretty strong incentive to maintain — and improve! — service.

Of course, Google won’t host my 500MB video. Yet.

But just thinking along those lines, mightn’t a for-profit mega-media-host — or even a non-profit with a serious revenue model or something? — be a better bet in the long run than the alternative?

Even if a host charged you some tiny, nominal fee for perpetual storage — sort’ve taking advantage of the long tail in reverse, betting on the fact that the vast majority of the media it stored wouldn’t be super-popular — I feel like that’d be fine.

Maybe my sense of this is off, though, b/c Google is such a super-special case, and in general a commercial mega-host would be flakier than a pro bono site like ourmedia.

Any thoughts?

Good point about Google’s strong incentives. On the other hand, nonprofits can be very rigorously engineered to be persistent, especially if they are founded and funded well (read: endowment.) Some of the oldest and most robust institutions in this country are nonprofits–Harvard comes to mind. The basic principles of being a nonprofit is sort of inherently cool and underutilized for more practical projects, I think. Open source might be finally changing that.

some tiny, nominal fee for perpetual storage

I totally hear you on that. Why is that everything on the web either has to be free or ridiculously expensive? I wish people would do more wiht bitpass.

Good points, Saheli.

Hey, what’s the oldest continuously-run organization in the world, I wonder? Catholic Church springs to mind, but I’m sure that’s not it.

Def. agree that solid nonprofit models are totally underutilized. If I was starting an organization tomorrow it would be a nonprofit, no question. (It would also be a National Jelly Bean Museum, but that’s beside the point.)

Agree re: Bitpass. Micropayments get a bad rap, but I still think there’s a ton of potential there. Maybe it should cost $0.01 to leave a comment on Snarkmarket…

Robin, interesting observations.

We’ll be talking with Google and Yahoo and some other folks about sharing their server space with us, so, yes, we’ll work with some for-profits — but we can only take that so far.

You may notice that a majority of the content on Ourmedia is under a Creative Commons noncommercial use license.

Meaning, none of this stuff would appear on the for-profit site you propose.

If someone can suggest a way around this, I’m all ears!

Thanks for the mention, Matt. Join us yet? :~)

Hey J.D.!

I’m confused: a site like Flickr is certainly for-profit but they host tons of great CC-licensed stuff. Ditto Typepad. So there doesn’t seem to be a problem w/ for-profit entities providing a platform for people to share their CC-licensed work.

Now, if the for-profit entity was profiting FROM the CC-licensed work — tagging on ads, say — instead of getting paid directly by its users, or making money in some other oblique way, I can see how that would be shady. Unacceptable, actually.

But in general, I don’t see the contradiction.

Awesome that you’re talking to Google, et al.!

(P.S. That will be $0.01, please.)

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