I am still taking in the greatness that is hulu.com … a big media company that has gotten it. This morning I bounced over and saw that they’ve recently added a new “program” called, Hulu How-To’s. Nothing earth shattering — the typical screencast of how to do things on the site. The thing that is entirely interesting to me is that the three how-to’s I saw were all about how to share their content. They teach you how to embed it (with the ability to embed only the parts you want), how to link it, and how to email it. Can you imagine a year ago a big media company teaching you how to redistribute their content?
Update … here is something I didn’t know. Hulu is unavailable outside the US. While I have no interest in supporting Internet filtering I am torn about the notion of perceived progress related to limiting access to content.
Two additional observations:
Several years ago big media started demanding that higher education take action against piracy on our networks. I have to say that I do not blame them doing so. Piracy of music, and more recently movies and software, is illegal and should not be tolerated. I think a lot of people didn’t agree with the approaches the big boys utilized and we all wished they saw the value in being more open — we’ve all heard both sides of the conversation so no need to rehash. One of the things we all did to help fight illegal file sharing was limit bandwidth on our campuses so students could push fewer bits through our pipes. We don’t monitor what gets pushed, we just make sure they aren’t using too much. When they do, we are forced to assume it is because they are sharing large media files and we turn off their access for a time. Am I the only one beginning to find it incredibly ironic that some of these same big media folks are now seeing the value in allowing open access to their properties and all of it requires a boatload of bandwidth? I am guessing they will now cry foul about our limiting the very networks they were once so concerned about.
The second observation has to do with Obama’s decision to share his Fireside Chats via youtube instead of just radio. I heard some folks on NPR bashing the decision and coming up with a handful of reasons why it is wrong. I’m not so much impressed that he chose youtube as the platform, I am impressed that he decided to do it on a social platform. Youtube allows for feedback, video responses, and the reuse of media via embed tags. Imagine what an amazing open archive these will be as we go forward. Open educational resources at their best.