Thoughts on MozFest and a “Web of Creators”


Wow, hard to believe its been 3 months since the last blog post.  In that time we have practically circled the globe.  We started in London, and it turns out we ended in London.  We hit the Atex user conference in Sep, then to IBC in Amsterdam, over to LA for Digital Hollywood and the SharePoint Conference, down to NY to visit with the Magazine Publishers Assn, and then back to London for the Mozilla Festival.


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While exhausting, our journeys this fall have given us amazing insights into how the tasks of creating content, publishing content, and monetizing content are changing across so many industries-print, broadcast, web and more.  Our last stop was the Mozilla Festival in London, the second event they have put on to bring together the large vibrant ecosystem of technologists seeking to build the next generations of the Internet.  Mozilla is a fascinating organization, with its major claim to fame obviously the Firefox browser.  What’s really interesting though is their “corporate” mission, which is to transform the web today as a web of consumers to a web of creators.  This “democratization” of content creation is obviously well underway with massive platforms like YouTube and WordPress leading the way, but Mozilla is seeking to create even more openness with initiatives like Popcorn.  In addition, video is an obvious candidate for the next wave of storytelling innovation, and that’s where Popcorn shines.

The main thought behind Popcorn is how to leverage the context of a video in addition to the actual content, while leveraging what is fundamentally unique about video, which is the presence of a timeline.  Combine metadata, cue points, and a timeline and you have all the ingredients for a contextual video experience.  We find this tremendously exciting as we have deep capabilities in creating and curating video metadata, and have been investing in the video experience itself through our MetaPlayer framework.  The folks at Mozilla look at what we do as the scaled solution to contextual video, and when we have shown this to our customers, they have been universally excited at the prospects of being able to create more engaging experiences across thousands of individual videos.  We launched it first on Peoples Choice Awards and have several more projects coming out shortly.  That combined with gathering momentum from among the Mozilla community means 2012 may bring huge leaps in this new medium of video publishing.

In December we will be releasing an update to our “Lean-Forward” video whitepaper with refreshed statistics around the value of deploying contextual video experiences.  I can tell you this: I have seen the early numbers and they will not disappoint.