Open Video Conference 2011 (#ovc11) SKETCHNOTES

I had the honor of attending Open Video Conference 2011 (#ovc11) in the beautiful, technology savvy building that is the New York Law School. The weekend was a crossroads where technology meets the human factor. Folks involved in open source video are doing their best to pave the way for freedom of speech in video, to create essential technologies for video, to create social change and more. This means they deal with REAL life issues from rioting to revolution and beyond. These dedicated people range from web developers to filmakers to writers… They are often masters of storytelling and human connection, video code and technology. Topics covered are too many to list, but included exploration of industry definitions, looking back and forward to understand what is next, sharing new technologies, ‘workshoping’ video content, licensing, and gaining clarity on important legal issues.

Social media has added layers upon layers of complication intertwined with AMAZING opportunities for each of us to share via video. The following sketchnotes  capture only pieces of what happened at OVC 2011. (I welcome any comments clarifying the content, spelling or facilitators whom I missed. These notes were my own understanding of what was presented/discussed and may not coincide with your understanding. There’s that human factor again.) Enjoy!

KEYNOTE #1 - Jillian York

KEYNOTE #1 – Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (

Jillian York (@jilliancyork), Director of International Freedom of Expression at EFF and a well known human rights activist, shared a compelling keynote. She presented a history of how technology, specifically video technology, has changed the way we see the world. She shared slides & video that throughout the ages changed our systems, our human reactions, and continue to challenge our responsibilities as humans. She has written a bit about her talk at OVC and shared her presentation via her blog ( ).

OVC 2011 KEYNOTE #2 - Jonathan McIntosh

KEYNOTE #2 – Jonathan McIntosh

Jonathan McIntosh (@radicalbytes) presented us with a remix watching experience. He is a pop culture hacker, video remix artist, new media teacher & fair use activist. I haven’t laughed that hard in quite some time. There is not much I can say (or even draw as my eyes were glued to the screen) – watch Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck. It’s a hit and it’s great. Check out his other work at Rebellious Pixels – and keep in mind, that some of it is in fact rebellious.

SESSION - Visual Privacy? Visual Anonymity?

SESSION – Visual Privacy? Visual Anonymity? with Sam Gregory & Helen Nissenbaum

Sam Gregory (@SamGregory) is the Program Director at WITNESS and Helen Nissenbaum is a Professor of Media, Culture & Communications at New York University. These two facilitated a rich session with so many eye opening questions. To help gain deeper understanding, Sam and Helen focused on scenarios regarding visual privacy or anonymity issues while leading a vivacious discussion that even touched the realm of ‘human safety.’

Some questions evolved that I find fascinating to chew on: How do we manage our personal lives from our professional lives in today’s virtual & real worlds? How can we know if we are hurting one another when our intentions are to help and protect each other? How is public & private different today than in our grandparent’s days? What is the answer to so many of these questions & those yet to come? Perhaps EDUCATION is the answer? How can we better educate our youth (AND ADULTS!!) on what is essentially the virtual world? Here is where my sense of direction towards Angela Maiers (@angelamaiers) kicks in. An amazing woman with immense resources aimed at teaching HEALTHY social media and internet relationships to classrooms everywhere. I think these concepts apply well beyond our traditional classrooms… I digress.

My favorite concept from this session happens to be a dichotomy that I’ve been talking about since. The idea that when you live in a small town, everyone knows you (and every move you make) so you go online to be a bit more anonymous WHILE when you live in a big city, you walk by many people on the street that you don’t know and you go online to fulfill true connections with friends. We are always looking for balance between our intimate connections & the new. Where and how do we find this balance? I’m still looking.

SESSION - The Many Faces of Open

SESSION – The Many Faces of Open with James Grimmelman of New York Law School

James Grimmelman facilitated a session focused on the definitions of ‘open’ for video, variables to consider and where we stand today with public access and participation. This session was particularly informative for those of us who don’t have a huge video knowledge base. It was a GREAT overall introduction to open source video. James facilitated discussion via many aspects of the open video ecosystem including legality, production, distribution, encoding, and so on.

SESSION - Connected Documentary

SESSION – Connected Documentary with Ingrid Kopp and Ben Moskowitz

This session with Ingrid Kopp (@fromthehip) and Ben Moskowitz (@benrito) created a workshop atmosphere where 4 different documentary projects held the spotlight to ask for feedback. Questions touched on included: What does the NEW documentary look like? How do I collaborate with web developers? What’s my plan for metadata? The essential question that popped up as a theme stood out to me as one we’re all asking in our lives & big projects – HOW DO I TAKE THIS TO THE NEXT LEVEL? What is the next level? (And then conversation, reflection, brainstorming & hopefully drawing ensues.)

The four projects presented were:

30 Mosques – a road trip of two twentysomethings looking for hope… the project is mid journey & already big. Aman Ali (@amanali) & Bassam Tariq (@curry_crayola) are looking for their next level.

The Tillman Story Interactive – a powerful film about Pat Tillman… when audiences ask ‘What can we do?’ We want to have something to tell them. Here’s the pitch by Director Amir Bar-lev.

Through A Lens Darkly – powerful family stories via their unseen photo albums… ‘What can we do with the LIFE that ignites in people’s eyes when they begin to share their photos and stories with us? ‘

Union docs – collaborative documentary projects weaving together the community through its history…


This captures my first day at OVC 2011. What a day. I also collaborated (via projected sketchnotes) with facilitators on day 2 during an all day session entitled Making the Map. Highlights from that visual capture coming soon. Thanks!


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