Remixing the web: users taking back control of their media

Lifehacker just posted a bit about a new Firefox extension that changes how Craigslist works. There are a mess of extensions for Firefox that do stuff like this. (My personal favorite blocks annoying flash and banner ads.)

Craigslist Image Preview adds a thumbnail of the image(s) within a listing on Craigslist without requiring you to click through to the actual page. Since most Craigslist ads live or die by the included image of what’s actually being sold, this extension saves a ton of time and is a must-have for any Craigslist shopper.

Craigslist image preview plugin

In my mind, this fits in the same category as RSS feeds, podcasts and Tivo. Users are gaining the ability to absorb media at their own pace and in the format they prefer.

What made it possible? Open standards, like HTML and RSS, and open systems like Firefox’s add-on framework. This would never have happened on a proprietary system. You can’t do this to Microsoft Office.

Craigslist just got more useful, and it didn’t cost Craig, or you, a dime.

PBS gives away raw video footage for anyone to remix

You can download the raw footage for NOVA’s new documentary, released under a Creative Commons license that allows anyone to share or remix the footage, as long as it’s attributed and not for commercial purposes.

This experiment marks the first time we have ever made raw video available to the public, and we’re eager to see what you make from it. It’s because of viewers like you, as the saying goes, that we’re able to produce NOVA.
NOVA Tesla Roadster video screenshot

What if all public broadcasting material was released this way? Think of the great stuff people could create with Charlie Rose or Tavis Smiley footage, or the rest of the NOVA catalog. Or all those great NPR interviews?

It would cost money to maintain an archive, but not too much since online storage is getting very cheap, very quickly. This is doable, even on PBS’s budget.

If you’re not familiar with Creative Commons or question why you’d want to share your work, check out this fun primer featuring the White Stripes.