Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘FreeVoice’

dla_20090222_0981.jpg
Above: Two woman await a tram in a shelter advertising an exhibition of Richard Avedon pictures which was on at the Foam_Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam while we were there.

In February I was in Holland, together with our Product Manager, Ian Blackburn, and Media Manager, Dominique Le Roux, to work on a joint project with four Dutch organisations, World Press Photo, FreeVoice, lokaalmondiaal and the Tropen Museum. What has brought our five organisations together is a very exciting project centred around the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Together, the five organisations, headed by World Press Photo and FreeVoice, have been awarded over €2.2 million by the Dutch Postcode Lottery to carry out the project.

dla_20090222_1149
Above: Africa Media Online’s Media Manager, Dominique Le Roux (left), together with colleagues from Dutch partner, lokaalmondiaal at a pub in Arnhem, a town outside Amsterdam, Holland.

The aim of the project is to bring an African perspective to the reporting on the soccer World Cup, which will be held in Africa for the first time in history – in South Africa in June and July 2010. In the latter half of this year (2009) World Press Photo and FreeVoice will be training photojournalists, radio journalists, and text journalists at a number of venues around the continent. The journalists will then report from their various nations on the lead up to the event and that content will be distributed by Africa Media Online to African and global publishers. It will also be published on lokaalmondiaal’s web site for the Dutch Public. The best of the content will also be curated to form part of a major exhibition in the main exhibition hall at the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam which will be launched just before the staging of the World Cup itself.

Then in 2010, the best of the qualifying journalists will be invited to South Africa where they will cover the 2010 Fifa World Cup on the ground. There will be three teams, two based in Gauteng province but traveling to the games, and one traveling down the coast to finish up in Cape Town at the semi-final due to be held there. The teams will not just be reporting on sports, but rather on every aspect of life that is impacted in any way by the soccer fantasia.

Throughout, Africa Media Online will be distributing the content to publications all over Africa and the World. As part of this we will have created the application web site and upgraded our MEMAT system to facilitate seamless distribution.

After the event, a select group of photographers will qualify for the 2010 African Photo Entrepreneur Programme to be run by Africa Media Online, and lokaalmondiaal will be putting together a book with the best of what was produced. There will also be a traveling exhibition in South Africa.
dla_20090222_1103
Above: From left to right: Project Manager for the “Twenty Ten: African media on the road to 2010 (and beyond)” project, Ruth De Vries, from World Press Photo with her colleague Katusha Sol, Africa Media Online’s Media Manager, Dominique Le Roux and Product Manager, Ian Blackburn, and a representative of the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam view the main exhibition hall of the museum where the project exhibition will be staged just before the 2010 Fifa World Cup next year.

So it is all very exciting and it starts right here with you and or those you can encourage signing up to:
*Make application to be one of the journalists to cover the event (the closing date for registering to receive a username and password is 4 May 2009). If you want to be considered for APEP next year, please sign up to participate in this project.
*Sign Up to receive information about the project and, if you are an African publication out side of South Africa, to receive free content.

nationale-postcode1free-voice1locaal-mondiaal2007-05-04ivc_01amo_logosmall

Read Full Post »

amo-top-extended-white_ap2.jpgAbove: A mock up of the new top include for the new MEMAT system using the Africa Media Online web site as an example.

Next Generation of MEMAT begins to Rise from its Foundations

browse-compilations_wf26

After a year of development behind the scenes we are at last beginning to see the next generation of MEMAT take shape. The whole process has taken us far longer than could have been imagined, but creating a system that can handle images, sound, and video has proved to be highly complex.

We spent most of last year getting the base infrastructure together led by our Head of IT, Daniel Smith. Daniel is an absolute wizz. He does miracles with tight budgets. He has come up with an incredibly scalable system that means we can deploy mirrored servers all over the world in multiple depots. This translates to both security and high speed access.

The base system also utilizes the very latest developments in metadata. This is still very much a developing field. I happened to be at the first international metadata conference in 2007 at the CEPIC convention in Florence, Italy and we have tried to keep up with developments since then. The advantage of this is, of course, that right at the heart of the system are global standards which means cross-platform compatibility. So, if you load media onto the new MEMAT system, that media is not forced into a format that is unique to that system – rather your hard work of capturing data is maintained, no matter what system you chose to migrate that media to. The other advantage is that the metadata in the files can be leveraged to ensure very powerful search filtering.

At the heart of the base infrastructure of the new MEMAT is The Vault. The Vault is a digital repository with virtual “deposit boxes” which can be very easily written to write once media. The concept was given to us by Peter Krogh who wrote The DAM Book. We brought him out last year to teach at our Digital Campus and he has been a real friend to us. (Rumour has it that he is about to bring out a brand new version of The DAM Book, so watch this space.)

Originally we had planned to use an open source media management system at the core of the new MEMAT. That, unfortunately did not work out, and it did set us back some months. It just was not up to the professional standards we require. So Rosanne and I have spent long hours doing hand drawn wire frames. We got up to 75 pages! At the same time, those wire frames are being transformed into PDF designs by Brendan Temple at Temple Creative. Brendan is a real gem. Some years ago he spent some time in the UK heading up the designs for two major picture collections – Digital Vision (which is not part of Getty Images) and Image Source. He then helped us with elements of our MEMAT 2.0 system and now we have the privilege of his heading up the design of the new MEMAT, and I am sure you will agree, he has done a fantastic job.

So now we are on to the development with many programmers beavering away using Rapid Application Development protocols. They are using a combination of Ruby on Rails and PHP (both programming languages) to develop the system. We have already used this in the development of the application web sites for the Twenty Ten project and for MENA Training Programme for World Press Photo, and it has worked really well, giving a solid product with very few bugs.

So all in all, it is very exciting to at last see things taking shape. We are really grateful to the support of the European Union through Gijima KZN who provided part funding for development and to the Dutch Postcode Lottery who through World Press Photo and FreeVoice have also provided funding toward further development. This has been a costly venture and their help has been invaluable.

gijima_logo_smalleu_logo_smallerded_small
nationale-postcode2007-05-04ivc_0free-voice

Black or White

As part of launching the new MEMAT system, the Africa Media Online site is getting a face lift. Temple Creative has given us two possible designs, but we would love your input on which one to chose. The image used is one of my favourites from Photo Access.

Here they are:
amo-home-white
amo-home

We await your feedback on our poll below:

Read Full Post »