EngageMedia Blog

Moviemento: Balikpapan Follow-Up Workshop

by Yerry Nikholas Borang May 31, 2013

Hello EM lovers,

We just got back from 3 full days of workshops with a dozen young people in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Over several hours each day, we were conducting follow-up training sessions for about 10 to 13 participants. Using many fun methods, we plan to develop five interesting stories which would strongly relate with youth issues and young people in Balikpapan.

For this particular workshop, we also brought over a mentor, Zulhiczar from Jogjakarta, who'll stay there till early June to help our young participants to develop their stories and produce videos to ensure that they become storytellers within their own communities.

We were also collaborating with the participants to develop strategies for realistic outreach and video distribution. So stay tuned and look out for more updates from this interesting project!


Introducing Plumi 4.5

by Anna Helme May 19, 2013

Plumi is a free and open source software package you can use to create your own video sharing site, based on Plone and produced by EngageMedia in collaboration with Unweb.me. It is a powerful video-sharing web application, with a full set of sophisticated online video community features, out of the box. We use a slightly customised version of Plumi to run EngageMedia.org, so you can check it out in action here, or on the Plumi demo site.

Plumi 4.5 was soft-launched at the beginning of the year. Now that it’s been running smoothly for a while, we’d love to introduce you to all the new features and improvements.

New User Interface


The first thing you’ll notice about Plumi 4.5 is the beautiful new skin. Right out of the box you will be pleased to see a shiny new visual theme, with a grid-layout and contemporary styling, just right for a video sharing site.

On the front page of the new Plumi skin you can view all the latest videos that have been uploaded, plus feature a video in the slot on top, ready to play back using mediaelement.js player – an HTML5 player that will work in any modern browser.


You can also customise Plumi’s visual theme for your own needs, and in Plumi 4.5 it is easier using a new implementation of the Diazo theming engine and plone.app theming. Diazo allows you to apply a theme contained in a static HTML web page to a dynamic website created using any server-side technology. With Diazo, you can take an HTML wireframe created by a web designer and turn it into a theme for Plumi.

Mobile Friendly Adaptive Layout

The site is designed to adapt to different screen sizes, and videos will play back on both Android and iOS devices.

New Video Publishing Form

publishA new video publishing form makes it even easier for users to upload video to a Plumi site. Just drag’n'drop or click browse to select a video file, and watch it upload in the new progress indicator, while you add metadata to your video.

You can click over to another dynamically loaded page as you upload, where you can categorise the film and add a Creative Commons license.

Subtitling Using Amara

We have integrated Amara (formerly Universal Subtitles) which allows users of your Plumi site to easily add or view subtitles for each video, created or attached to the video using the Amara system. Watch the video above to learn more about how easy it is to use Amara, which is a powerful addition to Plumi in terms of accessibility, and use in multi-lingual websites.

Other Improvements

Other fixes and improvements since our last stable release (Plumi 4.4) include replacing making upload of large files more stable, fixing some errors with fullscreen video playback and updating our HTML5 video player.

Plumi Roadmap

We are looking forward to a 4.5.1 release that may include some more work on the user interface, followed by 4.6 in which we plan to integrate videos that are hosted on other sites, and new features designed to enhance the ability to use Plumi for social change impact.

You can read all about Plumi over on the new Plumi blog.

You can read the full list of Plumi video-sharing and other features here.

EngageMedia at the 3rd Mekong ICT Camp

by Seelan Palay May 16, 2013

Mekong ICT Camp 2013In early May, we facilitated and participated in the 3rd Mekong ICT Camp, held in Cha-Am, Thailand. Over the course of the five-day event, we held presentations on video advocacy, video distribution, and online subtitling.

The camp is a biannual training workshop on information, communication, and technologies for citizen media, community health, and civil society development in the Mekong sub-region (specifically Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam). The group of over 60 participants included developers, journalists, and social workers.

Mekong ICT Camp 2013Our sessions were the only ones focusing on the use of video for campaign purposes, which attendees felt would be very useful in the development of their work.

We also took part in the other series' of sessions such as 'Open Street Maps'. The various examples of open mapping tools being used for social change in the Mekong region would have a lot of value if they were shared among other networks in Southeast Asia.

The experience of learning and sharing at the camp, and the networking opportunities that it provided, was timely and essential, as we look into visiting Burma in the near future.

What is Video for Change -- and Its Forms?

by cheekay cinco May 16, 2013

[Cross-posted on the MIT Center for Civic Media blog]

Over at the v4c.org blog, the video4change Impact Research team have begun blogging about some of the issues, questions and lessons from the preliminary literature review. In a series of three blog entries, they have explored the definition of using video to impact and influence social change, and how organisations, individuals and social movements have done it.

In the first entry, Video for Change: What is It and Who Does It? the researchers have come up with the broadest possible definition:

“any initiative that emphasises the use of video for creating change, whether that change is at a personal or individual level, is focused on a group or a specific issue or is at a broader social level.”

They also walked the readers through the process of coming up with this definition through the scanning through a range of resources for the literature review. At the end of this entry, they asked the readers to define how they would define 'video for change'. Cicilia Maharani from Kampung Halaman (an organisation based in Indonesia) had an interesting response that talked about how video can affect change at the community level, based on Kampung Halaman's experience. Succinctly, she says: "We don't work with video, we work with peolpe. Video helps us to facilitate the issues and further spread the message to other communities."

Seelan Palay from EngageMedia posted video examples that define 'video for change'. He says that the videos gave an overview of what is happening in Southeast Asia.

The next two posts, Video for Change Approaches (Part 1 and 2), define how video for change has been done over the years. From Guerilla Video in the 1960's to modern Citizen Journalism, the entries go through other social and technological developments that have impacted on how we use video for social change. activism and advocacy. At the end of the second entry, the researchers question the current 'taxonomy' of video for change approaches and how the research that defines what video for change is can be useful to a broader audience.

"What we have learnt by thinking about the values and foci of these different approaches is that there are many different ways to support change efforts through the use of video; any attempt to develop a framework for measuring impact will need to understand this, if it is to be widely adopted."

Over the next few weeks, we will be blogging more about the video4change Impact Research, posting case studies from interviews of organisations that use video as a tool for change and the donors that support them.

If you want to be part of the discussion, go to v4c.org.

Video for Change: What is It and Who does It?

by cheekay cinco May 06, 2013

By Tanya Notley and Julie Fischer

[cross-posted from v4c.org]

A few months ago we started our research for the video4change network. The aim of this research is to learn from the different ways that individuals, groups or organisations are measuring the impact of video for change projects.  To get to this we felt we had to start by asking: what is ‘video for change’?

We knew that the video4change network had already defined it like this:

“the use of video to support social movements, document human rights violations, raise awareness on social issues, and influence social change.”[1]

But as we started to do some research using the term ‘video for change’ we could see that very few organisations and practitioners who use video as a tool or approach for creating change actually use this term. This introduced a problem: how could we learn from a diverse range of practices and experiences if we don’t know how to find them and if we don’t know what might be included? We decided to start with the broadest possible definition possible for video for change:

“any initiative that emphasises the use of video for creating change, whether that change is at a personal or individual level, is focused on a group or a specific issue or is at a broader social level.”

From here we have been able to extend our keyword search while we also draw from the knowledge of experts in the field, both from within and outside of the Video4Change network. In the next post we will provide a brief overview of these approaches. So far it includes guerrilla video, participatory and community video and advocacy video. As we carry on with this research we wanted to ask video for change practitioners:

How do you define video for change? Does it resonate with you or your organisation as an umbrella term? What approaches should the term include?


[1] https://www.v4c.org/content/about-video4change