Update on 29 July 2016: Viddler (@viddler) is referenced in this post from 10 years ago and has shifted its business model/focus in a different direction.

I am always interested in web 2.0 tools related to digital storytelling, and this looks pretty unique. Zen Mix is touted as a “Vlogging tool for Vlog Video Vloggers.” (That’s the actual webpage title line. Sounds a bit repetitive to me.) According to the website:

Zen Mix lets you position and blend a Web video over a picture.

This means you can use a URL from a photo, located on a website like Flickr, with the URL for a web video, located somewhere like Vimeo, and create a customized combination of both using some effects if desired. I played around with this briefly tonight but didn’t create anything I thought was worth sharing. I’m very interested in how these web-based tools are permitting people to not only share their videos easily with the world, but also mash them up (create “web application hybrids”) and thereby express ideas in new and interesting ways. Of course there is a lot of stuff out there on these sites that likely wouldn’t qualify as “art” in many people’s books, but it is still free expression and the chaotic, dynamical environment which is emerging all around us with respect to digital media and Internet-enabled sharing is quite remarkable.

I noticed that Vimeo does not, apparently yet, let people share their videos on the site with a default Creative Commons license, as Flickr does. The following statement follows each video when you click to download it (or copy the link, as Zen Mix requires):

This clip belongs to [username]. Do not remix, redistribute, or otherwise exploit this video without [his/her] permission.

I think we have a big need to share the ethic of Creative Commons licensing with students and educators in K-20 education (I wrote an article a few months about this topic, incidentally)– and the growing popularity of mashups as well as tools to create mashups further emphasizes this point. Hopefully sites like Vimeo will incorporate Creative Commons licensing so the mashups created by folks can be legal and legit from an IP (intellectual property) perspective. Whether they are or not, obviously people are going to still create things like this….. Part of the important educational message that may not be shared as much as it needs to be today, however, is that these creations CAN be done in legal, legitimate ways.

Hence my prominent sidebar link to CCMixter, for audio mashups! 🙂

Via Dan Zen.

Viddler looks to be a similar tool but perhaps more of a web-based video editing tool, similar to Digital Storyteller. Viddler is currently in private beta. Via Alan Levine (cogdog).

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