Crowdsourcing Project: Broadcasting & Sharing local tech events via the airwaves with the Air Local channel

By Peter Organisciak, João Menezes, Jan Dittrich & Eugenia Ortiz

A guest post from our Crowdsource Crowdsourcing project team who have spent the last few weeks tackling the Air Local channel. Find below, some of their observations, thoughts and proposals.


As part of our envisioned revamp of the Mozilla Labs Concept Series – we’re looking at the proposed Air Local events channel.

There are numerous inspiring and thought-provoking local tech events (talks, panel discussions, demos etc.) that run worldwide throughout the year. These events are usually free or cost a nominal fee; and attract anywhere between +-20~200 attendees.

The problem

Their are no shortage of local tech events globally, but event assets such as (live) video, slides, demos, Q&A’s etc. are not always shared – partly as this is quite an administrative overhead and task for the organiser who is doing all of this voluntarily.

These events also tend to occur within major cities; thereby liming access to a much wider interested audience. By their nature, they can also only cater for limited numbers of attendees, depending on venue constraints, like size & cost) making demand much greater than capacity.

While a notable need exists – by a wider audience for these events being broadcast online, many potential participants around the world are genuinely disadvantaged by things like timezones and language.

Admittedly many event organisers make every effort to share what goes on at these events.
These resources however are often rather limited.

The proposed solution

We have thought this through and discussed the best way to share events remotely – making them more widely available by reducing present barriers!

Our envisaged solution is one that is very much like a video chat – but instead of having just one-to-one communication there will be many people who receive the live video.

Live-streaming technology is certainly not new, and thus many of you will be very familiar with the structure that these events will adopt. Our goal is to make the material and, in some way, the dynamics of live events available by using technology including but not limited to:

  • Video streaming;
  • Real-time chat;
  • Subtitling

As a fallback to live video streaming, we also aim to create an archived repository or links to all content ensuring that it is always available.

Another key factor considered – was the assistance and support needed by event organisers. This would go a long way – to vetted organisers – especially if it was subsidised by local businesses or larger global organisations.

This support could be via the means off:

  • AV equipment rental scheme eg. Flip-cams, microphones etc;
  • A repository and platform to store, share and showcase event assets

To recap

We strongly believe that the ideas emerging from these events should be available for everybody.
Briefly, we would like to bring to you:

  • A space for showing your local event to the world and be part of others: inspire and get inspired;
  • The opportunity to share ideas and make connections within communities no matter where you are;
  • Different ways to make that content available and accessible for everybody (subtitles, comments, chat, etc.);
  • Support and assistance to local event organisers

Going forward

Remember, this channel is still an idea in incubation within the framework of the proposed evolution of the Mozilla Labs Concept Series.

We’d love to hear your thoughts – Email cyberdees[at]mozilla[dot]com
For all the latest updates – Watch this space or follow @MozConcept on Twitter