Participatory media, a general title for a series of research projects at ITP, references media convergence but with a unique spin. Our general working thesis is that passive consumers are quickly becoming active participants in all facets of media. Production, distribution, consumption and reaction are all going through a period of massive change. In short the internet has awakened a desire within media consumers to not only be able to own and share their media but to interact with and create media as well.

ITP has been engaged in exploring and enabling participatory media for more than 25 years. In the late 70’s and early 80’s ITP was involved in efforts to bring two-way television to senior citizens and was highly involved in early Teletext trials in the US. With each advancement in technology, ITP has been at the forefront of enabling audience participation. The general principal that we employ is that social behavior drives the technology and each project that we approach has this in mind.

At ITP Research 2005 we have several current projects and offer courses that seek to both study what others are doing in this area as well as to develop our own technology that seeks to extend these behaviors utilizing our philosophy.


  • Video Comments, a WordPress Plug-in allows your video blog to receive comments at any time in a video. Viewers can navigate through the video from existing comments and add their own all using the existing WordPress comment system so blog owners can manage comments.
  • Open Media Developers Summit The world of interactive and non-traditional media creation, distribution, consumption and interaction with audio and video based media is exploding. This summit brought together the key individuals and organizations working on open implementations of the technology that support the current trends and those that will lead toward the future.
  • Video Comments is a system where viewers’ comments on a video (live or recorded) are tied to a specific point of time in the video. The system allows for the automatic production of metadata associated with a video, and we intend to use this metadata to allow for better searching and browsing of online video. We also hope that this system will encourage people to design videos with this type of interaction in mind, forming social groups around the combination of video and discussion.
  • Studio In A Box We want to look at tools that make it easier for people to become video broadcasters. We are concentrating on organizations that are already in the habit of making presentations, for instance with a lecture series. This inexpensive software kit will allow an organization with no IT or AV staff to begin, broadcasting, archiving and supporting comments on their lectures.
  • Re-imagining the Remote As video moves away from being solely a broadcast medium and starts to take on the traits of a networked medium the traditional means for selecting content become obsolete. In order to augment the living room couch experience, we are developing a new device that offers rich network based social capabilities as well as the control mechanisms required of a remote control.
  • Color by Numbers TV. Experiments with templating the story creation process either with a prexisting set of clips or with preexisting slots in a spatial collage or sequence. This will overlap with the Narrative Lab. In addition to opening lowering the bar for creation this increases comparability and thus searchability.

  • Courses

  • Producing Participatory Media Traditional broadcast media (television and radio) are in a time of transition. Broadcast is being pushed in new directions by the increasing ease of producing compelling material, and by the interactive and social nature of the internet. Blogs and other internet based social networks have given rise to an audience that is eager to engage with and participate in the creation of media. This appetite is quickly moving into the realm of television and radio with new avenues for distribution and new means for audience interaction offering serious challenges to traditional broadcast. The goal of this course is to introduce students to new technologies and methods for creating participatory media and making it available. Students develop new ideas for helping this transition along both on the internet and in the traditional broadcast space.