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When you complete a movie on Jumpcut, you can assign a number of options for how other people can view or remix your work. You can keep it private, assign rights to friends only, or allow anyone to view and remix it. When you make your work “remixable,” says Zajac, anyone can grab bits of your movie and create their own movie around it. Taking this concept a step further, he says, you can choose to make your movie “open,” meaning that others can change your finished product, producing a sort of wikivideo. Choosing to make your movie open could be useful for school projects, in which many people collaborate, and for weddings and parties, so a number of guests who have created videos and snapped pictures can put them together.

Video production is moving from being something that only a specialist can do to being something that’s available to the masses, says Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution and lecturer at Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley. “It’s getting easier and easier,” he says, “and the tools for production and distribution are becoming more widely available.” Jumpcut, he says, is an example of the convergence of online social networking and do-it-yourself media. “We’re seeing the beginning of something,” he adds.

While the Flash technology makes the site’s performance comparable to desktop video-editing software, Jumpcut’s capabilities are still somewhat limited. For instance, if you want to do more-advanced video processing, such as adjusting the lighting, you’re going to need to use desktop software. But for now, Jumpcut is offering a combination of simple tools that appeal to a growing number of people. Folgner says that his team of programmers will continue to add features to make editing, sharing, organizing, and collaborating easier for Jumpcut users.

And as the video recording hardware improves, Folgner expects to see even more user-generated content. “Personal media shared online will explode in the next five years,” he says, “which creates enormous opportunity for technologies that facilitate collaboration and creation.”

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