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Blog Torrent Preview

Today Downhill Battle is making its first serious contribution of free, open-source software to the public domain. It’s nice to be on the giving side of free software after being on the receiving side for so long.

Without further ado, here is the first, unpolished, public preview of Blog Torrent:

Blog Torrent

Big props to our lead programmer Nick Nassar and the folks that have pitched in on the dev list. We first announced our plans for Blog Torrent about 4 months ago, when it was called Battle Torrent (which was a better but less explanatory name). We are very excited to have finished a working version and it’s going to get even better before it hits the official version 1.0 release (and we still need programming help– especially for OS X).

Blog Torrent is a key first step of our plan to make software that builds participatory culture. Video (specifically television) is a huge part of culture. But it’s still an extremely top-down medium– even as the tools to high quality video and animation have become extremely cheap, very few people watch any significant amount of video other than what’s on networks and cable. We think homemade video can compete directly against professional television, especially as reality shows have brought down viewers expectations about the production values needed to make engaging TV.

For all the hype about “peer-to-peer”, most peer-to-peer content is the same mainstream commercial content. And a big part of why that’s true is because filesharing tools are much better at helping you search for something you already know about than they are at presenting things that you don’t know about. For that problem, blogs are the perfect solution, but video (and even audio) is simply too big for most websites. BitTorrent is web-based p2p and can solve the presentation challenge, but has it’s own weakness: it’s difficult to setup a website to ‘track’ files and it’s tedious to create a .torrent file and post it to your website. Blog Torrent solves that problem by making installation simpler and by making the process of creating and posting a torrent effortless. We hope this will encourage people to create and share more original video. The next step is to make watching video on a computer more like watching video on a TV. We’re working on that… stay tuned. For now, check out Blog Torrent.

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