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CommuniCast: Developing a Community-Programmed Webcasting Service



This paper sketches a preliminary plan for an online music webcasting service, called "CommuniCast," in which members of genre-specific online forums program webcasts for their communities by means of their ratings and rankings of music - and each other. This method stands in contrast to the usual programming methodologies, which utilize "top down" expert programmers or personal-preference algorithms tailored to an individual user.

More specifically, the paper represents an attempt to examine the theoretical insights of Yochai Benkler (regarding "peer production") and Lawrence Lessig (regarding "reintermediation") in the context of a practical application/test case. It asks whether user communities might generate "peer-produced" content - in this case, whether users might supply the measures of relevance and credibility normally supplied by corporate intermediaries (record companies, radio programmers, music critics, etc.). The model also incorporates a meta-moderation (or reputational) model similar to that used by Slashdot and Epinions to provide the quality control mechanism necessary in a decentralized, peer-produced system.