It was the most funny thing yesterday morning. I was (as usual) listening to my daily dose of podcasts on my way to work, podcasts about technology and the latest news on the edge of real and cyberspace and beyond. At about seven AM I turned my Ipod off for a minute to tune into the regular news on the radio ( yep , i'm THAT kind of information junkie ). Since we had regional elections last sunday my interest was a little tickled just to know what some of these lame ass parties had come up with in order to work together , run the local towns and not loose face. Then suddenly I heard something very odd. It even made me check the play button on my Ipod, just to be sure I was not tuned into another podcast. But no : Clear as day, at seven AM in the (mainstream) headline news they announced Google had just bought You-tube.
Now rumors where flying around all over the cyber-place about the business model of Youtube, the Future of Youtube and about the lame sod who was going to BUY Youtube someday. Even in the latest edition of the Global Geek Podcast , talk was cheap and speculation was high about this very issue. But I never thought an event in Cyberspace would hit the mainstream news like that. A small smile of surprise crept along my face as I heard the crunching boot of cyberspace advance yet another pace in the world of the average off-line John.
Untill a few years ago (i'm talking "95, "96) the internet was this obscure thing for geeks. These days everybody has an email address, every product features his or their website on the package and most people have an internet connection. Although it is still the case that those with their finger on the cyberpulse are a minute few in contrast to the big dumb mass, one cannot help but revel at the phenomenon how the digital world is slowly but surely seeping into the dry desert of the real world.
Just to let the boys at Google know what they bought and what it's for .. I want to give you this little video.
This wonderfull little flick was part of a cabaret show Here is the original scene and shows the true power of You-tube. Take some good content , let loose the creative geeks of the globe to make something completely different out of it and then give them a medium to post it on.
Problably a little disturbing video, but I could not let it slide. Do videogames make you violent ? Not per se, at least not in the way you think they would.( Shooting your classmates after playing to much Grand theft auto and that). No i'm talking about the kind of frustratons games give you by the sheer complexity of the game. Going bonkers in Packman, warping out after getting eaten by a crock in pitfall .. Or being on the verge of killing your computer after it freezes up in level 52 of world of warcraft. That kind of frustration. Above is a classic example of the latter .. And I must say .. since the kid is German it only makes it better. Don't get me wrong , I love my German neighbours and I think it is the IDEAL language .. to swear in ! .. enjoy.
There is nothing on TV, I hear it over and over again. Somehow mainstream tv entertainment is indeed turning into brainless putty these days. Endless reruns of sitcoms, shamelessly repeated head-to-tale make the viewer believe that he either needs a lobotomy .. or has just had one. Recent trends in commercial television include hopeless star searches like Idol, X-Factor and what have you, where we zoom in on the rise (or attempts to rise) of countless wannabee pop stars who claim their 15 minutes of fame and are upsett to find out nobody even remembers them in the next series. But somehow that is not even enough. After a hard days work we come home and try to relax in front of the television but instead of this mindless crap we get fed OTHER peoples misery in a never ending string of reality series about the most idiotic subjects. There are the Ego driven ones (Osbournes, the Pfaffs etc), The location driven ones (Airport, life at the Zoo) and the Subject driven ones ( The Nanny etc). What strikes me in all of this is that besides other peoples misery, we get to see content that is actually made by people like you and me. Of course its edited down for maximum-drama-factor (sorry , was that entertainment-value perhaps) but the core is the same.
User generated content.
The great thing about the internet though is that it is the great equaliser. If we are replacing professional actors with ordinary people anyway, if we are replacing drama-plays with real life anyway. Why the heck don't we replace cameramen, producers, and broadcasters by normal people. That is to me the next step. While the masses are slowly making the transfer from linear entertainment to time-shifted (tivo-style) couch lounging (where they watch what they want , when they want) the early adopters are already bathing in the dawn of the new day in entertainment : User generated content. Lets take a site like You-tube where people can produce their own movies ( with stuff as simple as digital photo camera ) and put it on line for everyone to watch. No money-making producer, no add-riddled schedule.. Just plain old home-brew entertainment. Ok , so 80 percent on YOU-Tube is crap (now) but the 20 percent that’s left is hilarious, addictive and just plain old FUN entertainment. Its wonderful to see how creative people can be and its fantastic to see them use a medium like this. YOU-Tube is more then just the next blog-full-of-funny-video's we've all seen before countless times. Lets call You-tube an entertainment station where you decide what to watch .. and others like you decide what they want to produce.
And finally , some parody.
The little movie below cracked me up, it shows you what people can do with the simplest equipment, time on their hands and a medium like You-tube to distribute it. Ok , I might think its great because I'm a Star Trek Fan .. but still you don't see THIS on Fox everyday.