Wednesday, June 21, 2006

You Will Start Watching YouTube

Back in the '70's I used to teach film and video at the Western States Film Institute. I was always yakking about the coming digital revolution - that some day "real soon" people would be picking up their own cameras and creating meaningful content. That day has come. (I really didn't think it would take 30 years.) has become the de facto repository for such efforts. Over 6000 videos are being uploaded there every day. Google tried with Google Video, but the interface (special viewer) and posting requirement were onerous. YouTube even went a step further and enabled embedding of linking code in other sites. Kinda viral, and very brilliant.

At first the YouTube postings were real lame. Soulful kids in front of their webcams being all emo and stuff. Weird dog clips. Hurtful boarder accidents. Lots of Japanese anime. Some pure junk.

But now creative good stuff is beginning to emerge. Remember the "desktop publishing" revolution that produced at ton of crap at first, then gave way to talent and creativity? This new "video publishing" revolution is going through the same unfolding.

Interesting features at YouTube include near instantaneous posting - without review. (Google's review took days.) The poster is responsible for the content and the copyright considerations. They also have a built-in rating system and view counter. Easy to find the good stuff that's bubbling to the surface. Professional producers and directors are using it for exposure. Even good ads make it to the top.

And this is no small audience. A recent comic vidi (my term for these short videos, borrowed from "A Clockwork Orange") entitled "The Evolution of Dance" has been viewed 25,325,048 times so far.

Recently I saw a broadcast TV executive make a bold prediction that "it would be a long time before people are watching TV on their computers." Harharhar. These guys are so dumb. Like the music "industry", they are stuck in yesterday while the streaming broadband internet leaves them behind.

YouTube is the embodiment of Web 2.0. User created content, viral distribution, no impediments to ease of use... just slick, damn slick.

I'll be "embedding" some of the better vidies that I find on this site, as a respite from the usual topics of gloom and doom. Hope you enjoy them.

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