Thursday, September 14

Rushkoff on Videoblogging

Ok, so I'm always talking about the failure of Current TV, and the great potential to build a new media network for the internet age, like what CNN was for the age of cable and satelite. I thought I should quote a little source on this. So when I stumbled on this little interview Johnny Golstein did with Douglas Rushkoff I thought I'd post it. Vloggersations at their finest.

More below.

"Rushkoff on Videoblogging"

Watch movie (Quicktime, 4.5 min, 17.8 MB)

Original post, from

Watch the video I recently had the pleasure of speaking with bestselling writer Douglas Rushkoff about his latest projects "Get Back in the Box," and "Testament." At the end of our interview, I couldn't help asking him for his take on videoblogging.

So what is "the failture of Current TV" and what is "this future media network"? My opinion might vary from Douglas Rushkoff's a bit, but the failure of Current TV in my opinion that they had the opportunity and certainly hyped the idea of making a user generated channel. A true participatory medium. However when it came right down to it and they created the Current TV cable channel they used the same old top down editorial mechanism used for the last half a decade.

Instead of encouraging people to create their own channels, find their own voices... and create a sustainable and decentralized ecosystem of media and then filtering or aggregating the very best of that media Current TV became just another "contest".

The difference is while one is sustainable and empowers users giving them their own platforms on which to speak and their own audience.... the other says... make us videos... and maybe if their really really good... you'll have a one in 10,000 shot of them being actually seen by another real human being.

Current TV didn't connect the mases, empower them and give them a voice and hence profit from the huge cornicopia of creativity. What they did was create another MTV. It's the same old s*** with a new label. Send us your best stuff and maybe we'll put it on TV... maybe it'll be seen.

Real change is not a new marketing angle... real change depends on architectural change. Ted Turner of CNN fame understood that the change in architecture from broadcast TV to cable and satelite would allow him to do something revolutionary. Today CNN doesn't seem that revolutionary. There are thousands of niche cable channels. But when Ted Turner started CNN with the idea of having 24x7 around the clock news people literrally thought he was a kook. He stood amongst the giants of NBC and ABC and said I want to do 24x7 news. It's hard to imagine that time. But amongst those generalists who at the time would have thought that there would be enought people in the world interested in just news?

Who want's to watch 24x7 around the clock news!?

The anwer to that was pretty much the entire world.

Well right now I pose you this riddle.

Who want's to watch high school girls talking about their latest crush on crappy quality web cam?

Who want's to see an old man tell his life story?

Who want's to see videos of a guy walking down the street talking into a camera on his way to the grocery store?

Well, believe it or not I already know the answer to that.

The answer is their friends, their family, and their peers.

And when you consider that everyone has friends, family, and peers doesn't that litterally mean that the potential audience for such a network is pretty much everyone in the whole world?

You bet your ass it does.

So is youtube this network of the future? Is videoblogging this network of the future?

[About youtube] I don't know. But I don't think so, for one thing this network can't be owned. I think they're pieces of the puzzle.

This network can not be incorporated like CNN. Sure parts of it can.. and maybe Youtube is one part of that... maybe. But it can't be owned because it's made up of people, not just one class of people... but eventually and ideally pretty much everyone on the planet.. Noone can own this network, the capacity of this network is not determined by pipes and bandwidth. It's capacity is litterally determined by the capacity of the people themselves. Their interest. Their passion. The number of friends, family and peers they have. Their ability to be the filters and propogaters of media for those friends, family, and peers around them.

The internet is a vastly different network than cable or satelite. And so much like the kooky visionary that decided people would be interested in watch the news 24x7. I believe that yes..the world does want to watch the ramblings of everyday ordinary people. And why not, they being everyday ordinary people themselves have a LOT in common.

As Francois Truffaut said... and as has been cited enclessly by vloggers.

"The film of tomorrow appears to me as even more personal than an individual and autobiographical novel, like a confession, or a diary. The young filmmakers will express themselves in the first person and will relate what has happened to them. It may be the story of their first love or their most recent; of their political awakening; the story of a trip, a sickness, their military service, their marriage, their last vacation...and it will be enjoyable because it will be true, and new...The film of tomorrow will not be directed by civil servants of the camera, but by artists for whom shooting a film constitutes a wonderful and thrilling adventure. The film of tomorrow will resemble the person who made it, and the number of spectators will be proportional to the number of friends the director has. The film of tomorrow will be an act of love." — François Truffaut, published in Arts magazine, May 1957 Source: Miami New Times

(video via Mefeedia)


Anonymous said...

I like this thought of yours.

"The capacity of this network is not determined by pipes and bandwidth. It's capacity is litterally determined by the capacity of the people themselves. Their interest. Their passion. The number of friends, family and peers they have. There ability to be the filters and propogaters of media for those friends, family, and peers around them."

Interesting times we live in!

Michael Meiser said...

Thank you.

If you find that interesting then perhaps you'll be interested in this little experiment we have going.

farmer said...

Let me respond to all your points:
- yes.
- bingo.
- right on.
- not really.
- I'll grant you that one.
- hooray.

But what I really want to add here is that words LOVE images, and images NEED words. It is not enough to simply throw pictures. One must also use words to communicate effectively. On this last point, your post rocks. Keep it up.

Holland Wilde

Michael Meiser said...

Thank you.

What you speak of is media litteracy... and of course that's precisely what's next... mass literacy. Not litercay on "mas media", but litteracy of media by the masses.

Similar to what the printing press did for written word.

But that took centuries... so how long will this take?

I was listening to a superb interview with Dave Winer... I love that dude, particularly because doesn't sugar coat anything and he's opinionated.

But the irony in this is that this isn't a technological revolution... it's socialogical.

When I say it's not about bandwidth and pipes... I mean that this nework will rest more in the minds of the people than in the pipes.

it's not about the phone... it's about the two people connecting with the phone that is the true change.

Bad metaphor... but hopefully through my fumbled words you can see a glimmer of what I'm getting at.

I'm going to have to clarify that someday better, but it'll have to do for now.