Sunday, July 8

Rupert from twittervlog, one of my favorite video blogs as of late, posted this excellent video of his thoughts on videoblogging since returning from Pixelodeon Fest 2007 in L.A.

His words are of equal merit.

Today, I realised that everything i've been looking for is right here in front of me.

It's happening right now.

It might not be your dream, but it's mine, and I've only put the pieces together after meeting everyone at Pixelodeon and seeing all the curated sessions of films.

This is why i've fallen in love with internet video distribution. Funny how it's taken me so long to realise the obvious.

I guess i was too busy looking ahead for the one big idea, and not realising that it wasn't a 'show'.

As we say in Jedi school:
It's not the End, it's the Means Whereby.

And as the Dwarf said in Twin Peaks:
Let's rock.

I don't know this Jedi school that Rupert speaks of and I've never had the pleasure of following Twin Peaks, but Rupert's sentiment hits home for me.

Being in Los Angeles Pixelodeon was highly focused on the growth of videoblogging as an industry with a heavy focus on so called shows and "episodic content", but in it's optimism over future growth as an industry what most pleased me is it retained and remembered it's roots. It is at it's core simply a new method of communications and therefore as much of a communications industry as an entertainment industry. And of course this changes everything.

This is something I think audio podcasters so often forget in their own strive to grow into an industry.

We call video blogging "video blogging" and not "video podcasting" because it isn't television and it isn't only about news and entertainment. It's roots and all the things that are important to it come from blogging world and remebering those roots are what keep videoblogging going strong.

Like blogging, videoblogging at it's core is just ordinary every day people speaking their mind, sharing their stories and simply communicating. In that videoblogging has and is succeeding beyond many of our wildest dreams.

In the video blogging world we are already living the dream, vlogging IS a success... all the beautiful things we've dreamed of have come true... all the "overwhelming intangibles" have been there since the first day people picked up their camera and posted videos to their blog.

This amazing ability between people across the world to connect on a deep, profound and personal level is inherent in the video blogging medium. Much more so then good old fashion text blogging, photo blogging or even audio blogging.

One might say though that this "message in the medium" has even been inherent in the web since before blogging, and that videoblogging is simply an extension of the obvious... of what the internet already is with all it's blogs, wikis, bulletin boards, mailing lists, and even it's earliest bulletin boards. However, it is clear that videoblogging is currently and for the near and foreseeable future the height of this fulfillment and that as we move forward this new space will continue to bloom as it becomes accessible to more and more of the world. I truly believe we haven't even begun to reach the full potential of this sector; video as a tool for mass communications... not communicating TOO the masses... but for the masses to communicat with each other.

So while many, myself included, will always be struggling to take it to the next level, to grow this fledgling little hobby of ours into an entertainment and communications industry and to continue to improve on it and make it ever more accessible throughout the world the truth is we're already living the dream. We're already doing what we want to do.

Like blogging the majority of us may never make money off our video blogs, at least not directly, but that is of no consequence for us. Videoblogging connects us in new ways and opens not just new doorways but a whole realm of possibilities around the world. It's a very large step down that path to the new global village.

It is not about the entertainment for us... it's simply about a radical new shift in communications. All the power of CNN to connect with people around the world and much more is now afforded to anyone with a digital camera and internet access.

In many respects videoblogging has fulfilled on all those misdirected concepts of ubiquitous video telephones and then some. That we didn't realize that realtime one to one video wasn't the solution is inconsequential. The real answer is web-time one to many... and whatever role those original concepts of video telephony held we can now see that while they had may have their place they are to video misdirected. They are in fact as misdirected as the concept that Alexander Graham Bell had that the telephone would be the new radio, broadcasting messages to the world.

Recently I've read a lot of hype about the iPhone and despite the slow AT&T EDGE network, and despite the fact that it doesn't have a video camera and can only shoot still photos... despite this and yet because it is has ubiquitous and powerful wifi accessibilty with full and unprecedented access to all webservices (read: END to END interoperability) it will wether it gets it's video capabilities soon... or wether AT&T and the EDGE continue to suck... or even if apple refuses to open the platform to software development it has truly changed the game and will accelerate this world where we will all be able to participate in a ubiquitous and immersive media rich communications revolution. It has accelerated this eventuality by at least one or two years.

As our ability to both create and respond to each other with rich many-to-many audio, text, video and photo becomes untethered from the desktop the power and utility of these medium as tools of communication will expand exponentially.

Apple's iPhone's with it's many great promises and despite it's few minor flaws brings new and unprecidented access to this world of media rich communications on the street, in the world and puts it at our fingertips and in our pockets. That it doesn't yet fullfil every promise hardly matters. It has changed the game, set new precident and laid out the model for all others to follow. Within a year or two's time we'll not just have $500 iphones and $1000 Nokia N90 series phones but sub $100 phones which are capable of ubiqutiously accessing and creating many to many video, audio, and photo communications around on cellular networks, wifi, and hopefully even wimax... where everything we know now about these communications will simply explode and we'll realize huge new potentials and efficiencies we have yet to even dream of.

The model is already set, and some would say has been since the internet began, with it's inherent end-to-end architecture. All that remains now is to sharpen the toolsets and services, to cheapen and improve the hardware, to make it more accessible, and to enjoy, revel in and evangelize these new freedoms.

Rupert's video, shot so simply with a Nokia video cam as he speaks his mind rushing to work down london streets, not only summarizes the optimism I've felt about videoblogging since I discovered it myself in 2004 but is also for me a demonstration what it's all about, communicating and connecting with friends, family and people of like mind you have yet to meet no matter where they are in the world.

Re: Waking up at

P.S. Thanks, Rupert for the inspiration, I hope you don't mind my theivery of the idea and spirit of your message and I hope that maybe I've expanded on it in some worth manner if not just exposed it to a few more eyeballs. ;)


Rupert said...

Great post. I'm really glad you liked the video and that it inspired these thoughts. And it was great to be there with you in LA.

As always, you're totally on the money. An amazing, exciting time to be in the middle of, watching it happen all around us and overtake us. I like it when we have to catch up with what it's possible for us to do, rather than constantly trying to hack technology to do what we want.
As Jay D said in his About page on Moment Showing: "To me, this videoblogging thing is hot as shit... Make no mistake: we're making all this up."

Michael Meiser said...

"I like it when we have to catch up with what it's possible for us to do, rather than constantly trying to hack technology to do what we want."

A statement of truth. So often we struggle with the deficiencies of technology... but then on some great mornings... and I mean mornings in a metaphorical sense... we realize we have all the tools at our disposal to accomplish what we want.

In the most simple and real terms it sound like you had one of those mornings.

"I woke up this morning and it was beautifull and I had a great idea and I wanted to share it with all my friends around the world, and I realize... heh! I can!"

All the technological issues at that point simply fall away. You're just a guy sharing his mind with his friends no matter where they are around the world... and I'm just a guy responding... as if we were sitting around the table chatting while having a beer.

It's truely a profound change in the way we connect with one another.