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January 26, 2006

Video Blogging

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

The digital tsunami has rolled over the print, music, and still-imagery businesses. Now -- what with fast connections and the video iPod -- it has reached the video and movies businesses. These two articles in Business Week seem to me to do a good job of sketching out the state of the web-video thang.

Interesting times for the media-middleman world, no?



posted by Michael at January 26, 2006


I've already heard several news analysts say that many at Disney believed having Steve Jobs on the board would give them the magic Digital Streaming Broadband Podcast Convergence Mojo they want.

Let me be the 10,000th (if the first here) to recall William Goldman's timeless "Nobody knows anything."

Posted by: Monte Davis on January 26, 2006 12:40 PM

Gives me a headache sometimes. Ah, for the good old days when three recording companies decided what we were going to hear... Not!

It's all for the good, I suppose, but the cacophony is brutal.

And, don't leave out satellite radio. I got a Sirius radio for Christmas, and I love it. Wrote a blog entry about it today.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on January 26, 2006 1:49 PM

Monte -

Ah, yes, but you forgot the first correlary to Goldman's law:

...except Steve Jobs.

Posted by: jimbo on January 26, 2006 2:44 PM

Michael -- Very interesting stuff. Of course I think that media middlemen will always exist because the most precious commodity that humans possess is time, and there is never enough time to sift through the mass of stuff that appears on the Web to sort out what is creative or interesting from the great mass of stuff that is mediocre crap. In a way, the links you put up serve this very purpose.

Sometimes the web is like the early episodes of “American Idol.” Everybody thinks that they have talent, or something new and interesting to say, but most people are either delusional or at best unrealistic about their actual talents. The difference is that on “American Idol,” those without talent are winnowed out, while on the Web, those without talent just keep on posting.

One other thing that I think is similar to “American Idol” is the defiance to any authority or criticism, no matter how reasonable. It is interesting to see people who DO have some basic talent actively fight the idea that there might be some point in perfecting their skills through training or practice. Instead, they believe that they possess a “gift” which is already total, intact and entire, and is only waiting to be displayed or discovered. So, too, there are now tons of indie filmmakers, musicians, artists who just can’t wait to disgorge their undigested effluvia onto the world. The thing is, some of them would be significantly better if they could only wait a bit.

Historically, this situation is similar to the wonderfully abundant number of pamphlets that appeared in the 17th and 18th centuries, many of them self-published. Much was produced that was vibrant and still historically significant today, but in the long run, most reasonable people saw a need for editors and publishers to serve as clearinghouses for writers and filmmakers. I think that video blogging ultimately will head in the same direction.

Posted by: Alec on January 26, 2006 2:52 PM

Note the photograph of the female host of Rocketboom, from her own website:

Technology may change; human nature doesn't.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on January 26, 2006 4:43 PM

Alec: Your comments bring to mind one of my favorite psychological studies, Unskilled And Unaware Of It.

The shrink had a bunch of people take tests, then asked them to estimate how well they had performed. The ones who actually did well on the test - the competent ones - tended to have only a middling opinion of their own abilities. But the ones who scored badly invariably thought they were the cat's pajamas.

The shrink posits that the harsher self-criticism common to the competent test-takers was the cause of their having developed competence in the first place.

So the answer to the age-old question "do dumb people know how dumb they are" is no, and that's why they remain that way.

Posted by: Brian on January 27, 2006 1:10 PM

"Unskilled and unaware of it" sounds like a good title for my autobiography ...

A friend and I were talking about middle-aged memory challenges the other day. I was a tad annoyed by my own. She said she'd moved past that. The key: she'd let herself forget what it had been like to have a good memory. "Once you've done that, it's easy sailing," she said.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on January 27, 2006 1:34 PM

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