Why can’t bloggers understand text turned to video?

Om Malik (who actually responded to my A-Listers slow down post yesterday), has missed the point of releasing products like DTV, which was released yesterday for the Mac. I’m continually amazed at bloggers, who are New Media plays, who are unable to understand the progression of video in the world of New Media and user generated content. If you were to come here and watch my back catalog of videos, you’d rightfully talk about what total shit it is. Honestly, unless you know me or you’re here to learn something from my “Clint on Tech” show, you’re not likely to find anything of value. Video diaries, which are the vast majority of vlogs being produced today, are not the future of user generated content, at least not content that’s for mass consumption. Themed content, including such illustrious genres as cooking shows, news shows, and technology shows are already here, and fiction content, which will entertain the masses, is coming.

User generated content is the long tail, which has been written about extensively. The appeal of user generated video content is the ability to generate content which exists solely in the long tail. With the barrier to entry at virtually nothing (a PC, camcorder and software can be had for as cheap as $700 or $800), the point is that the niche content that will never be produced by mass media now has an outlet. However, right now the community is just coming past the point where we’re getting over the idea that we can indeed put up whatever we want onto the Internet and people will watch it, and it’ll still be 6 months to a year before quality content with production values to rival cheap television production will be had. It’ll be another year or more after that before we can rival television for amount of quality content. Podcasting had the advantage of large amounts of out of work radio personalities, due to consolidation in radio from the likes of Clear Channel, and the talent, time and funding required to produce quality audio quality is significantly less than video. The talent is out there, but we’re still working to recruit it.

The irony in the entire situation is that in 1997 and 1998 (hell, even 2000) when blogs were just starting to attract good writers in droves, the vast majority of people would have looked at them and asked the same question they’re now asking about user generated video, “Who the hell would want to read (watch) this?” Without Radio Userland, Blogger, etc, it would have been impossible to enable the ease of publication and syndication necessary to give the bloggers, who are now accomplished writers, a platform to reach their audience. DTV, and other videoblog related items that are being released now with a dearth of content, are being released to provide the platform for publication and syndication that will be necessary to bring the droves of people into the video longtail.

Om is not alone here, Dave Winer, Steve Gillmor, and others have repeatedly poopooed video, when they not long ago were pioneering the same path. Why is it that bloggers, who were in the same position not 5 years ago, can’t seem to grasp the progression video is going to follow, when it’s so closely paralleled to the path blogging followed?


3 Comments on “Why can’t bloggers understand text turned to video?”

  1. Josh Goldman says:

    Right on the money, Clint. I run into this opinion all the time… otherwise intelligent people who don’t grasp that the declines in distribution cost to near-zero (and production capability for the average Joe) causes an explosion of content and the consumption of such content. we call it the democratization tipping point. Blogs, Podcasting… even things like Ebay in another realm have done this and it is aboslutely inevitable it will happen for video. It’s already happening, in fact.

    In 2 years we’ll look back and see that it followed the blog/podcasting/flickr model exactly… and we’ll wonder why it was even a debate that it would happen.

    –Josh Goldman
    Akimbo Systems, Inc.

  2. Kunga says:

    Clint’s Sharp insight into historical perspective is well put. Mass Media’s days are numbered and I believe they know it. Any serious student of media can see the writing on the walls. Alvin Toffler’s prediction of total media fragmentation will be fulfilled within our lifetimes. We are creating the end of the beginning of the Information Age. Historically speaking, “we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

    There are two f’s in Toffler. This is the single post I was trying to accomplish. But this system prevents postgers from editing their posts. Please delete this paragraph and the above two posts, leaving only this one in tact. Thanks Clint. You are a genius.

  3. [...] so clearly “gets it.” Clint also has some good tech videos. Check them out. Clint Sharp’s Blog an’ Vlog » Blog Archive » Wh [...]


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