Web Video and the Cambrian Period
Hmmm..... read that second sentence
Web Video Madness!
USA Today columnist Kevin Maney says the Web video craze has gone off the deep end. How long will consumers be content to watch videos of people slathering butter on their heads to combat graying hair? Or teenyboppers bouncing around lip syncing to pop music? "Web video sites are proliferating like bunnies that broke into a vat of Viagra," he says. Noted tech blogger Om Malik simply calls it "the madness." There are now more than 240 online video sites. Venture Capital firms invested upward of $156 million in online video in the first half of 2006. Most of these sites will fail, Maney says, just like all the Web-retailing sites of the mid-to-late Nineties. Remember eToys and pet'scom? Well, now we have Eefoof, Bix, Guba, Stickam, and Frozen Hippo, each wanting to become the next YouTube. "This is classic American capitalistic thinking," Maney says, "believing that if there's one prize in the box, there must be another--even though such thinking is usually proved wrong." He says business is still looking for the next Google, eBay, and Netscape. And he reminds us of the dark side of video sites: "For all its usage, YouTube isn't making any money yet. These other guys are copycats at best, offering very little to differentiate themselves from the leader." -
Honestly? ME! If slathering butter on my hair gets rid of grey.. well hell.. I'll try that! ;-)
All you have to do is go to standard broadcast outlet (you know, that TV thing in the basement) and tune into a 'reality television' show.
Watch one of these. Take out the highlights (and pull all the fake 'tension' of 15 minutes of crap before they make the hot blonde eat a live African tree spider)... hey.. it's YouTube!
There is an (apparently) insatiable appetite for this stuff. Average people doing (sometimes) extraordinary things. Or, just average people doing average things... even that seems to catch folks fancy.
Plug in the Long Tail equation that the internet provides and you've got an almost infinite audience for almost all content, no matter how bad.
I do agree there will be a shakeout (there always is) but it makes sense. We're in the Cambrian period of internet video. Remember reading about that in school? It was the period in Earths history where 99% of all living things that ever existed on the planet lived.... only 1% remains. You've got to have that Cambrian explosion to decide what designs work right, throw out the silly creatures with 5 legs and 3 heads and settle on that 'best' 1%.
And, of course, the ride is always fun. Enjoy it while it lasts.