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Great piece on Gawker: The End of Television as We Know It

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  • Jeffrey Taylor
    http://gawker.com/5265239/the-end-of-television-as-we-know-it , but here s the good stuff: You see, with the internet, yes *the internet*, creators of
    Message 1 of 3 , May 21, 2009
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      http://gawker.com/5265239/the-end-of-television-as-we-know-it , but here's
      the good stuff:

      You see, with the internet, yes *the internet*, creators of serialized
      content can circumvent "the system" and produce their shows independently,
      in much the same way that filmmakers began began circumventing the studio
      system to develop films a few years back�-They raise money on their own,
      shoot the film they want to shoot, and then turn around and showcase at film
      festivals where, if the moon and the stars align just right, they're able to
      sell their film and it goes on to become a huge success. This model birthed
      some of the more smart, intelligent and important films of the modern era,
      shot from scripts that may have never seen the light of day otherwise in the
      traditional system, because they were "too edgy" or some horseshit like
      that. The problem, for years, with doing this with television was that
      content creators didn't have a way to showcase their product, they couldn't
      take it into a screening room and expect prospective buyers of content to
      sit there and spend hours watching a full season of television to see if it
      was worth a shit or not, but with the internet they now do. More and more
      Americans are watching more and more video online for longer and longer
      periods of time, so it stands to reason that sooner or later, someone is
      going to raise their own money, shoot their own full length show (half hour
      to an hour long) without network interference, put it on the internet, and
      it will become a cultural phenomenon, something that people, average people
      and not just early adapters, talk about around the proverbial water cooler
      at work. In fact, it's probably on the verge of happening right now. And
      then a network will swoop in and buy the show to bring it to those still not
      watching television on the internet, and other shows will be developed
      online and other networks will swoop in and buy them too, but eventually
      everyone will watch episodic shows online and there won't be a need for the
      traditional networks any longer. Hell, right now, Microsoft and Apple are
      both developing programs that will capture all of the video you want to
      watch by recording it live as it goes up onto the web and saving it for the
      user to view later, just like a DVR or TiVo, except for your computer and
      handheld electronic devices. These sort of software programs currently being
      developed aggregate video content from all over the web so the user can
      watch everything in one place instead of surfing around from site to site to
      watch the things they want to watch.

      In other words, the need for television networks to develop and air shows
      will evaporate. They'll still be there, it's a stretch to say they'll die
      off altogether, but they will never be the same. And we'll all be better off
      for that.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Enric
      While this excerpt goes into aspects of technology, it is not discerning. The main thing it s missing is that while there s a dropping of technological
      Message 2 of 3 , May 24, 2009
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        While this excerpt goes into aspects of technology, it is not discerning. The main thing it's missing is that while there's a dropping of technological limitations in producing content. The human limitations have not changed. On the viewing end, people still have only so much time and interest to spend on media. Unlike print while is non-linear -- you can read a book, blog, twitter stream to a point, and then come back and continue at any time later -- video and film are linear. If you stop watching a video 1/3 through and come back three days later, you lose the impact and need to start at the beginning. And you have only so many 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hour periods during you day to watch; depending on the linear media story length. The fact that livestreaming and technologies that companies like Microsoft develop allow automatic recording of media do not diminish the problem of limited time people have to watch but amplify it. It means that it'll be even more important to edit media into meaningful pieces that provide useful information, rather than having a massive glut of linear media to wade through.

        When the printing press arrived it didn't make everyone a Moliere, Shakespeare or Dickens. But it allowed them to be recognized and be known quicker. Still 99% of people who wrote were only interesting to immediate friends and family -- or less than 1% of people. While 1% of the very talented story writers are interesting to almost everyone.


        --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com, Jeffrey Taylor <thejeffreytaylor@...> wrote:
        >
        > http://gawker.com/5265239/the-end-of-television-as-we-know-it , but here's
        > the good stuff:
        >
        > You see, with the internet, yes *the internet*, creators of serialized
        > content can circumvent "the system" and produce their shows independently,
        > in much the same way that filmmakers began began circumventing the studio
        > system to develop films a few years back—-They raise money on their own,
        > shoot the film they want to shoot, and then turn around and showcase at film
        > festivals where, if the moon and the stars align just right, they're able to
        > sell their film and it goes on to become a huge success. This model birthed
        > some of the more smart, intelligent and important films of the modern era,
        > shot from scripts that may have never seen the light of day otherwise in the
        > traditional system, because they were "too edgy" or some horseshit like
        > that. The problem, for years, with doing this with television was that
        > content creators didn't have a way to showcase their product, they couldn't
        > take it into a screening room and expect prospective buyers of content to
        > sit there and spend hours watching a full season of television to see if it
        > was worth a shit or not, but with the internet they now do. More and more
        > Americans are watching more and more video online for longer and longer
        > periods of time, so it stands to reason that sooner or later, someone is
        > going to raise their own money, shoot their own full length show (half hour
        > to an hour long) without network interference, put it on the internet, and
        > it will become a cultural phenomenon, something that people, average people
        > and not just early adapters, talk about around the proverbial water cooler
        > at work. In fact, it's probably on the verge of happening right now. And
        > then a network will swoop in and buy the show to bring it to those still not
        > watching television on the internet, and other shows will be developed
        > online and other networks will swoop in and buy them too, but eventually
        > everyone will watch episodic shows online and there won't be a need for the
        > traditional networks any longer. Hell, right now, Microsoft and Apple are
        > both developing programs that will capture all of the video you want to
        > watch by recording it live as it goes up onto the web and saving it for the
        > user to view later, just like a DVR or TiVo, except for your computer and
        > handheld electronic devices. These sort of software programs currently being
        > developed aggregate video content from all over the web so the user can
        > watch everything in one place instead of surfing around from site to site to
        > watch the things they want to watch.
        >
        > In other words, the need for television networks to develop and air shows
        > will evaporate. They'll still be there, it's a stretch to say they'll die
        > off altogether, but they will never be the same. And we'll all be better off
        > for that.
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • Jeffrey Taylor
        See below. ... Absolutely. And my fear is that corporate momentum will take over before people, especially young and underrepresented people, can create a
        Message 3 of 3 , May 25, 2009
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          See below.

          On Sun, May 24, 2009 at 11:57 PM, Enric <enric@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          > While this excerpt goes into aspects of technology, it is not discerning.
          > The main thing it's missing is that while there's a dropping of
          > technological limitations in producing content. The human limitations have
          > not changed.
          >







          Absolutely. And my fear is that corporate momentum will take over before
          people, especially young and underrepresented people, can create a momentum
          of media democracy. Media in its current state thrives on elitism and
          paternalism....a feeling that people 'know what's best for the masses', and
          it also reminds me of the crack factories in the film New Jack City or
          producers of high fructose corn syrup....feels great, but it's not of much
          value...or is destructive. The biggest barriers to entry in the media now
          are now purely mental.




          > On the viewing end, people still have only so much time and interest to
          > spend on media. Unlike print while is non-linear -- you can read a book,
          > blog, twitter stream to a point, and then come back and continue at any time
          > later -- video and film are linear. If you stop watching a video 1/3 through
          > and come back three days later, you lose the impact and need to start at the
          > beginning. And you have only so many 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hour periods
          > during you day to watch; depending on the linear media story length.
          >









          This, and finding a happy medium between well-compensated engineers (screw
          the MBA-holders) and free open source codecs and software are key. We keep
          repeating that content is king, but we're beyond that now. There is good
          content out there, and we need to learn how to get the word out beyond early
          adopters and the 13-25 year-old market. The biggest failure of Web 2.0, for
          lack of a better term, is that people are too satisfied about the technology
          itself and are doing a crappy job at opening the possibility of these
          technologies to new audiences.

          This is a lonnnnng subject, but I notice a strong, erroneous disbelief in
          marketing amongst the code-writing community coupled with a strong,
          erroneous belief that the technology speaks for and will sell itself. There
          are a set of practices amongst software/technology markerters in Silicon
          Valley in elsewhere that works well for business-to-business markets and
          tech-savvy early adopters, but does not play well in Peoria. This needs to
          be address, or web technologies will continue to be unsustainable
          bubbletrends.


          > The fact that livestreaming and technologies that companies like Microsoft
          > develop allow automatic recording of media do not diminish the problem of
          > limited time people have to watch but amplify it. It means that it'll be
          > even more important to edit media into meaningful pieces that provide useful
          > information, rather than having a massive glut of linear media to wade
          > through.
          >








          This is where good marketing practices could help. Engineers could use
          psychographic research (i.e. research into how certain demographics of
          people behave) to use existing technologies that fit into people's lives.
          The flip camera is a good example of this, but there's so much more work to
          be done.




          >
          >
          > When the printing press arrived it didn't make everyone a Moliere,
          > Shakespeare or Dickens. But it allowed them to be recognized and be known
          > quicker.
          >







          I agree, but all we're getting right now when it comes to popular success
          are geeky Hugh Hefners, maybe some Tolkiens, some court jesters and a lot of
          Mickey Mouse Clubs. There's potential for so much more.




          > Still 99% of people who wrote were only interesting to immediate friends
          > and family -- or less than 1% of people. While 1% of the very talented story
          > writers are interesting to almost everyone.
          >
          >
          > --- In videoblogging@yahoogroups.com <videoblogging%40yahoogroups.com>,
          > Jeffrey Taylor <thejeffreytaylor@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > http://gawker.com/5265239/the-end-of-television-as-we-know-it , but
          > here's
          > > the good stuff:
          > >
          > > You see, with the internet, yes *the internet*, creators of serialized
          > > content can circumvent "the system" and produce their shows
          > independently,
          > > in much the same way that filmmakers began began circumventing the studio
          > > system to develop films a few years back�-They raise money on their own,
          > > shoot the film they want to shoot, and then turn around and showcase at
          > film
          > > festivals where, if the moon and the stars align just right, they're able
          > to
          > > sell their film and it goes on to become a huge success. This model
          > birthed
          > > some of the more smart, intelligent and important films of the modern
          > era,
          > > shot from scripts that may have never seen the light of day otherwise in
          > the
          > > traditional system, because they were "too edgy" or some horseshit like
          > > that. The problem, for years, with doing this with television was that
          > > content creators didn't have a way to showcase their product, they
          > couldn't
          > > take it into a screening room and expect prospective buyers of content to
          > > sit there and spend hours watching a full season of television to see if
          > it
          > > was worth a shit or not, but with the internet they now do. More and more
          > > Americans are watching more and more video online for longer and longer
          > > periods of time, so it stands to reason that sooner or later, someone is
          > > going to raise their own money, shoot their own full length show (half
          > hour
          > > to an hour long) without network interference, put it on the internet,
          > and
          > > it will become a cultural phenomenon, something that people, average
          > people
          > > and not just early adapters, talk about around the proverbial water
          > cooler
          > > at work. In fact, it's probably on the verge of happening right now. And
          > > then a network will swoop in and buy the show to bring it to those still
          > not
          > > watching television on the internet, and other shows will be developed
          > > online and other networks will swoop in and buy them too, but eventually
          > > everyone will watch episodic shows online and there won't be a need for
          > the
          > > traditional networks any longer. Hell, right now, Microsoft and Apple are
          > > both developing programs that will capture all of the video you want to
          > > watch by recording it live as it goes up onto the web and saving it for
          > the
          > > user to view later, just like a DVR or TiVo, except for your computer and
          > > handheld electronic devices. These sort of software programs currently
          > being
          > > developed aggregate video content from all over the web so the user can
          > > watch everything in one place instead of surfing around from site to site
          > to
          > > watch the things they want to watch.
          > >
          > > In other words, the need for television networks to develop and air shows
          > > will evaporate. They'll still be there, it's a stretch to say they'll die
          > > off altogether, but they will never be the same. And we'll all be better
          > off
          > > for that.
          > >
          > >
          > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          > >
          >
          >
          >



          --
          Jeffrey Taylor
          912 Cole St, #349
          San Francisco, CA 94117
          USA
          Mobile: +14157281264
          Fax: +33177722734
          http://twitter.com/jeffreytaylor
          http://organicconversations.com


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