Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Jeff Jarvis: Exploding TV

Jeff Jarvis writes on his blog today:

Exploding TV fraternity grows

He cites:
"See also Vloggercon. See often RocketBoom, a vlog. See every day."
Then he goes on to say:
Last week, when there was much talk about what the tsunami videos mean to the future of citizens video online and on TV, I said outlined to both the Wall Street Journal and On The Media (transcript here) why I think the elements have come together for the explosion of TV. I've said it before but it keeps getting truer:

1. Cheap equipment. The cameras are getting better and costing less while the audience's tolerance for quality (thanks to warfront satphones) is decreasing and those lines are crossing so yuou can produce video that's good enough for not much money.

2. Easy tools. See Visual Communicator, above. See Mac tools.

With cheap and easy equipment and tools, anybody can create credible video inexpensively.

3. Distribution. Bandwidth and hosting are expensive. Bandwidth costs are coming down. But BitTorrent solves the problem by spreading the cost of serving across the audience and it will soon be ready for prime time. Add RSS (a la podcasting) and the ability to subscribe to a show and get it in the background. Add ubiquitous wireless broadband, coming soon. Jon Stewart's Crossfire rant is the proof of the pudding: It got a few hundred thousand viewers on big, old CNN -- and if you missed it, you missed it -- but on BitTorrent and iFilm, it got at least five or six million viewers.

The new, distributed network is far more powerful that the old, closed network. And note well that this is the network nobody owns.

4. Search. The last problem was finding the video. But thanks to metadata on blogs, among other things, you'll be able to find video. The tsunami videos are the proof of that.

In the old days of TV, a few months ago, if you wanted to make a show you had to have expensive equipment and expertise and if you wanted the show to be found, you had to know a guy named Rupert and have a fortune for marketing.

In the future of exploding TV, a few months away, anybody can create video programming and do it inexpensively with new equipment and tools; they can distribute it online and they can "market" it (that is, it can be found) thanks to metadata and search and links. All this levels the playing field.

I feel the need for a Death of Networks summit. Coffee's on me.

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