Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's the TV guy

I've heard that Online TV is over-taking broadcast TV. I'll admit that I'm not certain that's true, though. I'd like for Online TV to take over, because in my vision for the future, there is a TV station in every town, and a radio station on every block: I want a total glut, and then, our media can become truly localized, yet still global: a massive inter-connected network, instead of a fiefdom radiating out from the twin coasts of America. I think that if we were blessed with a widely distributed, yet fully local web of media, it would have the beneficial effect of making us feel part of the media, and part of society, again, instead of the isolated little atoms so many of us feel like, now. I think that Online is the easiest, most cost-effective way for this to happen.
But, unfortunately, it's not there yet. Half a million hits of some 5 minute clip of a kid riding home from the dentist is nowhere near competition for 20 million households tuning in to Two and a half men. Even 5 million hits on a 2 minute clip of a cat playing the piano is no real match for the media behemoths.
That's not to say that there is no online content worth your time. Of course there's Youtube. But, how about something a bit more in-depth content wise? Well, apart from VBS, which I still count as the gold standard, there's Crackle (I kinda like Woke Up Dead) and Blip but both have some serious flaws (Crackle is still heavily based on syndicated rebroadcast, has really short original content, and more commercials than broadcast TV. Blip is unwieldy and quality control is limited). Then, there are also-rans like Punkcast and Listen Up! and Democracy Now! and Deep Dish and Coffee House that are all very good, noble, "A+" efforts, but don't really satisfy. But, maybe if we started really supporting them, they would improve. I think they would if we were vocal about what we wanted. But, bear in mind, we're in the very early stages, here. Of course sites like Hulu and Youtube are dominating. Hulu is basically treating the Internet like syndication, and Youtube is treating it like a VFW hall, showing home movies of Ed and Martha's trip to Yellowstone. But, if we continue to support them, and all these other options, it's only a matter of time until the content will catch up to our desires. Heck, somebody chancing upon this little blog may be the next Uncle Miltie!

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