You Do that YouTube: How Streaming Video Has Changed the Web
Posted on Oct 14th, 2009
ST. LOUIS – What do all those cats playing piano in a Sanibel oceanfront condo mean for the web user? In 2005 – so long ago – three former PayPay employees created YouTube. Since that time, streaming video on the web has exploded, with YouTube leading the way.
But how has all this video access changed the internet? DemocraticUnderground.com and an article on eZine.com weigh in on this most popular web feature. Where is it going and how has it changed the user society?
Catching Up with the Politicians
With nowhere to hide, and campaigns literally hiring people to follow rivals around (think of Virginia’s George Allen’s “Macaca Moment”) the power of instant access to leaders has become one of YouTube’s most enduring legacies.
DemocraticUnderground.com bluntly puts it this way...
YouTube has made it possible for American voters to see what their candidates are saying and doing without ANY filtering whatsoever. Moreover, YouTube has made it possible for those same voters to communicate in a way that was not possible a mere decade ago.
The American people now have a way to get unfettered access to their politicians, and decide what they think and feel for themselves rather than being told what to think by some clueless, vapid talking head. American politics hasn't experienced direct engagement like this since the pre-Marconi days of Lincoln-esque whistle-stop tours.
It will take a few more years before a majority of Americans are net-savvy enough to know that they can find a clip of exactly what was said by whom, and when at the touch of a keyboard. But once that happens, the media will no longer be able to control the discourse, and keep the populace on their agenda.
The inevitable consequence of this revolution is that tomorrow's politicians will have to constantly keep in mind that everything, EVERYTHING that they say and do is a matter of public record.
Television by the People
Author Kim Green (eZineArticles.com) gives some examples...
Movies and TV Shows: While it still might not be replacing watching it on television, or as some people have come to prefer, on DVR, full length movies and TV episodes have begun to catch on online.
For casual fans and ardent viewers, the limitations of the smaller screens have not deterred them from watching favorites online.
Sports: About a decade ago someone came up with the brilliant idea of having pay-per-view packages where you could watch every pro football or college football game, no matter where you live, from your TV. Now, this popular endeavor has been expanded to the internet where, for a price, you can watch just about any sporting event live on your computer.
Access: YouTube has allowed regular Americans with access to their own online TV “channels,” which they can program and generate an audience. Viral video has become as important as TV ratings, but this time it can be the people who are the stars.
It is the immediacy and replay capabilities that have made streaming video such a potent internet feature. What goes viral next ends up everywhere around the world, with none of the filters of the old technology broadcasting.