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The great Web picture show March 19, 2007

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Essays, Social Media.

Every age gets the culture it deserves. The maturing Internet is growing up a generation of unfocussed though not necessarily illiterate digerati.

Call it textual intercourse for the attention-challenged in a participatory culture. In consuming entertainment, we snack and nibble on one-minute pop eye candy; clickable movies and TV; video games and music clips.

Not every munchie is created equal in the media snacks dispensary. Art aficionado? Click online galleries for your instant fill of fine art, reduced and in affordable bite-sizes. With home-brew PDF reader Bookr, does the book still have an edge, much less a place on our reading list?

Anyone now can potentially have their own network with Web TV. No wonder start-ups and company CEOS are talking about professionally produced online content to replace user-generated videos. They believe that is what people will eventually want.


First it was Joost which focuses on professional content. Then Veoh, which lets viewers download programs of any length with the quality of high-definition television. Now Vuguru wants some of those eyeballs.

Brainchild of former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Vuguru is an independent production company devoted to online video. Read Eisner’s interview here

We are not interested in a technology platform for anything other than to get it out there any more than I would have been interested in slow motion as the end product of sports coverage. What’s interesting in a sport is the game. How you shoot it, and how you use technology, just makes it more attractive. But the game is the answer, and we’re interested in the game, not the camera. Michael Eisner, Disney CEO

Vodpod, launched June 2006 by San Francisco startup Remixation, lets you share videos in a new way. You can build collections with friends or compile from sites like YouTube or MetaCafe. Already enthusiast groups are forming around topics like birding and unicycling. Watch co-founder Mike Hall talk about Vodpod:

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/01/PID_010089/Podtech_ScobleShow_VodPod_Demo_Intervi.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/scobleshow/technology/1336/vodpod-cofounder-shows-cool-video-sharing-service&totalTime=1450000&breadcrumb=3F34K2L1]

The maturing Internet will really present us with two options: watch all we want on one site ala GooTube or pick and mix from millions of sites, owned, created and controlled by hundreds of thousands of entities.

As a scrappy, independent start up, YouTube created a marketplace for videos. Although it’s now the defacto place to search for video, it has not quite generated the network effect of eBay, a true peer-to-peer marketplace.

The danger to GooTube is when its vaunted marketplace disappears if its video library is diminished. Just like Napster amounted to very little when the music was taken away.

Now that Google owns YouTube, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have all videos on GooTube. Imagine if GooTube consolidates its position to own video search. Most people will go there to find video (since other search on the Web sucks.) If you own rights to any video, GooTube then probably becomes the media behemoth you have to do a deal with if you want your content seen.

So if you own video, would you go license all your content to GooTube, helping them to cement their position as the one place to go for video online? The writing is on the screen.

    distributed, decentralized shareable video




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