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    This is the personal blog of Simon Kendrick and covers my interests in media, technology and popular culture. All opinions expressed are my own and may not be representative of past or present employers
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Two great videos and the importance of distribution

The video above – Dr MIchael Wesch’s Anthropological Introduction to Youtube – has, at the point of writing, received over 112,000 views. It was uploaded just over a week ago. Not bad for a 55 minute video

The author has past form. A previous video of his – the Machine is us/ing us – has over 6.1m views.

As Dr Wesch mentions in the top video, the Machine is us/ing us grew exponentially in popularity. It spread through word of mouth and grew via Digg and del.icio.us. User generated filtering led to user generated distribution.

But how can the content rise to the fore? It helps that Dr Wesch produces captivating videos but as he points out, 9232 hours of video are uploading to Youtube per day. Six months of Youtube videos equate to sixty years of always on network TV content.

Blogs can of course promote user generated content. But Technorati tracks over 112m blogs. How can a blog rise to the fore?

This question is bubbling around my head at the moment, but I think it points to the continuing necessity of mass media. These may be traditional, but they can equally have spawned bottom up from the Internet.

There needs to be a guarantor of quality content out there (insert joke about quality of content on mainstream media at the moment). Both for people to consume, but more importantly it needs to exist to attract the talented people that create quality content.

Because in the current climate I’m not convinced that quality can naturally rise to the top. There is a good chance of it being sidelined by a Numa Numa or a Tay Zonday.

While The Machine is us/ing us beat the Superbowl adverts (average cost $3.6m) in popularity, what are the chances of these videos having as many views if they were released virally? They could potentially have been as successful and possibly more if the stars align in the right place, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The event, the television event, brought people together.

Mass media still has a future. It may not be perfect, but for me it is the best method for talent to reach an audience.

sk

Mygazines and online magazine sharing

Everything is Miscellaneous points to Mygazines, a new website where people can upload and share their magazines.

My previous post was on piracy; would this venture come under the banner? Perhaps, though I’m not sure whether content owners would be as keen to pursue the owners in court (not yet, anyway)

  • Unlike music or films, magazines have a built in obsolescence – whether weekly, monthly or longer
  • It is not just the content being lifted, but the advertising as well
  • The popularity and mass appeal is unproven

A nice feature of Mygazines is the ability to tag individual articles as well as magazines. This means people can search for specific content – whether it is jokes, recipes or technology essays – without having to guess which magazines to trawl through.

But the site is almost a no-win situation as if it proves popular, magazine owners may go after it. I’m not convinced it will get to this stage as

  • I see the site as informing users of new magazines and driving them to those destinations – on or offline. In the first instance, I would find a useful article through Mygazines. In the second instance I would go straight to the website of the magazine I had previously read. This would make Mygazines transitory.
  • Assuming the content is online, why would users want to scan through pdfs when there are fully functional web articles out there
  • And as David points out; the site is slick but the process of uploading magazines certainly isn’t

I’ll be keeping an eye on the types of magazines uploaded and the frequency of uploads as an indication of whether the venture is taking off.

sk