Friday, January 12, 2007

Someone's Reading This?

What's Playing In My Head: "Hello, Hello", by Brown Sauce

Quote of the Day: "In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move." - Douglas Adams

While I wasn't looking, someone read my blog. This is, of course, totally unexpected and unusual. I will quote Mediocre Fred:

And I got chortles aplenty from his attempt to lay down some rules for posting videos on YouTube. As I have never actually watched anything on YouTube (except for the video on Brian's site), I will defer to his knowledge. As as economics nerd, though, I did want to take issue with one thing he said:

It's like there's no incentive to put out quality work. You'd think that the incredible accessibility of a site that allows anybody, anywhere to share videos that they created with hard work and talent would encourage amateur filmmakers to put out solid productions, constantly one-upping each other until the line between amateur video and professional video is practically non-existent.

I don't see why that would be true. In the information marketplace, the existence of sites like YouTube reduces the barriers to entry, which only creates a wider range of options, not necessarily a better one.

He is, of course, correct.

What gets me is how often I see computer ads (especially ones for the ever-smug Mac, which needs to be drop-kicked) about how easy it is to make pro-quality videos. Then I look online and see that someone told the Huns about the iMac.

After thinking about this over the weekend, I've come to the conclusion that one of the problems is this: cheap, low-end video "equipment" (ie, webcam, stick mic, Handicam, etc.) is way too accessible and affordable, while high-grade stuff is way out of the reach of Joe Average. That leads to low-quality people making low-quality product with low-quality equipment, more or less because they can. I guess it's pretty much the same as the early days of radio, when anyone with a rudimentary understanding of electronics and enough pocket change to send off for a radio kit could be a broadcasting star.

The only thing is, I don't think this is a fad. As long as there are 14-year-old high school versions of Beavis and dateless wonder anime fans, crap videos will exist and flourish on sites like YouTube. Which will, in turn, ensure that I will repeately pull my eyeballs out of their sockets in disgust.

On the other hand, there's a new DCLugi video and a new God, Inc. out. So life ain't all bad.


UPDATE: First comment I see on the DCLugi vid:

"I think the problem is that a few talented people exist on YouTube, but it's wading through the crap to find them that's the problem."



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