From Text To Audio To Video… Easy Creation Makes Its Mark

from the trends-to-watch dept

Citizen journalism is a term that’s getting a lot of attention these days, but citizen media may be the real trend under way. It seems that the tools of media creation are getting easier and cheaper every day. Blogs did it for text; podcasting (though, vastly overhyped by some) is trying to get there with audio — and the next obvious place is video. Podcasting may still be getting its sea legs, but Google is already looking to archive and search personal videos from individuals. Touted as video blogging, the service will allow the public to submit their video take, or takes, as it were, for public consumption — which sounds somewhat similar to the recently launched Our Media project, by Brewster Kahle’s Web Archive. Meanwhile, receiving even more attention today, web-based TV network Current — the youth-oriented venture spearheaded by Al Gore — will put its spin on the same concept with news segments on the latest buzz, as determined by Google search data. The progression seems natural, if not inevitable — cheaper tools of production allowing anyone to create media. Text is the easiest, but it’s not hard to see audio and video following. Giving amateurs the means to produce and distribute their own content is certainly a noble beginning, but as we’ve seen with blogs and podcasts, quality control could play a far bigger role in any individual broadcaster’s staying power. While it’s likely that many of the new content will be derided as being weak (or just plain painful to read/watch/listen), that isn’t really the point. It comes with the territory. As the tools of production are spread further, the average quality may decrease, but the ability for a few to produce content that was never even possible before far outweighs the mountains of bad content that will be produced.

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