by Mike Masnick

TV's Lost That Fleeting Feeling

from the it's-all-on-record-now dept

One of the more interesting stories to look for in the tech world is the unintended consequences of new technology that can often change the way you view something else. For example, television programming was always a "fleeting" media. If you missed something on television, you missed it. That was it. If you caught a rare moment on TV, then you were lucky. Over the years, technology has eaten away at that fleeting nature of television. First, it was the VCR and then the DVR. However, as the NY Observer notes, these days, it seems like YouTube has totally obliterated the fleeting nature of TV. Nowadays, if anything interesting, different or amusing happens on TV, you can pretty much guarantee that it will be available on YouTube within a few hours, and then passed around rapidly via sites like Digg. In fact, the author notes that he's gone back and now seen "fleeting" moments from TV in his past that he figured he'd never see again (and isn't always thrilled with what he saw the second time around). This isn't necessarily to say that it's a good or bad thing, but that people are starting to view what they see on TV as something entirely differently than the way it was viewed just a few years ago.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Someguy, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 12:39am

    Fleeting TV

    There's a show from the NorthWest (Oregon, Washington) that was named Ramblin Rod I used to watch as a kid. It aired from 1964-1997. It's assumed that this show was an inspiring basis of Krusty the Clown on the Simpsons, though the show was never 'that harsh'.

    The point I'm getting at is, if you never saw that show, you will most likely NEVER will. The television station that aired the broadcasts recorded over each tape for new episodes, leaving no official recorded history of this program.

    So, YouTube, put THAT in your tube and view it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Simon, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 3:43am

    With P/DVR's being so common, it's remarkable how similar TV watching has become to downloading shows from the Internet.
    If you download from the internet, you're saving a MPEGn stream to your harddrive to watch later.
    If you're using a digital recording device to record your digital TV then you're doing the same things (sans-Internet, although if it's a cable service, it's the same lines)
    Surely the next step is to move to Internet only?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Tommy, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 4:57am

    Simon, move to Internet only? It's already in progress. Here in the south, Bell South is expanding it's network to 24mbps to deliver voice, Internet, and television through one IP connection.

    I asked, is 24mbps enough? I still don't think so since a real-time HD signal will require 8mbps, most families have 4 or 5 TVs plus Internet & phone... But that's another topic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Can Duruq, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 5:22am

    I could not agree more with the author. I wanted to show the Zidane headbutt to one of my friends right after the match. I first made a move to Youtube but it was not there. Then I checked Wikipedia and there it was in animated gif format. It took a mere 10 minutes for that to come up. And the next morning, all sites like digg and reddit were full of links to youtube (and one included an angle i have never seen on tv)

    I really like it though. I feel like I am in control, not some guy who is determining what is on what channel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 6:04am

    It's good :) No reason not to catch certain moments in history, never know what they may mean later.

    Of course, I can see the Media industry suing them soon, but it'll be worthy until then.

    Especially since my time watching the TV anymore is 'fleeting' as well - too many good video games out there. If it's not a real good movie, I'll just skip it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Yet another Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 6:09am

    Where would the Colbert Report be without Youtube? Youtube (one of the best tubes of the Internet) is the bait on the hook. Even SNL did better while they had clips up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    topher31, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 7:34am

    Internet's equivalent of 15 minutes of fame

    3 weeks ago, I never heard of YouTube, now is one of the most talked about websites online currently.

    3 weeks before that I never heard of MySpace, but talk about that is starting to dwindle already.

    Before that, I never heard of craigslist, but then everybody knew about it suddenly.

    I think quite honestly that marketing for whichever fad website du jour suddenly floods the net with stories and comments about its website, they hire people to fill Slashdot, TechDirt, etc with stories and commentary about their website to a point when it becomes a household name.

    3 weeks from now, people will stop talking about or caring about YouTube, and another fad website will be making its rounds for another 15 minutes of Internet fame.

    If you want to talk about something that is fleeting, talk about YouTube just a little longer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Spyvie, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 7:40am

    Living in Phoenix in the early 80S, I witnessed a live hostage drama on the local news. Some guy held the anchorman (Bill Close?) at gunpoint for several hours forcing him to broadcast a rambling manifesto about cities full of homosexual men and a stream of fire ants, This went on for several hours but was never mentioned again, not even on the national news. I guess they were trying to prevent copycats.

    Another one I’d like to see again was Jim Rome getting knocked on his ass by Jim Everet on a live ESPN show.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 7:56am

    Stop watching CNN for your tech news. They only become 'fads' because the media excessively reports on them after coming late to the party.

    For those of us who have used those services from the beginning, (before the idotic media decided to make a fuss out of them) they are hardly a fad. There is a wide base of internet savvy people, unlike the media and yourself apparently, who have used and will always use these sites long after the media drops them.

    Blame the media for giving them 15 minutes of fame for the general cattle population. For those who the sites were intended for, they will always remain popular.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 9:13am


    I haven't had cable or sattelite in months. The 6-7 shows I want to watch are available via Bittorrent within a couple of hours of airing. By the next morning, it's sitting on my MythTV system waiting for me to watch, at my convenience.

    Who needs cable?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    DittoBox, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 9:48am

    Re: Fleeting TV

    You oughta read your linked wikipedia article before posting. It says that Groening himself denies that it was Rambil' Rod, but instead Rusty the Clown (Rusty Nails, again, from the NW).

    But your point remains.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    DittoBox, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Fleeting TV

    Oh, yah. One more thing:

    Po-zeshuns are fleeting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    shane, Jul 28th, 2006 @ 11:16am


    i hope that comes, bell was working pretty hard to get that through, but all they've done in br is run some fibers to the schools in baton rouge. The idea is to have a new fiber run within 5000 feet of every house and a 12 pair-24 pair to every house from that. MCI, Newtork USA, Quest, and ACSI are all running fibers to tie into the bell networks, Who knows what will happen....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 29th, 2006 @ 12:02am

    Jim Rome getting punched.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    FidoRock, Aug 9th, 2007 @ 4:23pm

    Re: Bill Close held hostage

    1982... I, too, watched it unfold live on TV and when it started and the announcer on the radio station I was listening to as I drove north on (Phoenix') 16th St blurted out what was happening, I thought it was the most inappropriate in a long string of off-color radio gags... until I got home and found out it was true. That was during a time that KOOL-TV was trying "something different" and having Mary Jo West and Bill Close in two different studios at the station, where they'd hand stories off to each other.. very "networky"... she was safe in her studio, whereas Bill was alone with his cameraman in his. I watched that bizarre statement being read live on TV... complete with wanting to establish a gay homeland in Canada's Northern Territory (in what is now Nunavut). As a (then) closeted gay man married to (at that time) a woman, this didn't help me at ALL in coming to terms with my sexuality. The whole idea of Bill Close having to agree to those demands and hear him speak those words was out of this world to me.
    Seattle, WA

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.