Video is old technology. I grew up with it. So it must be pretty damned old. So why are people claiming that we are just entering the “age of video”?
Here is what’s happening. In the old days, we consumed video like we consumed theatre — as staged productions. Moves are plays staged in a different medium. Video was not used the way we use text — to sustain a dialogue over time. Why not? It was too expensive and complicated to do that. And distribution of video was limited to TV, home movies and cinema. Now we use the web too (in fact, I consume a large amount of video via the web). But the core idea is the same -video is a one off thing to be consumed. Not something that we use like text.
It is no huge surprise that things would start out this way on the web. As Fred Wilson points out, in the early days of the web, we have tended to replicate what we know how to do in the analog world online. So, as I mentioned, with respect to video, we uploaded movies, TV shows and home movies to the web to watch them pretty much the same way that we would have before.
But things are changing. As the costs of making video drop and internet channels make distribution easy, folks are starting to realize the potential for video to add a new dimension to sustaining dialogue over time. As Chris Anderson said a while back, this is exciting because video is a more powerful tool than text. We connect to video more intuitively and more deeply. So video can be a much better tool than text. That is what the upcoming “age of video” is all about.
Why go on about it here? I just read that Wikipedia will soon offer a video wiki component. This comment caught my eye
“On the internet, video is a static medium: it rarely changes once uploaded. In contrast, the success of Wikipedia relies on numerous volunteers constantly editing and improving each other’s contributions. Appropriate tools will hopefully reduce this dissonance, like Kaltura’s sequencer, which empowers users to remix videos directly online. Successfully translating its radically collaborative nature to multimedia content will be critical to Wikipedia’s transition into the age of video.”
Collaborative video? That will be interesting. Onward!
FOLLOW - Just for fun, check out the video of Michio Kaku embedded in Cringely’s blog. He is talking about what might happen when mankind builds “replicators” in 100 years and eliminates “scarcity”. How about that for starting a dialogue?