Thursday, October 26, 2006

Real People Media: One Big Karaoke Content Party

Okay, let's take this slow. Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock.

Go look at YouTube. What gives? It's a messy bunch of cheesy home movies, personal junk, and dumb video jokes which people gather around at work, at parties, gather everywhere to look at. We're glued to it. It's called "user-generated media" when you're talking to well-shod consultants. I call it Real People Media.

Same with MySpace. Again, someone bought it for a pile of money ... it happened last year. Fox Interactive, remember them? And what is MySpace? A bunch of homemade sites with music and bands and pictures of your cousin dressed in way too little clothing.

And Facebook ... well, probably before I publish this someone will have bought them. It's pictures of kids you go to school with ... and the stuff they like.

It really makes no sense.

And go all the way back to the start of social media. Start around 2000. Blogs. In the year 2000 there were about 53 or so. And here we are in 2006 and there 37.3 million blogs, per Technorati.

And what do blogs contain? Personal stuff. Or let the Pew Trust's Study on Blogging explain it
Blogs, the survey finds, are as individual as the people who keep them. However, most bloggers are primarily interested in creative, personal expression – documenting individual experiences, sharing practical knowledge, or just keeping in touch with friends and family.

So can we finally take "user-generated media" seriously? Haven't we seen enough to know on simple fact: we love this stuff!! It's real people showing other real people what they like, how they live, how badly they dance the pony. It slips the bonds of "professional" media. It's homey homemade TV and cool mixed up ripped off music and neighborhood citizeny news and somebody's sister's stories. It's underproduced and overdistributed. It's real.

It's one big karaoke content party, celebrating how to be fun, free and for real.