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Deeper analysis of VoIP

Youtube’s Ancestry

Posted by tggokul on December 4, 2006

It is fascinating that Youtube, a company that thrives on user generated content could gather so much moss and become such an household name. So I started working backwards to trace the lineage of this phenomenon.

My first stop was at the print media. The most popular kinds of user generated data in that industry was “Letters to the Editor” or if the writer was a prominent person maybe “Guest Editorials”. Some of these articles were good and had a good reader base,  but this was NOT the reason why people bought newspapers. So even though it was an essential component, it was not THE thing that drove the masses to buy newspapers.

Next came the electronic media. Again there were instances of citizen journalists way back in those days, but these journalists were used only when the news producer thought that it was not worth the time to send one of his top notch reporters and the story could be easily covered with a local hand. Again just like in the case of the print media,  viewership was not dependent on these stories.

Then there were shows like ‘Candid Camera’ or ‘Amateur video tapes’ which kind of brought user generated content to the forefront. But it was reality shows like Survivor or Big Brother that shot it to limelite. Now there might be arguments as to whether reality shows can be equated with “user content” as defined by YouTube and Wikipedia, and my question to these naysayers is, why not? Ordinary Joes and Jills created content (maybe in a different form called ‘episodes’ or ‘slots’) and were the heart and soul of these shows. These shows were very sucessful . ‘Survivor’ shot CBS to the top, and there were so many success stories ( ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’, ‘Who wants to marry a millionaire’ etc etc).

I believe the likes of Youtube are direct descendants of Reality TV.  Take a bow, Media Companies. You are the pioneers of a great phenomenon ( Now I am sure they will start filing copyright suits 🙂 )

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