Facebook: the new media space of wonder

I was doing some research for a paper I’m writing and found myself over at the Qik website watching a (bad) video from a football game.  Near the end of the piece, a kid walks up to the guy with the camera and says, “Are you really gonna put this on Facebook?”  Not only was he, but he’d just been streaming it live.

The sheer wonder in that kid’s voice, however, reminded me of my youth and how I felt about television.  I was on TV a couple of times as a youngster, and I remember friends asking, “You’re gonna be on TV?”  Their wonder had the same inflection of this young kid asking if the video was going to be on Facebook.  “Are you really gonna put this on Facebook?”

Those of us who work in the traditional media space — especially television — should pause here and consider the hoof beats of the apocalypse, for the wonder of broadcasting has been commodified, and it points once again to the reality that the personal media revolution is the real disruptor of the business of traditional media.

“Are you really gonna put this on Facebook?”

Anybody can be a broadcaster these days and the playing field is social media. YouTube, Qik, Ustream, Skype, Mogulus, Squidoo, ooVoo (which allows multiple inputs), and a host of other applications make it easy for anybody to broadcast a football game and have some kid come up and ask, “Are you really gonna put this on Facebook?”

Media companies have no choice but to get into the world of personal media and compete, and if Facebook is the platform of choice for future eyeballs, then so be it. Quality is quality, and it will rise to the top, if we can find the willpower to hang in there until profitability is enabled.

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