YouTube has allowed for a limitless amount of creativity to take form over the past few years. No doubt, you can spot some real talented filmmaking there, but those who have that gift are in the minority. When it comes to live broadcasting, and I use that term very loosely, it is even worse.
I discovered Justin TV and Ustream about a month ago because “The Digital Life Show” was experimenting with live streaming. We had a few technical issues, but at least in that case, there was some actual content. That can’t be said of most of what you will find there.
What strikes me most about Justin TV in particular is how some people are streaming TV feeds or recorded shows and movies almost around the clock. The copyright issue definitely exists, but apparently the copyright holder has to make the first move in requesting the content be taken down.
Aside from the above, there is some interesting stuff available that is totally legit, like a live cam in Australia or a guy with a camera in his truck as he rolls down the highway. You can also follow “gamers” do their thing, which I suppose would interest some people.
There is however, an ugly side to the live streaming. The extreme narcissism, otherwise known as lifecasting, is breathtaking to behold. There are what seem to be endless pages of people - mostly attractive young females, who just sit in front of their web cams expecting to draw an audience for no other reason than that they are sitting in front of their cameras. It’s obvious who checks them out and why… Voyeurism has never been easier, especially when people seemingly invite you into their homes. These people have taken their cue from reality TV, and believe that fame does not come from accomplishment or talent, it comes from simply being seen and/or heard. That stands true even if you have nothing to say.
And speaking of reality TV… There are now more TV channels than we could ever have imagined possible. The problem is that content has not kept up with content providers. The audience is fragmented like never before, but what are they watching? When was the last time you checked your TV sched? It’s a sad state of affairs. We live in the golden age of editing, because in essence that is the most important element for any so-called reality program. These editors must be geniuses to even attempt to make programs about cupcakes and hog hunters seem remotely interesting, never mind entertaining. Scripted programs are rarer than they have ever been and that is sad for many reasons. One of the biggest is that there is less work for those who create and star in them. Just look at the death of the American soap opera, which will likely be totally extinct by the mid-way point of this decade.