Thursday, October 12, 2006
I’m on a bit of a Marshall McLuhan kick this week, with YouTube’s acquisition to Google still in the air.
Why did Google take it when they had their own video service? Because Google’s wasn’t as popular. And why not? Because Google approached video as information. Youtube saw it as television.
This is not about videos, it’s about television, and the future of television most importantly.
YouTube, aptly named, since “You” (= My) and Tube (= Television) precisely describe television’s reconfiguration in the Communication Age. Yes, and MyTube would’ve sounded a bit weird. But MyTube would’ve seemed a bit, well, narcissistic (ah, the truth about teenagers and MySpace is written in the name!). And it would’ve missed the function of Communication as it’s applied to television. Since television is configured as a broadcast medium, it’s reconfiguration is as a communication medium. MyTube would’ve missed the point. YouTube captures it: television communicates only if it’s seen by others with whom one is communicating (namely, one’s friends, or social network).
out of tuning?
The social aspect of television is the reflection: to see others seeing what you’re seeing. To share the experience of watching. Well, we don’t often watch television that way any more. Sharing couches and armchairs, turned and tuned into the same network broadcast, primetime, dinner tray, dog splayed out on the floor thinking it’s all about him. We live in a play-shifted, time-shifted day and age in which communication is as likely to happen asynchronously as it is to happen at all: that is, over the internet and not face to face. YouTube is about watching socially, but of course from one’s own computer, out of synch in time, but in synch in terms of the content.
The new generation doesn’t sit down to watch prime time tv together. It’s on YouTube, which provides the asynchronicity of experience, personaliz-ability of tags, uploading, favorites lists, channels, and a play duration much better suited to consumption than tv. Content in minutes, not half hour blocks. And played, of course, over the medium that’s mine, that’s mobile, that’s interactive, and that’s connected: the computer.
Google bought YouTube. Makes perfect sense.
source: pay attention to You-Tube
tartito da ---gallizio
in the fine out-of-the-tuning era