There was a time on the Internet when if you wanted to find something entertaining to watch, you had to either hear about it word of mouth (or word of chat) or go fishing through piles of rubbish in order to pull out the very few gems. People would primarily use their own private websites to publish their works and these were often hard to find. Some things made it a little easier, such as blog sites that kept lists of things that people of similar mind might enjoy, but still it was a labor of filtration, often laden with huge amounts of porn.
With the coming of YouTube and other similar video-content sites, however, these works of art started to make their way into a central location. Over the years, this process has evolved. Most people still keep their original websites in order to host their own videos and use YouTube as more of a promotional device, sharing bits and pieces and hoping that you’ll eventually migrate where they want you. Others choose to let all their content out on YouTube, preferring exposure over exclusivity. And an even newer breed simply chooses to skip the website altogether, using a YouTube channel as their main source of content.
Whatever the ultimate decision, it is now possible to find a single video that you like and then go straight to the source, sifting through all of the creator’s other videos and even finding more great content via the other users that the creator has favorited. You can fill your subscriptions list with everyone you like and get regular updates. It has become customized content on-demand, and it is good.
Today I share some work from a few artists that are my particular favorites. The first is a video from Brad Neely. He started out with his own page and eventually gained so much recognition that his catalog got snatched up by Comedy Central. This made it difficult to find, especially considering that particular site’s rather horrible sorting method. Now, Brad Neely has once again seen the light (or just lost his contract with CC) and all his great stuff can be found on YouTube.
Another set of videos that make me smile are those of the infamous Foamy the Squirrel. Originally, Foamy creator Jonathan Ian Mathers just used his website, as many others did. Once YouTube began to take off, he quickly moved over. Most of his content is still on his main site, though this is mainly due to his store being there. Once they figure out a way to combined YouTube with online shopping, I’m sure he’ll be right there at the head of the pack to convert.
Finally comes a channel that barely had any roots pre-YouTube. Sexy geek-goddess (and my personal nerd-crush) Felicia Day made her name famous by acting in many Joss Whedon productions, but really broke out when her web-series The Guild became popular. Since then, she’s started her own YouTube channel that has content exclusively for it and moved all the episode of The Guild over so that they’re easier to find and sort through. Day is a pretty tech-savvy lady, so it’s no wonder she slid easily into the next generation of video content. Below is an episode of her new geek news/content program, The Flog.
So now, instead of trundling through the jungle of the Internet, dodging the spears of shopping sites and the poison darts of viruses, I can simply jump on YouTube and see what my subscriptions have to offer for that day. I have to wonder, though… will all media eventually follow this path? Music has already gone over to digital almost exclusively and most television shows can be found on sites like Hulu. Will the age of television be gone as people use their computers to find their media? Or will television be forced to adapt, ignoring their regularly scheduled programs in favor of a click-and-choose system that allows viewers to watch what they want, when they want?
I suppose only the future holds the answer to these and other perplexing questions. Personally, I’m hoping that TV does evolve. Of course, that would mean that cable companies and other affiliated businesses would have to evolve with the media or give up the ghost for good. I have a strange feeling that they will fight the change every step of the way in order to hold onto their waning profits.
Until next time, dear readers, keep your eyes glued to the future.