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June 14, 2007

What If Video Saved the Radio Star?

by Molly Sheridan

Hi, everyone. Thanks for including me in this great conversation. I've been wondering if we're getting carried away by this "broadband is changing everything" supposition. I'm under 30. Too old for Facebook, perhaps, but young enough to have made my only career out of online content delivery. Yet I still buy tickets to real plays, museums, and concerts, even if I make the purchase online because I followed a link from flavorpill.

If the little sphere I walk around in indicates anything, the technology isn't dictating a drastic overhaul in what artists want to create or cultural consumers want to experience at the base level--no fundamental truths about the human condition have been nullified by the clips posted on YouTube. (Yet, anyway.) What current circumstances are forcing is a massive overhaul in access. Right now, you can go back and experience that video whenever you want, whether or not MTV ever broadcasts it again. You can adapt it. You can see what they're doing to it in Japan.

In the chaos this explosion is currently creating, the traditional institutions that will step to the fore are the ones willing to truly learn the language and concentrate on how they can grow and position themselves to lead the pack. Because yes, after years of massive domineering corporate control, maybe we're a little punch-drunk on the power that we've gained to create and promote the art we love, regardless of the $$ potential. Hey, ever dreamed 22 million people would watch you rock out on your guitar? Think you can make a better TV show than the network channels? Try it. You're guaranteed it will be better than The Bachelor, at least.

Yay! I can take photos for everyone, not just mom's fridge. Creative culture is more a part of the everyday lives of Americans because they are being encouraged to create. Isn't this what we wanted? But so far it still takes a name like Will Farrell to make it profitable online. No matter how great access to 6 billion options sounds, we're paradoxically on a hunt for the cream and access has made us very tough critics. This is where our established institutions can take their street cred and step into the fray.

Not sure how to proceed while you're learning this new language? Sad that the local paper has fired your arts critic? Take a step, open a door, start small and simple. Find three popular bloggers in your town and offer them press tickets to your next show. See what happens. Access doesn't have to mean giving away your art for free.

Posted by msheridan at June 14, 2007 5:42 AM

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