In spite of the unrelenting rain (and the fact that it was post lunch), Mediabistro Circus’s video seminar featuring Jim Louderback, CEO, Revision3; Robert Scoble, Managing Director, FastCompany.TV; and Dina Kaplan, Co-founder and COO of Blip.TV, had us all squished in like sardines — testimony to the high level of interest online video has elicited in recent months.
Jim Louderback launched the discussion, talking about how the advent of online video has moved past TiVo, changing the landscape so that it's not just anytime, but also anywhere and on any device. "It’s all about consumers taking control… prime time is now all the time." His view is that video is going from mass to special interest: "the mass market has splintered." Online video that targets focused content choices can be very profitable (he cites Scoble’s fan base as an example.)
Dina Kaplan talked about how a new model is increasingly allowing artists to control the music industry. She cited Chamillionaire as a prime instance: an artist who toured on his own to raise money, and who built up his own fan base and network online, to the point that when he finally approached the music labels, "they needed him more than he needed them."
Kaplan’s view on the future of video: "Content creators will have more and more power. Distributors will compete with one another for the best talent – and this includes distributors like YouTube and Blip.tv, not just major networks." She ended things by quoting Walt Mossberg of the WSJ: "The Web is in the process of becoming a video medium."
After fumbling with several wires and three cell phones (yes he always carries around three cell phones), the much anticipated Robert Scoble flashed a projection of all his current web activity on the wall behind him. Accompanied by an overwhelming display of his Twitter feeds (he follows 23,000 people on Twitter, which he modestly notes translates to about one tweet per second!) he told us about the impressive number of Web applications he uses.
According to Scoble, he was the first person in the US to break the news about the China earthquake – information that reached him via a tweet from a fellow twitterer based out of Beijing.
Scoble drew attention to the work of others like Gary Vaynerchuk, who runs the video blog Wine Library Tv and to sites like dotSUB.com (which allows users to translate video in to several languages) and Asterpix.com (which incorporates interactivity into the video – click on a person’s face for instance to get more information about them.)
While he did briefly talk about his work on FastCompany.TV, unlike the other two speakers, Scoble spent the bulk of his time on stage talking about new and innovative Web applications, and the ways in which he uses Twitter. "Its not just about video – it’s about using all the tools you have to communicate your message," he told the audience.