Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Web Revolution 2.0 (part I)

It is frequently mentioned in the news that when the internet came into our life, it changed our lives a lot. Starting with the launch of Netscape and followed by the dot com boom, it totally changed our life style. But it's not over yet, here's a new round of revolution that's under going on the web.
(Please click on the links if you don't know that word)

  • Homemade Media
It all started with blogs. People are slowly getting tired of traditional news media, which often contains boring or make belief stuff. Someone eventualy started to set up sites that are a bunch of self written articles, posted in time order. It was called a "web log", which was then abreviated to "blog", and a whole new type of web site was born. All kinds of stuff was written, all sorts of people wrote them, and readers like the style of writing which differs from the traditional stuff. But the biggest blow came when a blog pointed out some thing wrong in a TV news report during the last US presidentual election. The ancher man was doomed and blogs are hotter then ever. Some blogs even feature first-hand news reports that renew faster then the news onTV, and are also mentioned or refered-to from time to time in newspapers.

And came podcasts, which some say are audio blogs. Homemade talk shows were recorded and uploaded to the web. Now people can not only get music from their portable players, but also weekly programing. And since iPods don't come with radio tuners, people are already tuning less to radio shows. With podcasts, there's even less reasion to turn on the radio. When Apple came out with iTunes 4.9 which handles podcast subscriptions easily, traditional radio networks got the message that podcasts were a big threat, and started to make podcasts of their own. But it's not just the fresh feel and convinence of podcasts that made it popular, I particularly love the "homemade" feel of them, which aften contains lots of um's, yeah's, let-me-see's, pauses, sometimes with a little static, friendly tones and best of all, they're in much more flavors that you could find just the flavor you like the most. What's more, no ads that come with long disclaimers. The programs are made because the host love his topic, just as his audiance; not for a profit. Wired once listed some company podcasts which are actualy ads disguised as personal podcasts, which are hysterical and lost the sprit of the original casts.

The underlying thing that made blogs and podcasts to be so special is RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, which automatically sends the latest posts or recording the whoever that subscribes. This reduces the need for the receptant to check by him/herself for new content; instead, whatever new update is actively presented to the receptant in real time.

So what's next of this "grass roots media"(as journalests like to put it)? After the realm of newspapers/magazines and radio shows are tackled, what's left other then TV? When video taking and editing is easy enough, and the bandwidth is cheep enough, I'd guess that homemade TV shows would become more and more common, and of course, published on the web with RSS. By showing the traditional media the power of the mass, we could force them to offer better, improved content then what they offer now.
(To be continued...)

No comments: