Thursday, February 15, 2007

A not-so-Comcastic idea

posted by Seun Olubodun
Same news, different impression. (Andy can't have all the fun!) Here are my two cents about the Facebook-Comcast deal.

It was only a matter of time before this happened. The unexpected success of viral videos make the network and cable giants salivate over the millions of eyeballs at stake. Comcast's solution: Team up with Facebook to offer user-generated video content on demand, so viewers bypass YouTube, and instead watch the same content from their couches.

Some in the industry call this groundbreaking. I call it stupid.

Putting these videos on television bypasses the most important component of viral video success -- the online community. The ability to network, share, tag, network, post, and comment is what gives videos such tremendous visibility.

Let's be honest ... Most YouTube videos are idiotic. Many involve bodily harm or bodily fluid. And don't forget the videos of grown men dancing to Spice Girl records in their bedrooms. (Yes, that is me, and yes, 'Wannabe' is an awesome song. No judging.)

But factor in viewers' boredom and natural voyeurism, and you've pegged the power source for the viral video phenomenon. Soon, people are watching countless hours of these videos, reading every comment, and forwarding the whole schmeer to equally bored yet connected friends. The videos simply appear in inboxes around the world -- no fuss, no work, no problem.

How can this ever be replicated on television, a non-Internet medium? People will have to work for their cheap entertainment. They'll have to turn on their sets, scroll to the viral videos section, and make a conscious decision to watch me act like Scary Spice. (Really ... once I'm in a dress, the resemblance is uncanny.)

If they make it that far, then they'll have no one to share it with, no place to leave feedback, and no way to instantly pass it along. And Comcast will have wasted valuable time, money, and energy on a easily avoidable concept if someone had simply sat down and considered its feasibility.

At least my impression of Scary Spice won't meet the same fate as Comcast's Facebook content. I'll be delighting (or disgusting?) the online masses for generations to come!

Labels: , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?