Friday, February 08, 2008

Video247, Eric Garland and BigChampagne: Online media measurement

I'll be honest and mention at this point that I did start to flag a bit, so will move at this point to listing key things I took from this talk.

BigChampagne is a service that generates quantitative measures of digital media engagement online.

• Superusers of YouTube have migrated to Stickam
• We may be looking at an expanded notion of DIY (one that includes interactivity etc.)
• It's important to look at user created and user distributed video (this was an important point for me, because distributing media online is a really significant practice, but one that typically tends to be overlooked by the research world). Thus, according to Eric, DIY can mean something wholly created by you, or remixed by you, or wholly appropriated by you (e.g., engaged in an alternative distribution network that is wholly cannibalistic in term of distributing entire chunks of media made by others; in fact, according to Eric, lots of people who distribute television shows online don’t actually watch television themselves)
•Quantitative research looking at what types of media are being used to distribute media across the internet is useful.
•Between 2005 and September 2007, there was a 53% growth in the percentage of computers with a bit torrent client installed. This is about 60 million users of bit torrent clients and servers in the U.S. alone. this speaks directly to the everyday importance of sharing media files among people.

All of the presentations sparked interesting discussion, but the following was particularly interest. The discussion had been focussing on much of YouTube (for some reason YouTube has really been dominating a lot of the presentations--not sure why, apart from the obvious video connections, of course) is being used by "wannabe" actors and directors trying to get a start Eric recounted a very interesting story about Colt Whitmore, a young lad whose YouTube video diary clips became extremely popular. Hollywood came courting and dragged him here and there to this event and that event, but in the end it turned out that his extraordinariness in his video clips didn't translate to other contexts, and the lad himself wasn't interested in pursuing a movie career (i.e., he wasn’t an amateur they could turn pro). Paying attention to intent and venue, said Eric, is important in any analysis of people's purposes in posting to YouTube.


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