Ever since back in 2004 when I decided to attend UAH to go through the Computer Mediated Communications Cognate, a term that I’ve heard carelessly thrown around at any given opportunity is that of “new media”. I think that most who use it aren’t really even aware of what it may be referring to. Around that time and prior to it in the early 2000’s, it may have been used in reference to the update-an-hour personal blogs that were popular at the time. Without the other factors that I’ll get to in a bit, it might today be considered the social web that engulfs web applications such as Twitter or Facebook.
While limitlessly fun and useful, I really don’t feel that those type of things are truly and really what “new media” really is. Instead, I strongly feel that the real new media will be the one that actually threatens the old one. And no, I’m not necessarily talking about options such as BitTorrent. Those threaten the powers that be when you consider that it’s an additional and problematic way (for them) to get media, but it’s most usually the old media that is downloaded through it. Instead, the new output is that that would never in a million years be able to be transmitted through old means. And you will think that I’m absolutely insane for using it as a case study, but I think Tom Green has absolutely hit the nail on the head.
Seriously. I’m perfectly sober and I’m not using it as some sort of wry or ironic joke. I really do think that Tom Green has got it figured out. Yeah, the same guy who used to do unspeakable things on MTV before the ADD target market moved on to something else. He’s now found a niche market, and is serving it perfectly on the medium it has grown up on. But I think he’s really taking it a huge step farther than with what audio and video podcasts have previously done. He’s doing it live, and he’s happy to take live calls. The show itself is sort of a mix of his old material and a classic Carson era talk show, but the content itself is pretty much irrelevant in this context. He stays relevant to his audience, and that’s all that really matters. Although he is expanding that audience, which definitely doesn’t hurt. The opportunity to do whatever he wants, as well as to engage the audience is a concept that isn’t entirely new. But I can’t recall a scenario in which it has been executed so well. Others have taken notice as well. Even Leo Laporte of TWiT has taken notice and has even admitted that he wants to take the next step of his network in the same direction. And also, the tools are cheap enough that many will able to do this if they’d like. I admit I’m tempted to try something like this for Dirrty Apple. While there may be an oversaturation for some time once the idea of the live internet takes off, I can’t imagine that the best won’t rise to the top after a short time, much like it did with podcasting.
However, there’s one last hurdle to cross. It’s a big one, and once it’s passed, I think it may be the beginning of the end for traditional outlets. How in the world can you make this possible on screens other than your computer? Once you can watch this stuff in standard or even HD resolution on your living room screen, it’s pretty much over. But there’s just not a mainstream solution at this point. Devices such as Apple TV are a good step, but we’re just not there yet.But when we do, watch out. You may not pay a cable or satellite bill again after that point.