On Friday, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the Harvard Free Culture Group. At their meeting, Dean Jansen of the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF) debuted the Web site Make Internet TV. The site, a project of PCF, is a resource to help people make videos. It covers everything from equipment, shooting, editing, licensing issues, publishing, and promotion. There is even an underlying wiki where users can contribute their knowledge and tips. This Web site is really a great resource. Check it out.
I just read Bob Finnerty‘s latest blog post, “Movie lovers beware: Hollywood is watching RIT.” Apparently, students at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) are some of the biggest pirates of movies, according to the MPAA. I wasn’t surprised.
I got my undergraduate degree at RIT. I have to say there is a culture of media piracy. Its just what was done. If you’re with a bunch of your friends and nothing is good on TV, someone will say, “wanna download a movie?”
When I was a freshmen, media piracy had just become to the cool thing to do. We had an internal network that would have around 20 terabytes of data on it at any given time. You could get any song you could imagine. Movies and video games would come out on our network months before they were released to the public.
By my sophomore and junior years of college, my friends at RIT started getting sued by the MPAA and the RIAA. If you heard a knock on your door and there were two guys there in suits, it probably wasn’t the Mormons. It was Campus Safety there to serve you with the lawsuit papers. I quickly gave up downloading for good and opted to use the Apple iTunes Store.
At RIT, there is and always has been a plethora of free pirated media at anyone’s finger tips. How can you engineer an incentive so that the piracy doesn’t take place?
RIT tried to offer a discount to a paid music service but no one really used it. I kind of wondered what they were thinking when they instituted this service.
The RIAA and MPAA could sue more students. RIT could pursue all the pirates. I still don’t think it would matter. There would still be media piracy.
I don’t pirate media because, well its wrong. Also… the convenience that iTunes provides (versus downloading illegally) is worth the money that I pay for music on iTunes.
What can RIT due to cut down the piracy? They’d have to make it easier and more convenient to get legal legitimate media then to get the pirated media but when you have students with little to no budget for fun (except for beer) that’d be hard to do.
Last night I went to a meeting of the DC chapter of the Social Media Club, a group of like-minded people who are into “sharing best practices, establishing ethics and standards, and for promoting [social] media literacy.” It had a great time.
The most fascinating part of the evening was the average age demographic. There may have only been a handful of people over the age of 30. It was all 20 somethings who work at PR firms.
I think it was a testament to how much the younger generation depends on social media as a way to disseminate information. It’s something that can’t be ignored. The organizations that are ignoring it are getting left behind or have been left behind in the dust.
So does your organization use social media (blogging, podcasting, social networking) as a tool for getting its message across? How receptive has your management been? What tactics have you used to achieve by-in?
BTW – One thing I was slightly bummed about last nite. Debbie Weil, one of the thought leaders on corporate blogging and a Washington DC native, stopped by but I think when she saw how young the crowd was didn’t stay long. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to meet her again sometime soon.
Everyday, I find more and more content on the Web. I can imagine for someone who doesn’t work on the Web for a living that having this plethora of content at your finger tips can really be intimidating.
How do you make sense of it? How do you find the good content online that you trust? How do you separate the wheat from the chaff?
How do you discover new media content?
I completely agree with Robert Young and the whole gang at the GigaOm Networks. As less and less Americans tune into the Oscars every year, you really have to start to question the relevancy of Hollywood. In an age of blogs, podcasting, and YouTube, I don’t have to settle anymore for Hollywood to get my entertainment. Why should I, especially if there is something else that better appeals to my interests?
Hollywood has to appeal to the lowest common denominator because they make their money by attracting the biggest possible audiences at the box office or at the prime time television time slots. Every week I watch technology programming like Diggnation or DL.tv or listen to the podcasts from the TWiT network. These are shows that would never make it onto mainstream television or radio because they don’t draw a big enough audience. On the web, they are hugely successful.
This revolution isn’t just happening in technology. There is internet-based audio and video programming about every topic imaginable. It must drive Hollywood crazy that I give the same value to this niche market programming that I get off the Web as I do watching the television show 24 on Fox.
As I mentioned earlier, even with diminishing numbers, a fair number of people are tuning tonight into the Oscars to see which celebrities are going to be honored with various awards. Why don’t we have some type of awards for the social media celebrities who were able to use their medium to touch our lives?
If you could pick one player in social media to win an Oscar, who would it be?