Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Friends and family

Combining two recent phenomena, I can explain another aspect of blogging that relies on production rather than anything produced. Having seen a non-celebrity win Big Brother on Friday, it highlighted something about seeing anyone often enough. Once, whether directly or via a screen, you have someone in your house often enough you get to know them. That was why a nobody beat ten celebrities in a popularity contest, because after three weeks people knew her as well as all the others and she was chosen on her qualities as a person isolated from her fame or lack of it.

Now on Big Brother you see it all, big and small. Just the everyday goings on in their life. And sometimes you see more of them than anyone else, and they become like family. Of course, what does the word familiar mean? QED. So the second element is my blog. I may sometimes add intricate details of the day, but if you're watching someone's life it includes everything. The minor stuff creates a sharper focus and makes the complete picture, and the more you read about anyone, the more you get to know them as if they were there.

Of course we select whose blogs we read as I always say, you filter(in my case) every techie, teenage clubber, link obsessive, single issue pages (unless one of mine, which I haven't found yet) etc until you find people who are fairly interesting. Some I read a couple of years ago have drifted well away from where they started, and that's part of life. But each day provides a new chapter in that person's life, and you learn so much about someone who, in fact, are pretty rare, they become people you want to follow their lives like friends or family. Why I say rare is because out of even the bloggers, only a small proportion write about themselves. They have taken what was designed as a diary, a way of sharing your life with others, to a customised magazine only for people with shared interests. As my number one interest is people, if I want to read about news, technology or trains I'll use the many dedicated sites for them, and chat with other forum members as well sometimes, but wouldn't want to read one person's experiences with fucking Ipod nanos every day (if they even exist outside my impression of what is on the current market). I prefer to follow others ups and downs, like a good soap opera but real and without a script, just like big brother. But here we can join in, which instantly makes us part of the house, even as a writer rather than actual visitor. We can already post static images here, and sooner or later if bandwidth and cheap equipment increases in availability, we'll be able to have video and sound clips on our blogs so people can see us actually doing exactly what we talk about, like big brother.

So videoblogs (you heard it first here I bet) should be the next development eventually, and each one of us will be capable of being not just journalists but have our own individual mini TV series. You'll see my cat rolling over, my cleaner scrubbing the kitchen, hear my impressions of just about anyone I can think of, see all my car collections, my garden, road and local park. I was there with my Dad this afternoon and still after 46 years (I lived opposite there till I was 5) think it's one of the most magical places I know, and only across the road to me. And maybe like Chantelle who won celebrity BB as a non-celebrity, sooner or later a few people will become starts and have their videoblogs taken up by TV companies just like newspapers use clips from them now. I'm no techie, but would imagine we'd all need at least 1 meg broadband and 160gb hard drives, as well as doubling the server capacities before more than 30 second clips would be viable. I've already got one fixed 30 second job up and running, and it won't even run on dialup. Plain text (like this) goes a long way server-wise, but video/audio mops up more bandwidth than anything, and servers simply couldn't handle this sort of data yet. But watch the web, if I had the resources I'd start my own but the costs would be phenomenal, but someone will get it together sooner or later.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to have missed saying happy birthday, old friend! My machine was down for several days and it must have been sometime during that abyss.

Cheers to you and I hope your year is an excellent one!


David said...

Thanks Kate, you're one of my housemates for sure!