Rainy Day Reading: Web Video Primer


Journalist Scott Kirsner is writing a book about the effects of technology on Hollywood. When a section on internet video got cut, he decided to release it as a PDF, available for sale online for $14.95. Kirsner, a contributor to the New York Times and Wired (among many publications), writes Cinematech, an online video blogroll essential. Disclosure: I helped him with research on other portions of this book earlier this year.

The ebook, titled The Future of Web Video, is not gripping reading, but it’s a treasure trove of interviews, stats, and product comparisons for followers of this emerging industry. Today, we most enjoyed conversations with viral video stars Fritz Grobe of Mentos and Diet Coke fame, Judson Laipply of “Evolution of Dance,” and daily snapshoteer Ahree Lee, but we’re sure we’ll go back and reference Kirsner’s compilation of analyst forecasts while writing for this site.

The prose portion of the book establishes twelve basic theses of online video, such as “The web video audience rewards creators and advertisers who are creative or daring enough to do something fantastically original.” Kirsner is bullish on “call-and-response content creation” and mashups, but asserts amateur and indie content will soon cede the spotlight to established media companies and professional content.

It’s a bit more staid than this month’s histrionic Wired article on the web video phenomenon, in which writer Bob Garfield feels the need to contrive the term “Monkeyvision” to describe viewer-created video. But if you’re interested in attempting to grasp the big picture of online video, we’d recommend reading both pieces.

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