YouTube: the global TV channel

I caught a few minutes of President Obama’s Google+ Hangout last night as it was streamed on YouTube.

If you’ve done a Google+ Hangout video chat before, you’ll be familiar with the format and this was no different. Except, of course, it was the President of the United States plus five lucky citizens chosen by +The White House to hang out live with the Pres in a carefully-controlled setting. Plus the millions of people worldwide who tuned in, as it were, to YouTube to watch and add text comments. Plus those doing the same on Google+, Facebook, Twitter… wherever they were online.

‘Tuned in’ is an apt descriptor as the immediate thought I had when I did just that on Google+ was “This is TV.”

If last year’s Royal Wedding that was broadcast live on YouTube was a demo of YouTube as a TV channel – a global one at that – that captures imaginations with a compelling event (content, in a word), then yesterday’s presidential Hangout is surely a clear sign that the channel just changed.

Why watch TV on a TV any more when you can immerse yourself, interact on the net, share your experiences and the recorded content itself, via any capable device that connects online?

Talk about disruption! No wonder the US entertainment industry – and that includes mainstream media like TV – likes things like #SOPA and #PIPA, to which +Clay Shirky‘s call to “pick up the pitchforks” is so compelling.

Reshared post from +The White House

Missed the Hangout with President Obama? Check out the full video here and let us know what you thought.

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Defining contemporary society

Best words I’ve seen in a very long time that paint a compelling picture of what anyone with an opinion has the potential to do today:

“We have gone from a world split between gatekeepers and media “consumers” to a world in which anyone regardless of geography, finances, social class, race, gender, or any other demographic identifier is free to engage with the rest of the world on their own terms.”

Written by WordPress founder +Matt Mullenweg in a post explaining why blacked out on Jan 18 to protest SOPA/PIPA.

Btw, I’ve been part of Matt’s vision to democratize publishing since 2002 starting with Blogger, moving to TypePad in 2004 and then to WordPress in 2006. Just saying ;)

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BBC Viewpoint on Blackout

I’ve built my life on a free and open internet. As the co-founder of, a free software project that aims to democratise publishing, and the founder of Automattic, the company behind WordP…

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Hollywood had Chris Dodd and a press release, Silicon Valley had Facebook

A nice sound bite in a frothy report by US entertainment industry columnist and blogger +Sharon Waxman about yesterday’s online protests against SOPA and PIPA.

If you remember the core of this issue, it’s seen by many as Hollywood and vested interests versus the rest of us. Sort of the 1% against the 99%.

I’m not sure I’d liken it to a war zone – emotional rhetoric isn’t really helpful – yet this assessment looking at the PR aspects isn’t bad at all.

The bottom line:

It seems that Hollywood still does not realize that it is in the information age. Knowledge moves in real time, and events move accordingly. The medium is the message in a fight like this.

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Sunk! How Hollywood Lost the PR Battle Over SOPA | The Wrap Media
Hollywood had Chris Dodd and a press release. Silicon Valley had Facebook

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To extend Waxman ‘s analogy a little further, battle may be won yesterday but a war still wages.

On the matter of the MPAA press release, I like Ike Pigott’s suggested edits that would make the message a little more authentic. :)

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