exercises in compound storytelling

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

soundbites about video

Does anyone remember Bill McKibben's 1992 book The Age of Missing Information? It was one of the earlier "I did something silly as an experiment and now feel qualified to comment on society" books (see e.g. Morgan Spurlock, Barbara Ehrenreich, Judith Levine): McKibben videotaped everything that was available on his cable system in one day (some summaries say 1700 hours, some say 2400 hours) and spent a year watching it, then contrasted the experience with taking a camping trip. Why a camping trip? I'm not sure; maybe that's what he'd rather have been doing anyway.

Regardless, he'd have a hard time repeating the exercise with YouTube today; according to a post on the Official Google Blog today, thirteen hours of new video are posted on YouTube each minute. That's 780 minutes of video per minute. You'd need eight to eleven Bill McKibbens to watch all that video (and take the corresponding camping trips).
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