Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Online Television: Key Traits Of The Emerging Grassroot Net TV Format

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If you have not yet realized it, traditional television as you know it and have seen it grow next to you, is in an irreversible coma.

It does not inspire, it does not report, it does not move... if not on those rare occasions when television remembers its true original mandate, the one in which no other medium can compete with it: live reporting!

Chris Pirillo live

On traditional television everything is pre-packaged, pre-ordered, planned and designed for, edited, revised, cropped, trimmed... censored, reviewed and approved. Old television is not a communication medium anymore: it is just an instrument of political and corporate propaganda.

If you had not realized this yet, wake up!

To live at the pace of change we are experiencing today, you need to take full control of the information channels through which you learn, find out, inform and entertain yourself, you are out of the game.

From today you have become your own control room, the control panel, the living remote control who choses and selects the clips that will help you learn, discover, and understand other things and people that share your same passions.

I have caught you.

If you sit another time again to look at another sit-com or at another Lost episode you can stop reading right here. Close this web page and forget it.

The world around you, ideas, the company you work for and the people that work for it cannot be changed while they also let themselves be hypnotized by this entertainment stream with zero ethics and nano-sized information values.

Only in rare instances of major live sport events, traditional television is still capable of making you taste the adrenaline of "being there", excited and alive, as if truly tele-ported to that however distant happening. Magic moments in which you forget where you are and you become one with whatever is happening at thousand of kilometers away.

But beyond that, is the deepest boredom.

The new grassroots online television channels that are sprouting online are very different from what you have become accustomed to see on traditional television.

But how can you tell whether what you are seeing on the web is just a web-version of a traditional television channel or it is an emerging pure-breed Net TV. As you will find out by reading further, discoverign which is which, will not be very difficult.

The new television is made up of many new ways of doing television, each of them evolving into what will be new styles and formats: YouTube,, Brightcove (review), DoveTail, Joost (review), Miro ( review). Some call it "Online Television", some "Internet TV", and some have been spending lots of PR money to get you to call it IPTV.

Without you even realizing it, Net TV is already here.

It is a new way to do television from the roots, without a $ 500,000 equipment setup, and with the flexibility and freshness of a blog.

Inside and outside of your organization, on the intranet or on the national professional association site, Net TVs will grow like mushrooms. Net TVs will open up many opportunities for all those with talent, a voice and a great desire to share their pioneering efforts in one of the most revolutionary media formats to appear.

But don't be fooled by these acronyms. The new online, Internet-based television, the Net TV, has a completely different taste, and it is easy to recognize independently of the language it speaks or the name it uses.

This is its unmistakable identikit:

The Net TV Profile

  • It has no schedule
    It is you who decides what to watch and when. Everything that is broadcast live on a Net TV is always available also in a recorded, on-demand format.

  • It can be seen anywhere
    A Net TV can be seen from home, on the move, on your PDA, on your laptop and with new internet television platforms like the Apple TV even on your traditional television set.

  • It knows no borders
    It can be seen anywhere around the world where there is an Internet connection. Anywhere there is a Wi-Fi connection, an ADSL cable or even a cellular mobile link, Net TVs can be easily reached. In Koh Samui just like in Rio Negro.

  • It asks no payments
    Net TV does not require a paid subscription, viewing fees or the need to purchase a decoder or set-top box to allow you to watch its best programming.

  • It favours re-use and re-distribution of its best contents
    Net TVs provide true free access to all of its video programming, live and recorded, and it actively promotes the re-use and the distribution of its best programs on other Net TV channels, blogs sites and even on traditional TV.

  • It gives a voice to its audience
    Net TV characterizes itself because it allows its spectators to join in and participate into the show, it allows to ask live questions to both those running show as well as to other participants connected from other distant locations.

  • It has audiences of thousands not of millions
    Instead of typical television-sized audiences of multi-million spectators, Net TVs have audiences of only hundreds or thousands of active participants at best during their live shows but they have crowds of hundreds of thousands and even millions of loyal, passionate followers spreading over time to watch their recorded shows.

  • It loves niche
    Net TV loves focus. Net TV loves being thematic and topic-specific. Net TV loves communities of interest or practice seeking news and information on tight subjects. Its spectators know what to find on it no matter at what time they tune in.

  • It's passionate
    Driven, presented, guided and managed by true passionate communicators, Net TVs have a completely different taste from traditional television where everyone and everything needs to appear perfect, strong and handsome. The true Net TV is characterized by the passion with which its authors, showmen and anchors share its live sessions. Just like in the 70's when here in Italy private (pirate) radio stations first challenged the monopolistic status quo of state-television, today these Net TVs have very loyal and passionate fans who can ignite instant viewing swarms of hundreds of people in a matter of minutes.

  • It has a strong and clear voice
    The new Net TV doesn't hide itself behind opinions and statements made by others, as it expresses in a direct and transparent way its viewpoint. It doesn't sell subjectivity and opinion for objective truth and reality. As with blogs, Net TVs tend to be powerful communication outlets for artists, writers, change-agents and even independent analysts who do not find space inside traditional media to expose and share with others their ideas without selling their credibility with it.

  • It has a grassroot spirit
    Net TVs are generally inspired by concepts of community and sharing while resisting too formal programming styles as well excessively-polished corporate communications and the typical Hollywood-originated tv formats. Net TV is groovy, has an accent, doesn't dress Armani... it creates new trends by itself, is typically against the mainstream, it is nomadic, tribal.

  • Anyone can create it
    To create a Net TV you don't need a large budget nor the need to pull-up transmitting towers around the country. You need only to sign-up for Ustream, Mogulus, Operator11, Kyte or Stickam and you can be broadcasting live via your webcam in a matter of minutes. There are no limits to the number of spectators you can have nor to the length or topic of your shows. Infinite bandwidth is now available to everyone.

Read more about Net TV, Online Television and what will television be like as it moves to the Internet

IPTV vs. Internet Television: Key Differences

Internet Television Is An Open Platform: Jeremy Allaire

Online Television: Successful Net TV Channel Shows Great Use Of Web 2.0 -

Remix, Mashup And Monetize Your Media With Licensed Content: MixerCast

Online Television: Joost Major Contender Puts Independent Producers Content First - Meet Babelgum

Broadcast Your Own Live TV Station Online: Announcing Mogulus Video

Broadcast Yourself Live On The Web: Best Tools To Create Your Own Live Web TV - A Mini-Guide

Video Stream Yourself To The World Non-Stop: Justin.TV

Online Video Editing: The Best Web-Based Video Editing Tools - A Mini-Guide

Originally version written in Italian by Robin Good for 7thfloor magazine and titled "Prime Time is Anytime". English version revised and edited by Robin Good.

Readers' Comments    
2007-08-01 09:00:34

Asa Bailey

We are on it - and its up and running check out -



Asa Bailey

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, July 31 2007, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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