Monday, November 5, 2007

I want MyTV

I went to a high school football game a few weeks ago. It had been 20-plus years; time froze – same splinter-beckoning bleachers, suds-soaked seventeen year olds, spiritless cheerleaders, stale popcorn, and semi-legible scoreboard. We parked on the top row, sandwiched between the band and a flock of parents, most operating hand-held digital video cameras.

As I type I’m soaring west somewhere above Kansas, returning to Sacramento after a weekend in Florida. Good: Took in my first “real” football game in Gainesville (the Gators rolled; SEC football is truly a religious experience, even for atheists [or agnostics] like me), and my brother James rolled me on the clay courts. Bad: Missed my kids’ soccer (four on Saturday; Ty’s team, the Green Gators, rolled too) and baseball (final game of the year) contests, along with the UCD-Sac State Causeway Classic and another Davis High game. The latter two are less important; missing the boys’ games stinks.

Back to the camera-toting parents and, relevantly, the three key tenets of The Long Tail. The Tail: Make it, get it out there, and, help me find it. The parents: Making it (recording the game). A parent or two at most any youth sports game – including the five I missed Saturday – or performance or birthday party: IBID. The tools of creation – video cameras – are ubiquitous.

But, it’s still tough – though technically feasible – to “get it out there” and “help me find it.” Hence, my dream: MyTV. When my niece Olivia performs in a play in Portland, when my nephew Grant plays soccer in Granite Bay, when my brother James plays in the finals of a tennis tournament in Florida, and when my kids do any and more of the above, I want to watch, share, and archive it. I want a non-commercial TV channel (a personal digital content service?) that’s about me, my family, and our interests, sprinkled with – obviously – commercial content. Mini social networks – with broadcast/streaming/storage capability – where friends and family and parents can share full-length videos.

Impediments: Gotta be bandwidth and storage, though the former is ubiquitous (and improving) and the latter gets cheaper by the day. Some day soon – perhaps it exists; I’m in the air and can’t google it -- MyTV will emerge, a personal TV channel for anyone, delivered for free and available anytime, anywhere. Can’t wait.

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