Tune in now, before the celebrities take over and the haters show up.
Something is happening here, but we don’t know what it is…
The hype has been deafening. The digerati congregated at SXSW and declared Meerkat the new savior. Then it was crippled by Twitter, which announced its own, me-too product, and we’re all sitting at home wondering what all the fuss is about, wondering whether it’s just the new turntable.fm.
You remember turntable.fm, don’t you? The service that ruled the airwaves for three weeks, before it crashed and burned and went out of business. Because the internet is endless fads. Kinda like boy bands. Sites come and they go. And if you’re not busy being born, you’re dying.
That’s what Amazon does so well, reinvent itself, push the envelope. Now they’re all about same day delivery. Whether it be by drone or not. Whereas Google was too stupid to realize mobile was going to disrupt their search monopoly. Just like Apple went from computer to iPod to iPhone to iPad, Google has been unable to have an Act II. Same with Facebook. Well, Facebook bought WhatsApp and now they’re into virtual reality and they’re trying, they’re really trying to imitate Amazon and Apple and gain new traction, and one has to give them credit for it, but my main point is even Facebook may not be forever. And in a culture where everything is evanescent, do I have to pay attention? It won’t be long before Facebook pages are calcified, set in amber, the site will be a ghost town no one goes to, because that’s the nature of the internet, we use and we abandon, can you say Geocities? But for now, all the attention is on Meerkat and Periscope. And I’m not gonna give you a primer. There are no instructions on the internet, just like with video games. You download the app and poke around and experiment and…
You find two naked girls in Westwood broadcasting from their kitchen.
Sex is always first.
Of course, you can pay for a one on one live stream on a cam site, but this isn’t about money, this is about the bleeding edge. And that’s what’s so exciting about Meerkat and Periscope, it’s all brand new.
Like I watched a sunrise in New Zealand. A cove in Australia. Someone making coffee in Amsterdam and a snowy spring in Siberia. Call me a voyeur, we’re all voyeurs, and right now regular people are letting you into their lives, just for the fun of it, and it’s strangely riveting.
They do it for the love. No one wants to be alone anymore. They want hearts and comments and interaction. They’ll perform if you show up and comment.
And who are these people?
Nobodies. Those with time. Who are not reading the newspaper, who listen to the tribal drum and want to participate.
That’s what’s so fascinating about the bleeding edge of the internet. The power fanatics, the government and the wealthy, don’t partake, they’re behind the curve, so busy luxuriating in their status they can’t see that they’re threatened, that everybody’s threatened.
But if something gains traction, the money moves in and the celebrities rule and the rest of us are excluded, left on the sidelines to pay and watch.
Believe me, no one’s gonna want to see nobodies broadcasting in the future. Why?
But now everybody does have his own television station. And we’ll get new stars, with talents we cannot predict.
And isn’t it funny that Facebook is about our permanent record, but Snapchat and Meerkat and Periscope are about impermanence. Experiences have trumped objects and fleeting has replaced lasting. We’re all in future shock. And I’d tell you you could ignore Meerkat and Periscope, but then you’d miss out on the fun. And it is fun to partake in something unformed, that is being developed on the fly.
You signed up for AOL and had no idea you were going to abandon it for the web, hell, you thought AOL WAS the web!
You didn’t know you needed broadband, on your phone no less. LTE enabled Meerkat and Periscope, never forget that. Innovation runs on technological breakthroughs.
And you might Facetime or Skype into a loved one’s life.
But what if you could Periscope into Britney Spears’s life?
Oh, you’ll be able to see Kim Kardashian’s fake life, she shows up wherever money is to be made.
And you’ll see sanitized backstage tours.
And cleaned-up shows.
But right now, you can see a cornucopia of talent that boggles the mind. Stuff you didn’t think you’d watch that you couldn’t even put a name on, but people are doing it.
And the nature of technology is we rarely foresee the uses. Remember when they kept telling us we needed computers to store our recipes? When’s the last time you did that? Did anyone ever do that?
Now I’m watching a cold morning in Krakow. I’ve never been there, looks bleak.
And a fortysomething male in bed in Vegas answering random questions. He likes cheese, he’s a singer.
And a guy doing karaoke in Los Angeles.
Who are these people?
What possessed them?
The desire to participate. To make up the future on the fly.
And we don’t know where it’s going.
And it’s titillating and exciting and you can’t understand by reading about it, just download the apps and play.
You remember playing, don’t you?
It’s what you did before you worked 24/7 to find out you couldn’t get ahead.
That’s who’s driving Meerkat and Periscope right now. Those outside the system, who have no idea where they’re going, but want to have fun along the way.
Isn’t that life?