“I can’t believe I’m going to drive 14 hours with no satellite radio!” I was headed home to Orlando from a visit with my perfect Grandson, Drew, in Cincinnati. We had the family sedan (and not my mighty Beast pickup with a hemi) and I was dreading the drive and the blather of local radio for two days on the road. Turns out it wasn’t a problem.
If you are under 35, you are going to stop reading any second now, old guys are trying to teach each other your stuff. Sorry. I understand, young person, you have grown up playing video games, listening to I Pods and being completely attached to the internet, at all times, through your mobile device. We old farts, meanwhile, who remember when we only got 3 channels, in black and white (and some snow) have to be taught things you take for granted. That’s what happened to me.
Daughter Rachel, a college senior, simply plugged her phone into the car radio and we had Pandora all day. That’s it; that simple. When we got tired of it, we switched to Itunes or You Tube videos. Of course there were podcasts to catch up on as well as streaming football games. The mobile phone was all we needed.
Welcome 2011, I’m really glad to be here! How cool is it to be able to hear or see any entertainment available in the world while traveling roads our parents dreaded to traverse with the fear of pioneers in covered wagons. “Amos, sit still, play your mouth harp some more. No Marybell, we are not there yet!”
Of course, those of us not interested in being social could plug in our earbuds and read on our Kindle. Even better, we could let the electronic voice of the KIndle read our book to us. Is it any wonder that more electronic books are now being sold than “traditional books?” Texting with friends and checking Facebook every 5 minutes, my own personal vice, is also part of being out on the lonesome highway. Remember, a mere ten years ago, when we were afraid we were all becoming too isolated by technology? Now we can’t get away from people!
The mobile device is more than a convenience, it is an appendage and those of us who are creative need to take advantage of this mighty weapon. Do you know what the second largest search engine, behind Google, is? It’s YouTube. Younger people are not bound by the world we know with three television networks and a few major studios: videos and music become viral based on merritt, regardless of who produced them. My daughter, an otherwise bright woman, is captivated by a video that is so “retarded” it makes her cry from laughing, Harry Potter Puppet Pals. I don’t get it, but I admire the fact that it is had over 94 MILLION views.
Have you noticed how cheap HD Tv’s are right now? That’s because the manufacturers are dumping them to bring out the next generation television that will not only be 3D, but will be internet ready. The difference between your television and your computer screen is going away. People will switch from Youtube, to Fox, to Google with a mouse click and the advertisements will be customized to sell each viewer something they probably want and need. My older daughter, Drew’s perfect Mom, told me about two websites that had me laughing hysterically: Damnyouautocorrect and Textsfromlastnight (Warning highly inappropriate humor makes me laugh, others in my home would not be amused by these sites and you might not be either). The point is, I laughed (and laughed hard) at stuff that wasn’t written or sponsored by a major studio or conglomerate. Who cares?
The major studios and conglomerates, that’s who. I wouldn’t want to be a satellite radio company right now (or a cable company for that matter). Who do I want to be? Me: someone who produces content. There has never been a better time in the world for creative people to create. Sure, the business model has changed, but you no longer have to have the blessing of some gatekeeper to get your work out there. (Hell, I just self published a book, When Do I Get to Be Me, that is selling very well, thank you.)
If you have something to create, find an audience and give them what they want, it is that simple. Ask the guys with Harry Potter puppets or the guys who created Texts from Last Night. Democracy is a wonderful thing!
Here’s another one I don’t get, it is a homemade video with over 55 million views. Something is going on out there and if the guy who wrote Charlie the Unicorn can create a product franchise, what’s holding you back?