I don’t have to tell you about all the creative content online. That’s probably why you’re here. Well, maybe not on my blog. That’s debatable, but that is possibly why you’re online in general. I have a friend who has never waded too far into the online stream. For the purposes of this article I’ll call him Trevor.
For Trevor, the internet is just a tool. And that’s okay. It really is a useful tool. Remember the days when you tried to order plane tickets over the phone by yourself? No? Lucky you. There was a legit reason travel agents existed back then. Wading through all the BS was a torturous prospect all eliminated now by the convenience of Priceline and other travel aggregate services. Heck, you can even skip all that and go straight to the source and compare Southwest with Jetblue with only a few minutes investment. In the “old days”, that could take hours if you chose to do this by yourself.
Typically, I see Trevor once a year. We usually call a few times, but this past year I was too busy and when we when out to dinner, we hadn’t spoken in a full year. We chatted over dinner and we usually come around to the online versus being not online debate. He only bought his first home computer last year. Mind you, Trevor is a chemical engineer. By all accounts a smart fellow. Most of his computing needs were served by his company laptop, so he didn’t really need a home computer.
Anyway, he said he couldn’t understand a lifestyle that “required” being online quite so much. Not being the easily defensive type, I said it was a matter of perspective. The reason I am online so much is because I couldn’t imagine going back to a “mundane” lifestyle. Watching most TV doesn’t do it for me. It’s too fast food. I’ve listened to a number of interviews with Hollywood TV writers (something nigh impossible twenty years ago without the internet) and even they admit what they do is quickly written and boiled down to the lowest common denominator mostly because they have to get a TV show out in 7-10 days and what they find funny at 3am when they are pumping out these shows can come out flat once the final edits are done. The reason shows on HBO and the other premium cable channels are often so much better is because HBO uses a hands off, let the writers create in their own time, sort of model. Occasionally that means a season might be delayed six months, but hey, it’s about the content and the results speak for themselves.
I continued with Trevor mentioning some of the things I have said on this blog. I love all the creative content online. I don’t have to settle for McDonald-Land content on TV or other media sources. I can go straight to the creatives and get the best stuff. Sure some of it may be raw, it is often uncensored. But that is the beauty of fresh original content. You never know what you’re going to find. And quite frankly, I’m adult enough to handle it. Like yesterday, when I spent fifteen minutes on Youtube. I learned Pole Dancing was a sport and there are some damn good competitors. Will I ever see this on ESPN? Not likely, though I suspect their ratings would go through the roof, at the obvious expense of an outcry from feminist groups. Thus leading us right back to watered down unimaginative content. Don’t get me wrong. There’s a lot of crap on Youtube, but if you don’t find some amazing stuff on there, it’s because you’re not trying.
Youtube isn’t the only source of creative content. With minimal effort you can find and invest yourself in one (or more) of hundreds if not thousands of online comics. The boiled down stuff you get in the Sunday times are fine, but there is an online comic out the for everyone. I probably shouldn’t waste my time mentioning, Schlock Mercenary, Ctrl+Alt+Del, and xkcd, but I will. Three of my personal favorites, which you’ll never find in a newspaper.
Pick just about any sort of creative content, and you’ll find it better/newer/fresher online. I don’t think anything I said will change Trevor’s mind about the online world, but I do feel he is missing out and I told him so. We’ll probably both live for another thirty years, so I guess that is plenty of time to convince him that the internet has a lot more to offer than a few simple tools.