Human Connection and the Rise of Video

While face-to-face is the most effective medium for communication, distribution – and quality – are formidable barriers

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Whether it is entertainment, education, or simply communication, the closer the recipient of the message can get to the originator, the better the chances that the message will be received appropriately. In the first days of human civilization, communications were face-to-face – it was story-telling – great deeds or practical knowledge transmitted from one person to another – or a small group – in an intimate, personal, real-time setting. Effective, but hardly scalable. And, as anyone who’s ever played the “telephone game” knows, not very accurate past the first telling.

Enter the written word. These stories were first captured on stone tablets, and eventually on paper, mass-produced through the genius of movable type and printing presses. Scalable? You bet. And precise too. Yet, even in the hands of the most gifted writer, words on paper are cold, impersonal – sterile as compared to the emotion, the warmth – the passion – of the creator conveying their message in person. The theatre was a step in providing this missing personal touch, and raised the bar a bit on scalability, but not enough – especially as measured in the age of the Internet where billions of people are simultaneously approachable.

It was 1888 when the first film with a “motion picture camera” was produced. Of course, producing a “moving image” and solving the problem of distribution are hardly equal. That is, inventing the camera was a milestone, but the “projector” was still a ways off. And having a moving image solved a huge part of the recreation of a real-time, physical event, but synchronization with sound presented another problem – one that would take another three decades to solve. And then, there was also color.

Anyway, you get it. My purpose here is not to retell the history of Hollywood, but rather to establish the importance of conveying a personal experience in communicating effectively. As a species, humans have evolved from stories told around campfires to smart phones and software capable of producing integrated video and audio ten-times more powerful than what Academy Award-winning directors were using less than two decades ago. This has led to a proliferation of video content easily distributed and widely available on the Internet. But unlike our ancestors, we can now tap into countless campfires around the globe – from Chicago to Calcutta to Siberia. And through the power of video, capture that emotion – the passion – the nuance – of the creator of that message, whether it is a 30-second clip or a three-hour feature film.

But therein lies another problem. Billions of videos. YouTube reports that every minute, 100 hours of video are uploaded. From the historical Zapruder amateur video of the Kennedy assassination to the first men walking on the moon – to yet another of a million nonsensical clips of cats playing with yarn. Point is, I suspect that cat videos were not the hot topics around primeval campfires. To wit, it has been reported that 90% of all of the content that has been created since the beginning of time has been created in the past two years. But before you high-five in celebration of the “awesomeness” of this proliferation of content, consider this: does the guy/gal behind the iPhone clips of college boys farting at frat parties rate with the brilliance of Shakespeare, Tolstoy, Hemmingway, Steinbeck…? Quantity does not equal quality. So, while technology has solved the problem of scalability, it has created another problem: in this sea of content – video content specifically – how do you know where content that is actually relevant to you will exist? Faced with the prospect of joining a billion campfires around the world, how can you choose the one that really will matter to you? We’ve all heard “three hundred channels and nothing to watch.” Well, multiply that by another million or so – and you’ll get an appreciation for the problem we all face with scale vs. quality.

At Trapit, we understand this. We love video. We get the power of this media. We understand that 80% of all content – in bytes at least – on the Internet today is video. But we also understand that some high percentage of this – 70, 80, 90%? – is crap – at least for any given individual. Trapit can help. We have done the heavy lifting. We’ve culled the Internet. We’ve sifted the flotsam and jetsam from the trillions of gallons of the Internet oceans of content – text and video – that swim in this ocean. And we’ve identified only the top sites for original, quality video content. Over twenty thousand of these sources – and growing. No spam, no aggregators, no porn. No crap. And our customers can decide how they want to categorize this content – not only in the topics that are relevant to them – but the medium. Text, video, audio. Any of the above – or all of the above. Perhaps for one topic, our customer decides to share only video content with their constituents – or in another a combination of text and video. Trapit will give you the power to find that campfire that fits.

– Gary

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