The BBC has just announced that its television channels will be available on the internet. “MyBBCplayer” will initially give access to selected programs, then potentially simulcast entire BBC channels. It will also give access to selected television archives. This a significant step towards the internet becoming a true broadcast medium, though that will play out over a quite a few years yet. BBC taking this step will definitely encourage other broadcasters to consider their play in this space.
On another front, video blogging (known as vlogging) is rapidly gaining traction. There aren’t many vlogs yet, however they are growing apace as tools such as Vlog It! become available. What kicked blogs off in the first place were the early tools such as Blogger.com, that meant anyone could create their own personal web presence for free and with no technical expertise. In between the free-format vlogs and online television, you have initiatives such as former Vice President Al Gore’s new cable television network Current TV, which asks for its viewers to submit their own video content, for example on news ignored by mainstream media. The channel still acts as a filter and arbiter, however it gets its content from the community. Perhaps the biggest impact of Current TV, for now, will be to build video production talent in the community. Less than a month after launch, the jury is still out on whether it is, as it claims to be, true community television. Douglas Rushkoff believes it’s a “kind of MTV-News, without the news.”