Monday, November 10, 2008

The future of online video

The Internet has had an enormous impact on people's lives around the world in the ten years since Google's founding. It has changed politics, entertainment, culture, business, health care, the environment and just about every other topic you can think of. Which got us to thinking, what's going to happen in the next ten years? How will this phenomenal technology evolve, how will we adapt, and (more importantly) how will it adapt to us? We asked ten of our top experts this very question, and during September (our 10th anniversary month) we are presenting their responses. As computer scientist Alan Kay has famously observed, the best way to predict the future is to invent it, so we will be doing our best to make good on our experts' words every day. - Karen Wickre and Alan Eagle, series editors

Ten years ago the world of online video was little more than an idea. It was used mostly by professionals like doctors or lawyers in limited and closed settings. Connections were slow, bandwidth was limited, and video gear was expensive and bulky. There were many false starts and outlandish promises over the years about the emergence of online video. It was really the dynamic growth of the Internet (in terms of adoption, speed and ubiquity) that helped to spur the idea that online video - millions of people around the world shooting it, uploading it, viewing it via broadband - was even possible.

Today, there are thousands of different video sites and services. In fact it's getting to be unusual not to find a video component on a news, entertainment or information website. And in less than three years, YouTube has united hundreds of millions of people who create, share, and watch video online. What used to be a gap between "professional" entertainment companies and home movie buffs has disappeared. Everyone from major broadcasters and networks to vloggers and grandmas are taking to video to capture events, memories, stories, and much more in real time.

Today, 13 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and we believe the volume will continue to grow exponentially. Our goal is to allow every person on the planet to participate by making the upload process as simple as placing a phone call. This new video content will be available on any screen - in your your living room, or on your device in your pocket. YouTube and other sites will bring together all the diverse media which matters to you, from videos of family and friends to news, music, sports, cooking and much, much more.

In ten years, we believe that online video broadcasting will be the most ubiquitous and accessible form of communication. The tools for video recording will continue to become smaller and more affordable. Personal media devices will be universal and interconnected. Even more people will have the opportunity to record and share even more video with a small group of friends or everyone around the world.

Over the next decade, people will be at the center of their video and media experience. More and more consumers will become creators. We will continue to help give people unlimited options and access to information, and the world will be a smaller place.

[NFGB] Link - from The Official Google Blog
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Picasa -- it's not just for photos, anymore!

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