Broadcast Yourself

youtube_logoYou Tube is all the rage when it comes to viewing online videos, many of which are submitted by independent artists and individuals. Going live in February, 2005 I never really used the service or uploaded material to be viewed my by myself or others. Within the last few years it seems You Tube has truly taken off, recently purchased by Google, the video service is thriving. Broadcast yourself!

As an 8 year old  1976, we had no such service, the VHS would come to American on June 4 the following year. Televisions was limited to a handful of channels and movies were viewed in theaters.

These days mobile devices reign supreme, online retailers and cable companies seem to have cornered the market when it comes to videos and movies. You can watch the newest releases in the palm of your hand or your favorite television show you recorded last night on your tablet.

Technology has truly moved us in a new direction when it comes to video. These days You Tube seems to be all the rage. When it comes to the latest viral video or something trending, chances are You Tube has it captured. Every form of media seems to have a channel, from news outlets to magazines and papers, to businesses if you can record it, You Tube can capture it.

In 1999, on the verge of Y2K, not know what was going to happen to digital (computer-related) and non-digital documentation and data storage situations, I was deep into PC gaming. It wasn’t long after my indoctrination to PC gaming I got involved in shoutcasting, taking a position as a caster, covering live, online gaming from Urban Terror to Medal of Honor and hosting my own shows, Urban Radio and the 80s revival show, Just Push Play. I also ventured into live video casting.

I toyed around with live video coverage, which the respective communities loved! It took casting to a new level, one that had rarely been seen outside of being involved in the game itself. Unfortunately, true video coverage took more hardware, power and Internet connection than I had at the time. The majority of my coverage was done strictly as audio, which for the time was still pretty impressive.

These days I am in awe at You Tube personalities and the show they produce. My knowledge is quite limited and I am sure my son knows much more about them than I do. He’s 9 years old. It has gotten to the point that I find myself watching some of the shows he has going on You Tube. Stampylongnose, Dan of The Diamond Minecart and You Always Win featuring GUNNS4HIRE and meatwagon2 are just three of the channels he has saved as favorites.

While my idols growing up usually played in the NFL and MLB, these days it’s not uncommon to see kids idolize these personalities on You Tube. I must admit these three channels are good fun. Stampy and Dan provide fun and entertainment for all ages, while Gunns and Meatwagon usually play some ‘MA’ games their humor is probably geared toward a rated ‘T’ (for Teen) audience. Yet, I have no problem with my son watching any of these You Tubers.

My son, again age 9, has asked for the last few months for, “my own You Tube channel.” He has recorded some videos on his iPad and toy video camera, but to date, nothing has been shared outside of our family. His schoolmate, Taylor has recorded some short, corny videos that he made available on You Tube, which only spurred more comments of “Dad, when can I get my own You Tube channel?”

I have been highly impressed to see him experimenting with playing his games while providing a running commentary on what he’s doing. Who knows, maybe he will be the next Stampy Cat with 5 million subscribers! I do think it’s great to see him interested in this sort of technology as consoles, mobile devices and PC allow users much more flexibility and ease of use to get content shared and viewed online.



Face Reality

Read an editorial in a recent edition of FATE! magazine regarding social networking. I’ll admit I was not “in” with the whole Facebook revolution that seems to have swept the Internet in the past few years. I was more about maintaining my little piece of the sanity through my web site, something I have done since 1999.

These days it seems everyone is making friends on Facebook, “tweeting” about taking a dump, whatever you are doing “in the heat of the moment” or posting ridiculous videos of themselves on You Tube. It’s usually a nobody wanting to be recognized as a somebody.

I have good friends on Facebook I keep in touch with or have reconnect with. But the fact of being ridiculed based on what you say or post by others is asinine. It has happened twice this week. In two instances I posted something and got quite negative responses from “friends” regarding my comment.

Does this really bother me? Nope, not in the least, but you can’t say much of anything that matters without drawing criticism. Usually I don’t ever bring up politics or religion when on Facebook, regardless of which side you come down on or who you are affiliated with. That really makes no difference to me. Nor do I judge my “friends” based on either of these.

Yet there are some who do want to judge and they go ahead and do so. This makes me rather hesitant at times to post what I really want to say. So when the best thing to say is left unsaid, I end up saying on my web site. That way I don’t offend any “friends” and keep the Ying and Yang in perfect harmony and balance.

Social Networking

I have not been interested in some of the “social networking” sites on the Internet, such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or even YouTube. This opinion has been formed after spending nearly 15 years being involved in online gaming, sharing many different aspects of my life with others. Many of these individuals I had never met, but through gaming formed an online relationship with because of our gaming interests. I became so involved with gaming, I became a involved with a development team who developed an online game beginning in 1999.

Since my retirement I have disassociated myself with anything online game related. I got tired of being in the spotlight and dealing with the demands and stress created by these online relationships. I continue to share my thoughts and interests on this site, but have never taken any interest in sharing my thoughts with friends whom I have known through school or work over the years.

Recently a friend I play soccer with sent me an e-mail invite from Facebook. I had heard of the site, but never signed up or added a profile. My sister and wife both had MySpace accounts, again I never visited, but did sign up so I could see some of my sister’s information. Since 1995 I have maintained my little piece of cyberspace here, on The 6th Floor, which was created out of my online alias, which was “Oswald” (yes, the patsy in the JFK assassination). The site has seen many changes, once mainly game related, the site has shifted interests to other personal interests such as amateur radio, 68 Cougar and other random news I provide.

Earlier this week I did create a Facebook profile. Since signing up I have added a few friends including some I play soccer with, as well as coworkers from jobs past and high school buddies. My sister told me, “don’t hate social networking…you haven’t even given it a chance.” I have, it was the years I spent being a figurehead in a gaming community we created. Yet I am willing to give social networking a chance. Hell, my sister even told my my mother has a Facebook page!

While I would much rather direct friends of mine to this site, I am going to start some level of participation on Facebook. Hopefully my friends will decide to read more of my dribble here on T6F. I am also looking at incorporating Twitter into the next version of The 6th Floor. We will see how that goes.