Monday, November 21, 2011

People Power 2.0

People Power, hosted by John Heilemann, is one video within a series, Download: The True Story of the Internet, highlighting the power that people have in the new age of the web 2.0.

I found this video fascinating, and actually ended up watching the three other videos in the series. I have always been curious about how people have these mammoth ideas like Facebook, YouTube, Napster, and how they come to be. The video did a great job of showing the path from the need to the development of the idea. I really enjoyed the Napster portion of the video, considering that was a story I was familiar with in middle school, and hadn't heard much about since. I like that the had Shawn Fanning speak for himself, and that the video didn't just rehash the story of Napster.

I think the more important concept of the video though, was the power that the Internet has put in the hands of consumers to produce content that they want to see. You no longer have to wait for a site to be built that has hundreds of classified ads on it, or is an online dating profile or a way to share music, you can just create it.

The video introduced the work of people who came up with ideas like YouTube and Digg and sites that are huge in popularity and legal implications. This video has helped me to understand that with great power comes great (legal) responsibility, and some of the struggles that these companies have faced over the years.
I was surprised to hear that giants like YouTube almost didn't happen due to issues with copyright and that the were "stealing" content. The CEO of YouTube, Chad Hurley, said that if they didn't have the backing of Google that they would not have been able to continue with YouTube, due to legal implications! Can you imagine a world without YouTube??? I can't.

I liked this video because I felt like it supported the idea that, to have a good idea, doesn't require tons of money, or a huge team of people, it just requires that you are a college kid, working out of a dorm room at Stanford University. Kidding, but seriously, do all good ideas come from Stanford? Really, though, its about AMBITION people, Ambition. Stand behind your idea, make it meaningful and people will want it.

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