Consumption and Production

Bradley Bloch wrote a post on Huffington Post that the proliferation of non-professional media production increased non-productive consumption of media. He uses an example of a popular YouTube video, ‘Charlie Bit Me’. Here is what he wrote:

One of the most popular videos on YouTube, “Charlie bit my finger–again!” depicting a boy sticking his fingers in his little brother’s mouth, has been viewed 211 million times. Something that took 56 seconds to create–and which was only intended to be seen by the boys’ godfather–has sucked up the equivalent of 1600 people working 40 hours a week for a year. Now that’s leverage.

What he did not note is how many different forms of re-creation took place after ‘Charlie bit me’ video. According to my count, since it was first posted, this short 56-second video inspired more than 5,700 different types of re-mix. Some are simple re-enactment of the same sequence; others are more creative by doing animations, different characters and so on. Some took a completely different forms of expression, such as hip hop dance music. Below is a collection of those re-mix of ‘Charlie bit Me’ that I use in my presentations to illustrate the generative and unbounded nature of digital innovations.

What Bloch and others like him seem to often fail to note is that the bigger picture of social change is not that we are becoming more stupid due to the digital media consumption, but that the traditional boundary of professional producers and consumers are breaking down.

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