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Irina IdeasNov 10, 2018

Live streaming is so powerful and yet underutilized and misunderstood because it was misused in the original form. Kardashians and the likes from the category of “being famous because they are famous” are the prime example of both, the power and misuse. Now, we as a collective are slowly growing out of beauty product fascination and stepping into the spheres of something more cerebral, the question is how will we enter this new world of intangible content, quality, processes of learning, fierce individualism?

Meritocracy of course, but there is a catch, never ever expect a large and in some cases even small number of people to choose quality, not because they can’t or won’t but simply because there are so many aspects involved and something may be good for one bad for the other, people are coming from different cultures and mindset that predisposes this over that, some might be having a bad day, others might have an agenda that blurs their vision, and that is fine, ultimately, it is really the test of time that validates the quality. People’s opinions at large are perishable goods, that said without one, we would be lost as a civilization. That is where editorial efforts, curating are essential aspect of our evolving internet, called live streaming.

Today more than ever, as internet has built a web that reaches the furthest corners of this planet, there is much more noise, and it is going to increase, which is why curating or filters are absolutely necessary to prevent us from drowning in the ocean of senseless information/attention grabbers. Without highly sophisticated editorial team, a platform like Periscope or any other live streaming service would not be able to keep the long term attention of the audience. Audience is often like waves in the sea, they go agitated at something emotionally dense (like for example: murder, catastrophic events, love story, scandals, victim mentality, emotional exploitation,…. the list goes) but equally these types of attention grabbers, don’t last long and the waves disappear the same way, leaving behind the instant success of the one producing the stream absolutely distraught and bitter wondering “why am I not a celebrity already, I had such a large numbers watching this and when will I become famous for being famous, what is the secret formula to test the disease called going viral?”

I can’t emphasize enough that it doesn’t matter how many people you get while live streaming, as long as the algorithm and editorial team are pushing the right people into your live streams. By right I mean the ones genuinely interested in what you share. This is a tricky thing to do, extremely complex and requires access to big data. I don’t know how advanced are the current social live streaming platforms in this respect, but I always fear the shortcuts that they are sometimes prone to take by not curating carefully and following the masses, catering to the taste of the mediocrity, again for the sake of numbers and losing the quality audience in the process. In most cases this is a death blow, an app uninstalled once will rarely get installed again.

There is a famous social experiment done in 2007, which portrayed a great classical violinist who decided to put to test the wisdom of the crowd, read here what happened https://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2007/apr/18/joshuabellnoordinarybusker

If everyone had the high level of education, thirst for learning and understanding/tolerance, it would be a totally different scenario. We would be able to rely fully on the wisdom of the crowd. Thankfully with internet and in particular live streaming we are on the way of upgrading the whole educational system. We are all aware that the old ways of learnings are outdated and educational institutions while they embraced the internet with MOOCs are still going to change big time, probably dissolve as institutions and turn into individuals, which is possibly the healthier way anyway. Does anyone notice the flourishing of the YouTube individuals, creators, educators? They don’t need institutional support to validate them, they already share knowledge, and get funded through advertising model, which is problematic on its own, but it is a topic for another post. Now this leads us to the question how will this work, how will they (teachers, professors, all professionals, artists, creators, thinkers, philosophers) survive as individuals in a large sea, where is their salary, safety net, insurance?

Kevin Kelly wrote about this in this article. https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/and I would warmly recommend to everyone to read this. It was written many years ago but is still relevant today, and it just further shows how futile the thirst for competition is.

Digitalization of our discoveries, professional razor focus, explorations, creativity, ultimately art making are not vertical games of hierarchy and who is better in a big school of life judged by votes/opinions of the large number of people, this is an outdated model of thinking taught in schools that will soon seize to exist.

We are all part of the universe and no school or taste can define one as better to the other, however universe often nurtures complexity and that is where our editorial team should be focused on, to educate, enlighten, while the algorithm (on the bases of all those information about ourselves shared on the internet) should help put together the like minded and do it’s job towards Kevin Kelly’s idea of 1000 fans. I think that live streaming platforms are perfectly positioned to do just this, because they are demanding and require responsibility and learning in terms of pressing that red button #golive (not to mention reputation building) but also because they promote authenticity which we all need more of, in order to build a healthy well balanced civilization.