Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Ustream Moment has interested me for quite a while. However, I've never been at the right place at the right time to really appreciate it. Today I caught a Tweet that Obama was speaking live in Virginia on Ustream. It was great.

I'm not committed to a candidate yet (in any party), yet there was certainly something special about hearing him speak live and in the moment. This just doesn't seem to come through as well for me in a recorded version. This is entirely mental on my side, but it just seemed to make a difference. I can now better understand the buzz about him.

This is really where video blogging will take off. I don't want you to polish it. Just send it to me in real-time with an option to go back and watch pre-recorded stuff. With the ability to stream from phones and cameras coming built-in to many new laptops, this will be a great movement. It will take citizen journalism to new heights. No longer are we only competing with print publications, but we are competing with broadcast news.

After watching Obama, I flipped around a little bit then decided to stream something of my own. Streaming Daehakro (University Street) in Seoul from the 2nd floor window of a Starbucks.

Not too exciting, but it does what I want it to do. It shows that a scene like this in Korea isn't too much different from scenes in other major cities. Too often we exoticize (is that a word?) other cultures. We focus on differences and exotic elements in other cultures that have very little to do with the day to day lives of people in those cultures. Korea is often portrayed with Hanbok (traditional dress for men and women) and kimchi, even by Koreans in America (or other country). Showing similarities doesn't cut it on international day at school :)

There is a lot to be said for the mundane. Show videos of street scenes like this. Show videos of subway riders. Show videos while walking through the Seoul downtown. Korea has come a long way from villagers in huts as portrayed by M.A.S.H., yet many people don't have a sense of this. Though they might have daily interactions with Koreans, they often think that they escaped in impoverished existence by immigrating to [country name here] to start a new life. For anyone who lives here, that is silly, but it is a common belief that I have heard many times before.

Cheers to and other services that allow us to broadcast the mundane.


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