Last month, I got a tour of an upstart web TV station, OnlyOneTV.com.
With not much beyond a few cheap cameras and lights, some video switching software and a fast internet connection, these guys are hosting and creating a bunch of TV talk shows on a variety of topics.
It reaffirms something that I first realized in the middle 1990s when I read Paul A. McKinley's memoir of his WWII service at his website, CruiserScout.com.
"Traditional" media like over the air TV and radio, cable and satellite, printed newspapers and magazines, theatrical films, they all put a lot of effort and money into the basic mechanics of publishing and distributing.
We now live in an age when anyone with an internet connection can distribute their own content for free or close to it. Fiction, nonfiction, video, audio, photographs, paintings, podcasts, webisodes, blogs, tweets- anyone can make them and post them. Transmitters, printing presses, film prints, none of this is necessary with web based media.
Independent film makers have been distributing their own films for decades by booking their own theaters and printing their own DVDs. Now they can also stream through services like Hulu, Netflix and iTunes. Even if they can't get their film into one of those channels, they can still post it on their own website, and maybe sell some advertising and charge per view.
But being able to distribute your own media is still only a small part of the equation. You still need to get someone else to find it, something that most independents still struggle with. But the biggest hurdle is to make something that's worth watching- even the networks and studios often struggle with that!