So, your friend is in a band. A common occurance these days. My friend-to-band ratio is pretty high, and my acquaintance-to-band ratio is even higher. If I meet your friends, I'll assume they're in bands too because just like stereotypes, assumption saves time. I'm all about saving time. I even invented daylight savings time because I love it so much. So If I can assume your friend is in a band, I can assume the conversation will take on a typical form.
First, intros will be made. We'll talk about classes, maybe some movies we saw and liked, then probably types of music we enjoy. Do you like this band? Yeah, they're okay. I like their earlier stuff better, but the new album is decent. Yeah, what about this band? Sure, I got the album before their newest one. That's a good one... and so on and so forth. We'll eventually and coincidentally get to a band that sounds similar to the band your friend is in. And as a courtesy, or if I'm genuinely interested, I'll ask if they have any recordings on CD.
Well, we don't have any CDs.
How about a website?
We've got a MySpace page. You can stream our stuff and friend us. We've got a show coming up in a small town that is hard to get to, if you're interested.
Hmm... no CDs, not even a lowly mp3 somewhere?
You can hear us on YouTube, some songs from our last show are on there and Tyler skateboarding outside before we went on stage.
Alright, conversation over.
I don't need to go into the vices of these two sites, do I? MySpace is well-known, and YouTube has 34 million viewers in August according to Billboard.biz, all posting dreams of instant recognition and acknowledgement in shitty DV format. YouTube isn't just for music. It's for skateboarding videos, funny accidents, video diaries, and the bottom of the barrel of just about anything you can think of.
Now, thanks to the popularity of the site, imitators are springing up. Microsoft has started Soapbox and Sony recently bought video-sharing site Grouper.com for $65 million. Now we can see bad videos (music or otherwise) on multiple conglomerate-owned servers, ironically talking about the problems of our mass consumerism. Oh, and visit my merch store at Cafe Press.
Soapbox has started up to a limited, invite-only audience, but it'll soon open to everyone. Soapbox's forerunner, Microsoft's MSN Video was once popular, but YouTube and Myspace ecclipsed it long ago, tripling and quadrupling their users respectively. "We're definitely not blind to the fact that YouTube has a big lead right now," said Rob Bennett, general manager of MSN's entertainment and video services. "It's really early days in online video. This is still act one." Please be a one-act play.