Monday, 1 March 2010

Where Will All This Nostalgic Material Be When I'm Really Old?

This is the first edition of "Nostalgia Articles and Rants" (was pre-planned "Nostalgia Articles"). I hope to include guest authors soon, as I hope to open the blog soon to other posters, via entry form, to be possibly inserted at the bottom of the page. This will happen later this month, or in April. This section of the blog is a non-youtube video section, where you can talk about anything and any of the genres about the British TV of yesteryear. This could include overseas TV programmes you have watched on British TV too, growing up.

I know we are spoiled by the internet these days, all these programmes we haven't seen for years and then it's just there, thanks to someone storing a video of it, with perhaps the same good memories they have of it. In the 90s, before the internet was mainstream, all this was a pipe dream, and you had to rely on TV/satellite bringing it back to our screens, or it was maybe availiable on VHS. However we didn't really bat an eyelid before about it, as it was the norm, expect those distant memories of obscure TV remain in the back of you're head, never to be unleashed from the archive crypt again.

However, when the internet came along, we started having some hope, leaving us hungry for more. This is was I call the "dark days" of the internet, really, before 2005 when Youtube came about. We still had some niche sites like TV Ark for video clips, however how we feeded on was mere sound clips and theme songs, elsewhere and you were lucky to find even the tiniest scent of video. That gets you going, then you wonder if anybody else remembers these shows, so you look for fan sites and nostalgia websites, soaking in the information about a show, trying to picture it even better. So the cycle goes on and on. It leaves you hungry for more, but it's the age of dial-up, and it takes a century to download a full episode of 25 mins, that's if your lucky, you find these on file sharing sites like Napster and the likes of Limewire and Kazaa.

End up Youtube comes along, with some follower sites like Dailymotion as broadband use explodes. So this goliath arose, and the first time I came across it, I didn't see it as a big deal. "Youtube?, Sounds like an insult", and although they had warnings of uploading TV shows and programmes, they - wink, wink, ching, ching - did not have the capabilities to see to immedietely and delete it unless it was reported. We were all marvelled at the plethora of old TV shows, that came from people's old videos, as well as the true archivists. Unbelieveable, didn't imagine I would be one day again watching a full series and more of -I'm showing my age here, but - "The Girl From Tomorrow" (An Australian kids drama/sci fi). An almost bed-wetting choice was laid bare on Youtube, and lets not forget other sites like Dailymotion. This soon just becomes the norm, you can't find every obscure TV show, but it's getting there, from the theme intro to a small clip.

However, then you think about it being taken away from you.

Most of the videos will not last forever on Youtube. Well, the more you upload on your account, the more chance you have of having you're account suspended permanently. Maybe some authentic people are claiming copyright, or someone just messing about. It's fair to say, yes, it is on DVD in the stores, that's fine, but it's annoying when Youtube just deletes a whole account rather than specific videos, while some of those videos/clips might be irreplaceable. The best way to preserve would be to have your own website and built-in videos.

Some youtube users will tell you, that the footage does not exist in the official archives and has been wiped and deleted. The people who have this material aren't going to be around forever, and it might not be dealt as enthusiastically as the next generation. Not to mention footage/programmes that might never receive a DVD release. That's the most down-trodden thing I can say about Youtube, they don't take sh** when it comes to other videos on the account, not copyrighted, however that was the whole original point of the website, for home-made media, but they know most of their traffic comes from copyrighted material, which despite how huge they, doesn't always translate into dollars for the founders.

I know (not know, know) certain users who upload alot of nostalgic media videos, and have been suspended several times, that they have given up. That's now, and there's still plenty from the 80s, 90s even 70s. However come long-term, another 40-50 years, I might still be living, and all the 20th century material could be shot to bits, with many of the uploaders now, having died, might be a vaccum of not alot with only the most memorable shows from those times. 50 material isn't that plentiful, it's nothing like the number of 80s, 90s material, when people were beginning to have video recorders. So when I'm much older, i'll be really annoyed if that's the case, because I will see the slow decline. Hopefully the BBC, ITV or whoever is in charge of the archives, open them up in their totality online, well I'd be happy with 20th century material. Not everything will be released on DVD, but that's the thing, there's not much money in it for them. However, maybe something is changing, as you now have Channel 4 opening up some of it's archive with full series and episodes on Youtube, along with the BBC with clips. There's a huge market for nostalgia, Youtube knows that, they're not hardly ever the most popular videos, because they're not new, but it sets a solid base for them. So hopefully it will grow and grow, and I'm not left to drawing myself to dead/barely active fansites, reading and wishing to watch again.

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