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Better than MTV

June 6th, 2004 · No Comments

I needed to work in the kitchen Friday morning, so while I was putting away the dishes, I let the girls watch videos… on my laptop…clicking on links in my aggregator.

It started Thursday night when I saw A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Microsoft Lenn Pryor’s interview with Eric Rudder in my Channel 9 video feed (how I got the feed). When we saw Lenn for dinner a couple weeks ago, he told us a little about this interview he had just done and how he hitchhiked around the company campus with a senior vice president.

So Ted and I watched the video together. A mini-movie night. It was fun. I learned that Ted and I just missed meeting Eric at Brown – he graduated in 1988, the year we each arrived (and he recently went back to campus for the 25th anniversary of the cs department). When he mentioned a computer graphics class, I smiled, imagining his professor. I also liked hearing Eric describe how his children interact with computers, and how he has to explain things to them, when they ask “why is it this way?” The drive through campus was a cute idea, although after a while all the trees looked identical. I didn’t realize it was such a large place – it’s been years since I last was there.

Friday morning while I was waiting for the girls to finish breakfast and tidying the kitchen, I thought I’d watch the first introductory video in my aggregator – Soon the girls had finished their food too and wanted to watch. I found them dancing to the theme music. They recognized Lenn whom they met a couple weeks ago. I pointed out Jeff whom I also met at BloggerCon. When I mentioned Scoble, whom the girls met at the April Webloggers Meetup, Abigail said to Michaela: “Scoble is Maryam’s husband – remember?!” Seeing the camera he uses was cool.

Some quotes I caught included Lenn describing Channel9: “It came out of this cold medicine haze…” “This is five guys and a web site” and how viewers can “see some of the quirky things that are here…” and have conversation: “It’s about talking back.”

The guys mentioned how they will include discussions with “every day” people at the company. Jeff emphasized connecting through the shared commonalities: “I’ve got a mortgage too.” “It’s not about rock stars all the time.”

Maybe it’s not about rock stars. But these Channel9 guys are like rock stars to our kids. So are any bloggers. (The girls liked Anita’s radio appearance too.) Or any friend who comes to our home. The girls loved watching, and after the first video had finished, I let them watch Lenn hitchhike (hmmm, maybe not such a good example to show the kids ;)!).

Maybe instead of MTV, the girls can grow up watching Channel 9 and other feeds I find in my aggregator (family-safe ones, of course). They haven’t seen Veggie Tales or Sesame Street clips but I have a feeling I’ll be playing more videos for my girls now: it’s easy (right in my aggregator, with one click!), inexpensive (no need to get cable, just our DSL), educational, fun, fresh (thanks to RSS), mostly family-friendly (although I don’t know if I’d show them the Cocktail Geeks clip – I would want them asking about maraschino liquor…) and entertaining…plus I get to watch what I want, when I want! (imagine MTV that came in a channel of video feeds)…

I’m wondering….does MTV have a video feed? How about Sesame Street? Veggie Tales? What fun it would be to subscribe to more…imagine daily videos that would enhance my homeschooling…or even video feeds from friends traveling around the world!…for now we’ll keep enjoying Channel 9…and look for Bill and Steve driving by with Lenn sometime soon…

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