From Television to Web 2.0

Television for a long time was the only way you could watch a TV show, forget about movies. Those you either had to by the tape and VHS player or pay for cable. Even with the tape you still had to have the TV screen to watch the film on. It was the only medium through which visual entertainment was possible. I remember the computer only as a device to use for writing papers, maybe playing computer games, and sending emails on an early version of the internet. Even then only our parents really used that. That started to change with the development of the Web and user-generated content with Web 2.0.

Sfriendsleaduddenly TV shows that were distributed only through television were accessible on the Web with a computer. The quality may have deteriorated but it was worth watching your favorite TV shows online, today at sites like Solar Movie, and eventually the low definition became acceptable. Another aspect was that computers were becoming more common in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, which meant families had more than one in the household. With the television having to watch anything was very public in the house and usually a group activity. The personal computer and the internet turned exhibition into a private event. For young teens this privacy would have been extra appealing.

Once a person found a site that they liked would return to it to watch the TV shows, eventually everything was accessible online. No longer did you need to have cable to watch shows that weren’t apart of regular broadcasting schedules. Yes you still had to pay for the internet but once you had it there were no limits. Compared to paying for a TV set, paying for cable access, and then finally watching a show however only at specific time, which was usually later in the day or at night. With the internet you could watch on your own time whenever you wanted to over and over again. This put more control of choice in the hands of the user and audience then television did. Even without Netflix this was the first time marathon watching started. A person could watch episode after episode in one day.

User-generated content and the development of Web 2.0 further changed the established order of entertainment creation and exhibition. Web 2.0 was the new and hot thing in younger generation, which became very popular very fast. People turned from the audience to active participators and creators of media, pictures and short videos; MySpace and blogging started With YouTube and YouTube channels where fans could follow their favorite videos online; the creators where people just like them who enjoyed video production.

“User-generated video – promises to disrupt the modern relations of culture production that have structured the broadcast era and to unsettle the expertise of established media and knowledge professions” (Burgess 311).

It disrupted old establishment even more where networks lost power over creation of content, the culture of video entertainment changed.


Burgess, Jean. “User-Created Content and Everyday Cultural Practice: Lessons from YouTube.” Television as New Media. Ed. James Bennett and Niki Strange. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011. 311 – 331. Print.

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