Has Anyone Noticed Live Streaming Is Boring?
Whit Harwood


Hey, Guys, Live Streaming Is Boring!

What would we ever do without bloggers telling us that free content generation is bad?

You just spent how many hundred words, written on a blog platform, to tell people how much it sucks that other people have equal access to any random soapbox to stand on to address the world — just like you.

From there you go on to suggest that really only major publishing platforms should be worth the time for people to engage with. Only “real media” is not crap.

Regarding your hypocrisy, I’m not even mad. That’s incredible. I generally have to go to major media outlets to see that level of failure of self reflection. You are ready for the prime time, good sir. Take your soapbox and sell it to somebody bigger, someone who will appreciate your highbrow aspirations.

In the meantime, there are people who enjoy watching the riveting behind-the-scenes actions of a radio show, possibly because they used to work on one or they have a personal interest as the audience of that show. There are people who enjoy watching someone climbing a building, no matter their purpose — and it’s extra-fascinating because it’s someone doing it live, in real-time, not staged. And some people actually like watching original well produced studio programs inspired by more traditional media architectures. The weirdos.

Yes, some people consider the content on Facebook Live, Periscope, along with Twitch and YouTube’s live content — which apparently have both passed your notice, possibly because they generally involve such lowbrow entertainment as people playing video games — to be “great material.” To be quality content that they earn to watch by themselves or with their families.

“So, why is it so damn hard to find something decent to watch?”

Hundreds of millions of us have been asking the same question about every form of broadcast media from day two of the Gutenberg press.

But that’s a lie — it’s not hard to find something decent to watch it all. There is a vast panoply of content to watch, constantly new, constantly being generated, constantly being categorized, constantly being viewed. Some of it is stuff you would even like. And it’s not hard to find it, you just have to go looking, you just have to be willing to go and find things that you don’t like along the way to discovering things that you do like and take the commensurate risk of possibly finding that you like some of the things you’ve declared publicly that you don’t like.

See, there’s this impulse that I’ve observed in media, New and Mainstream, public and private, and it’s disconcerting:

“I don’t like part of this thing so it clearly needs to be done by large organizations of professionals who produce content specifically for me — otherwise it’s crap and should go away.”

And that’s bullshit. You know it’s bullshit, I know it’s bullshit, everyone in the audience knows it’s bullshit. We know it’s bullshit because if we apply that reasoning to your own article, it goes away.

Maybe it’s a failure in me that I observe that your article is bullshit but believe that someone, somewhere might like it and maintain that you should be allowed to write and publicize your content, from now to eternity.


The fun thing is that everyone in this world can be a content creator — and are. There is no way that people don’t create content. They create content all the time. They create content that their friends like, that their families like. They pursue projects, they write words, they talk about their day.

I don’t have to like everything they produce for it to be a valid act of creation.

“Then how do we evolve from the world beholden to the whims of the uninspired to a society where live, digital only content is actually worth consuming?”

You could join us in our world, where that’s already true. Or you could accept that what you believe is actually the case and stop writing, making us beholden to your uninspired whims; that would be okay, too. But either way, you have to get with the program and actually practice what you preach.

People on Facebook Live and Periscope are already giving people perspectives and experiences that they never would’ve had access to. Sometimes their perspective and experience is a trio of drunk girls out on the town. Sometimes their perspective and experience is a guy climbing a building I’d never get near the outside of. Sometimes their perspective and experience is a guy doing the digital text equivalent of sitting on his front porch, shaking his cane at passing kids having fun, and shouting, “get off my lawn, you damn boring whippersnappers!”

That last one’s you, by the way. In case you missed it.

The problem is you don’t actually want their perspectives and experiences. You don’t want there to be choice. You believe there are too many choices, that people can choose to engage with things that you don’t like — and that’s inherently bad.

You’ve decided that “57 Channels and Nothing’s On” is a perfectly reasonable way to go through life, while everyone else is having a great time finding channels they like or just surfing between them.

Everyone else is having a great time discovering those new perspectives and experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. Everyone else is thinking “hey, maybe I can write/say something about the world/say something about my life/show people what I love, and maybe they can take away a part of that with them and do something with it in their lives.

And then there’s you.

I’m not sure why we’re supposed to take that seriously. Maybe you can hop up on this soapbox right here and cast your words into the ever widening gyre of the egocentric whims of everyone with a keyboard, drifting listlessly on the waves of your first person content which presumes to buttress mainstream media and raise our collective attention span to near infinitesimal levels.

I say that because Medium tells me this talk about three minutes to read.

You must be so proud.