Disintermediation: Guilty Pleasures
As readers of this blog know, I believe that, in many large and significant ways, disintermediation is a fundamental force of reorganization in the world today. We live in one of those eras of disintermediation. If you are new to this blog, check out the archive on this subject.
We all have our guilty pleasures in life. The trashy shows on TV that we watch but donâ€™t really talk about, the Internet sites that we go to in private moments of mindless fun, the celebrity filled magazines that fill us up with the seemingly glamorous lives of celebrities.
The other day I was checking out my RSS feeds on my browser page, and on a site that I like, Thought Mechanics, I saw the following post title â€œJimmy Page at 14â€. [This on a site that usually has good, issue oriented entries] All my life I have been a Led Zeppelin fan and have considered Jimmy Page to be one of the 5 great guitarists to come out of the 1960s. To be able to see him at age 14! I immediately clicked the link and then watched a clip from a 1957 BBC program with â€˜James Pageâ€™ playing in a skiffle band and, during a break between songs, telling the interviewer that when he grew up he wanted to be a researcher to help solve Cancer if it hadnâ€™t been solved by then. This clip was grouped with other clips relative to Led Zeppelin: Aerosmith playing with Led Zeppelin, Plant and Page playing in Brazil, and several Yardbirds clips. [For those of you who like rock and roll guitar, the Yardbirds had more guitar talent go through the lead guitar position than any other band in history. The first lead guitarist was Eric Clapton, the second was Jeff Beck, and the third and final was Jimmy Page]. All of these were clips I had never seen, never knew existed and thoroughly enjoyed.
Well, 20 minutes later I finally went back to work with â€œTrain Kept a Rollinâ€™â€ playing in my head. Thank you YouTube for a really nice, cool, interlude to my day. YouTube is a poster child of disintermediation. It is less than a year old and in that short time has, along with other sites such as ifilm, fundamentally altered the video and television landscape. Now, videos break on YouTube then move to television. Want to be a star? Send in your video to YouTube and let the people decide, no programming executive needed.
So what does this have to do with disintermediation? Well, without going to a music store, a video rental store, a library or a club, I got to watch great historic musical performances. I didnâ€™t have to pay anything, I didnâ€™t have to leave home and I didnâ€™t need to buy anything, like a newspaper, to get the information about these links. I found that information on a blog, supplied by a reader of that blog. So the entire experience, from beginning to end was user generated and supplied, not media outlet generated, was free and completely convenient. There was no middle man telling me when I had to watch, how much I had to pay, or in what order I had to watch what I wanted to watch.
As to the fact that it is 49 years since a 14 year old Page made that remark about working on a cure for Cancer when he grows up if it hadnâ€™t yet been solved, well we still have to finish that incredibly important task and as fast as possible. However, we do have some of the greatest rock and roll music to listen to while we do it. Maybe, just maybe, the person responsible for the next great Cancer breakthrough will source â€œStairway to Heavenâ€ or “When the Levee Breaks” as an inspiration.