I was an early adopter of the Internet. At the time, I was working in the research branch of a major telecom. In 1992, they put the internet on my desktop. There were no search engines. The most amazing thing was a picture of a coffee pot at a British university and the pic was updated every 5 minutes. It was state of the art. I didn't think that the internet would go anywhere fast. A couple of months, I put up a personal website after seeing the light. It was called Chezken Uppe (pronounced Shaken Up) and it was a pun on Chez Ken as the French would say.
Since making that initial mistake of thinking that the proto-internet wouldn't go anywhere (who wanted to read a bunch of CERN research papers?), my spider senses have been considerably sharpened by what hath technology wrought.
Television is a changing medium. It is possible to have 900 satellite channels and nothing to watch on TV. As a result, when I do feel like kicking back and letting my mind idle while sipping my favorite brewski (a St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout -- like having an espresso, dark chocolate and black truffle goodness in a beer -- and I wasn't paid to shill this):
anyway, I watch Youtube. The Youtube folks could use the Amazon algorithm as to what I like because it is rarely right. However I stumbled onto the Youtube channel of William Larkham Jr, and it has never left my mind since. His channel is a primordial incarnation of the future of television.
Let me explain. My information intake is mostly non-fiction. My most recent book that I have read is "The Innovators". When watching television, I usually watch the Discovery Channel, PBS or the food channel. I like assimilating information, especially about exotic places and people doing exotic things. Like most human beings, I have a deep curiosity about how other humans live. I think that it is an inborn trait. We are all nosey gawkers when it comes to other human beings. For me, I even like looking in the windows as I am driving down a road in the dark and I see a lit up house. I catch a glimpse as I pass of how other people live their lives.
The Discovery Channel capitalizes on this innate curiosity about other human beings. They produce shows like Dangerous Catch, Swamp Loggers, Pawn Stars and even Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. However, a lot of the show is drivel. It is becoming more and more scripted. As such, they try to build up suspense before going to a commercial break, and when you see the denouement of the scripted suspense, it is a cheesy deus ex machina, or a total fake situation enhanced by the script writers. All reality shows eventually become parodies of themselves. However, there is a certain magnetism to them, and hence the Duck Dynasty figurines at the local discount store (where they belong).
So when I stumbled on the channel of William Larkham Jr., I was surprised, entertained, enlightened and hooked. William lives in the extreme outback of Labrador. He calls it The Big Land, and the name of his channel is Big Land Trapper. He has an incredibly quaint Newfie or fish accent from the Maritimes that is endearing ( spice becomes "spoice" and weasel becomes "wizzle"). He films himself and his life from the Christmas celebrations to trapping to harvesting fish and game to gathering berries and playing with his children. In spite of the fact that he shows seal hunting, trapping and fishing, it is an incredibly classy show. Tasteful as well. He doesn't do the hunting gore. All of his efforts, whether they be working on a North Atlantic shrimp trawler, or crab fishing, or hunting ptarmigan, are all done to eke out a living in a place where you can't drive to. There are roads and snowmobiles, but getting to the Big Land is a challenge best served going by ferry. It is a fascinating look into the lives of people who live in remote North American places.
The production is visibly home made. At times he has covered the microphone of the camera and the sound dies out. When things get exciting, the camera shifts away as he deals with the situation. He recently got a Go-Pro camera that enhanced the filming. But you don't mind these things, because it is pure authenticity. It is obvious from the videos, that he is a nice, classy, hard-working guy, and the most improbable reality star that you will ever see. And his channel is addictive.
When I get to thinking about the future of work and jobs and such, I often wonder what comes next in the Brave New World. With 3D printers, we won't need to buy cheap crap from China. With artificial intelligence and robots, many jobs will be lost in manufacturing and manual labor. The future of work for many, can be providing content and getting paid for it. In this way, people create their own jobs, in their own niches. It makes sense with the aid of technology, that people can create their own television channels. They are already doing it on Youtube, and there could be further technology incarnations (developers take note, here is an opportunity).
Sponsors are already jumping on the bandwagon. They find these Youtube channels and send product which gets featured by the grateful recipients. This will be a burgeoning aspect of creating your own television channel in terms of generating a revenue stream and supporting yourself. You don't need a million viewers. You need 500-5000 views per video, and you could be self-sustaining. Several woodworking channels are already making a living from Youtube views.
So if you are looking for some reality entertainment, mosey over to William's channel:
It is wholesome, hearty, informative and highly entertaining. The embedded video above shows an Innuit (Eskimo) winter or Christmas tradition in Labrador. Click on his advertising links to generate some income for him, and if you like his stuff, send him some product or beer or spoices. You will be contributing to the future of television.
Note: I haven't met or communicated with William Larkham yet, but his channel has sharpened my curiosity about Labrador, but probably only during the summer months.