I've said it here before: the language of the internet is video. The data to back up that statement seems to arrive daily.
Because of our seemingly insatiable demand for quickly accessing information and entertainment, we search constantly, online and through many other different mediums, finding one satisfying morsel after another.
It reminds me of the prehistoric cave dwellers in Jean Auel's series of "Children Of The Earth" novels written several decades ago, beginning with "Clan Of The Cave Bear." The denizens were always foraging for roots, plants animals and other valuable items as the season's changed. Staying alive through winters meant shopping for supplies in the huge super warehouse of Nature.
Is that quest in our DNA? Do we not feel the urge to stock the pantries in our lives, with not only food and clothing but knowledge, protection and even entertainment? Have we not all learned about our "fight or flight" responses, buried deep inside our sense of survival, itself almost forgotten in the stupor of a safe, organized "society?" Do we not try to insulate ourselves from what fears the future may hold?
The quest, if it's any good, will take us into new areas, places we haven't been before. With safety in quantity and an the sheer numbers of people in an organized society, we explore now, not to find safety from predators as much as to find what's there that we can practically apply in our lives.
These journeys of ours into finding answers, from mundane to profound, have made monstrous successes out of Clans (companies) that bear the most simple, easy-to-remember downright childish monikers, almost as if they were all made up Cave Dwellers, or Paul McCartney in the 70s - Google, Yelp, Yahoo.
Used to be Yahoo was the number one search engine (or online Phone Directory) but then Google poured it on and took the leader position. But that was yesterday, and in this rapid growth phase, 24 hours can be the equivalent of last century's decade. Things change fast.
We wake up to find YouTube is the number one video search engine today. There's that pattern again - videos, videos, videos. This culture of generations in which we find ourselves living, while offering vastly individual tastes, shares a consistency in our hunger for stories. Stories told online, in pod casts, blogs like this one, and, of course, videos!
Which brings us to the latest stats on our online horse race. We have a new leader.
It's Netflix. According to a new report released Tuesday, Netflix, Inc. has taken its place at the front of the pack. It is now the single largest source of Internet traffic in this hemisphere, leading a huge spike in digital entertainment that represents nearly half of the bytes flowing to online consumers in North America.
In Europe, BOTH non-recorded, entertainment performed in real-time AND previously recorded shows available for download share two-thirds of the online peak traffic with BitTorrent holding as top-used application.
We, on this planet, have become a gathering of the tribes who cluster in Social networking, who regularly go Web surfing and to whom file sharing is commonplace, like a trip to the produce section.
“The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium / that is, of any extension of ourselves / result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.” -- Marshall McLuhan