What do you think about the distinction of mainstream – niche on the web? Isn’t it the case that ‘mainstream media’ is just a niche after all, and not necessarily the most important?
We have a very nice case study now on how ideas, memes, actions, movements in the science/tech arena are spreading throughout the web: science video sites like JoVE, Labaction, SciVee were first embraced by the more and more muscular science blogosphere followed by a broader science/tech media coverage like Wired, The Scientist and finally reached CNN, USA Today today via the same Associated Press story by Alicia Chang (I am looking forward to a presidential debate on how to make and publish good science videos online):
USA Today: Niche sites spread science on the Web
From the story:
Researchers who are uploading their experiments and lectures online are discovering filmmaking is more art than science. If the narrators are boring or the image is shaky, viewers will quickly learn to click elsewhere…
“We need to show our experiments, and ‘show’ in our age means video,” Pritsker said.
Some experts say the biggest advantage to science videos is making research more accessible to nonscientists. There’s no guarantee that video can’t be manipulated, but the medium also may force scientists to think twice before committing fraud.
“It’s one thing to put your name on a fake paper and it’s another to make a fake video that your friends and family could watch,” said John B. Horrigan, associate director for research at the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Last year, Horrigan authored a study that found more than half the people who seek science information online want to hear it from the original source.
Translating the experiments to video won’t be without challenges. Chief among them is attracting enough Web traffic to make the sites profitable.
Thanks for the tip, Moshe.