In todays New York Times, Brad Stone has a story: “Young Turn to Web Sites Without Rules,” about people moving away from MySpace and YouTube to sites were there are no rules or the rules they do have are unenforceable.
Popular Web sites like YouTube and MySpace have hired the equivalent of school hallway monitors to police what visitors to their sites can see and do by cracking down on piracy and depictions of nudity and violence.
So where do the young thrill-seekers go?
Increasingly, to new Web sites like Stickam.com, which is building a business by going where others fear to tread: into the realm of unfiltered live broadcasts from Web cameras.
The reality is that the Web doesn’t have any rules per se. Sites that offer specific services – video sharing, page hosting, etc. – have elected to put rules in place; but there are plenty of ways that anyone can create and host content or services free of rules already. All sites like Stickam have done is to make it easier for people with less sense than technical capability to jump on the bandwagon.
I checked it out today and have to say it was tamer than I’d expected. Plenty of guys begging women to expose themselves but not much more. (I will admit that the live video of one of the “beggers” masturbating as he plead with a women sitting at her computer to undress was an interesting wrinkle.)
Josh Bernoff of Forrester describes these sites as being a “race to the bottom.” The truth is that we’ve been there for a while; it’s just that now people have an easy way to let everyone know where to find them.
[tags]Brad Stone, New York Times, YouTube, MySpace, Stickam, Web, Rules, Josh Bernoff, Forrester, race to the bottom[/tags]