Thursday, August 24, 2006

Coming apart at the seams

Oh god. I'm being held together by medication, adrenaline and several litres of cola today. This could charitably be called a bad combination and my body is doubtless planning its revenge on me right now. As soon as the veneer of functionality provided by these props dissipates I expect to lapse into a coma. Or maybe my brain will just leak out my ears. At the very least, this cold is going to set in and suck the life out of me.

Which is probably similar to how YouTube feels right now. It's hard to escape the feeling that YouTube is being held together with Blu-tac and wishful thinking because it's certainly been very shaky of late. I've worked in big banks and other corporations where people really lose their shit when systems go down but I imagine it's nothing compared to the sort of hysteria going on in the halls of YouTube right now. The weight of millions of users and the expectations of investors is a good recipe for causing a major scale freak-out. Right about now, the swearing is probably getting pretty creative. They would have used up "Shut the fuck up and leave me alone, I'm trying to fix the fucking thing you shithead" the last time the system went down.

Anyway, I'm coping by "working from home" today, AKA getting paid to sit around and surf the web. I made a big show of taking the Pensky File home from work yesterday afternoon because I could feel my ill-health building up. I told the boss I was taking it so I could work from home if I felt worse today. I haven't even looked at but I'll have to later on because I was supposed to have finished reviewing it by tomorrow and I don't think any George Costanza tricks will help me out. It all worked out extremely well because I was up really late preparing videos for The Blogging Times so I got to sleep in until 9.30 this morning. Then I was able to sort out some more issues with the videos that I wouldn't have been able to do if I was at work.

This work thing totally gets in the way of blogging. Anyway, as Bubble 2.0 heats up, I'm cashing in this time. I guess I get paid more than I ever imagined I would (I'm an internet thousandaire) but when I saw the money people were making in the dotcom bubble in the late 90's it really pissed me off that I wasn't making out like a bandit as well. This time I think I can see the signs so I'm jockeying for position. By all accounts we're unlikely to have a real bust again like in 2000/2001 but things are going to reach a peak and slow down.

By my reckoning, it's about 1998 right now. The hype is starting to build up. Some of the net phenomenons are starting to impinge on mainstream consciousness. The first really big deals have been done (MySpace is the new Netscape). Now the big money is starting to circle, wondering where they can cash in. Do they go for the obvious targets (will Apple buy YouTube?) or try to build up one of the small fish (Sony just bought Grouper)?

Working out a deal with The Blogging Times isn't going to make me rich in and of itself and that isn't why I'm excited about the possibility. Getting involved with some smart people who are really trying to push boundaries (TBT, Howard, Chartreuse) is where the action is. Even if no real money comes out of it, the scope of the adventure has me fired up.

Last time this sort of opportunity came up it sailed right by and I got nothin'! This time I reckon I can see the wave coming. I might be a shit surfer but I'm paddling for all I'm worth.

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