Not so long ago, the only people who made video were the people who worked for NBC or CBS.
The gear to produce video was so expensive and so complicated to use that only major media companies could afford it.
Of course, there were a lot of people who had home VHS video camcorders, but they were only hauled out for birthdays or Christmas. No one, except employees of networks, went around making music videos or cooking videos.
And, of course, the people who worked for CBS or NBC got paid for their work. No one expect to be paid for their home videos of the trip to Disney World.
Then... everything changed.
It changed because of two things - Smart phones and the web.
Smart phones because now everyone had a video camera with them all the time, and one that shot 4K with no effort; the Internet because now there were places to 'share' your video, places like YouTube and Facebook.
So lots of people started making videos all the time, about lots of stuff. And they began to post their videos on YouTube and Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat.
But one thing remained constant - they were not getting paid for their videos.
At least 99.999% of us weren't getting paid.
Oh, there was the occasional 'influencer' who made '$1m' on YouTube, but with 500 hours of video posted every minute, the odds were better if you played Powerball lottery.
This was not, and is not a business.
So, the question remains: How do you make money with your video?
The honest answer is, no one knows. But we have an idea we are going to try.
As you may know, we are engaged in the very first steps in a very interesting and highly experimental project called Brooklyn TV (BKTV).
BKTV is a hyperlocal online digital television 'station' created by and for the people who live in East New York and Brownsville, Brooklyn. Nothing like this has ever existed before.
There are thousands of people in Brooklyn who are making videos all the time, whether they are music videos, cooking videos, home-make dramas, indie films or even their own talk shows. They are putting them up for free on places like Facebook or YouTube in the 'hope' that they might get 'noticed' by a major network and paid for their work.
This is, in a word, nuts.
Instead, we are building a local TV network that ONLY serves the adjacent community. In the exact opposite of Facebook or YouTube, which are shared with the world, BKTV exists only for the local community. We are not interested in 'the world'. We are only interested in Brooklyn.
BKTV airs the work of people who live in the local community, it tells stories of the people who live in the community, it covers event only in the local community. It is 'community-centric'.
Now, for the $64,000 question - how does it make money?
Brownsville and East New York are communities that are filled with small businesses - shops, restaurants, clothing stores, legal services - you name it. They are there to serve the local community only. And, they are so small that they cannot afford to buy advertising time the local TV stations, it is too expensive for them.
They could buy ads on Facebook, but that is sort of amorphous. But, if we provide them with a video -based network that is ONLY about and for the very people who are their customers, AND we can keep the cost of the advertisng low enough so that they can afford it, we can create a bond the merchants and the community through BKTV.
And that is what we are going to do.
We are also going to train local people in the community to use their smartphones to both create and sell those very ads - and they will get a % of each ad that they make and sell. The rest goes to the people who are making the video (as opposed to the $$ going to Mark Zuckerberg).
This is a VERY different model for a local TV station and for social media.
A station and a site that is of the people of the community, for the people and by the people... and one that turns a profit.