We are rapidly approaching the day when every computer will come with video editing hardware and software preinstalled. This means that people who are simply purchasing computers will have video editing capabilities that equal or exceed the power of a videotape editor working in a professional edit bay prior to the year 1995.

Soon, the number of people who are able to edit and tell stories on video will reach into the millions. Few would have estimated that this dramatic change in communications power would happen so quickly. It will have a profound impact on the freedom of information, allowing a broad spectrum of people to have access to tell their stories, opinions, and ideas on video.

Simultaneously, as we witness editing software and hardware become commonplace on new computer systems, we see also a new, powerful and all-reaching method of distribution. Until recently, television displayed video signals that it received from an antenna, a cable TV provider or a satellite dish. Each of these video sources distributed video content with "mass appeal" and was controlled by major corporations. Independent producers had virtually no opportunity to have their work seen by a television audience.

In addition, the number of channels available to broadcast over is scarce. If you tallied all of the channels on broadcast, cable and satellite, the sum would be less than 1,000, and our nation suffers a loss of freedom as a result.

VHS tapes offered an alternative. With them, came narrow-niche or special interest TV and video programs. Still, there are costs associated with special interest videos that constrain their range of distribution.

The controlling factor of the narrowness of a niche is the total of the video production costs, duplication costs and shipping costs. They cannot be greater than the total revenue for the life of a tape. For example, it is unlikely that someone can produce a VHS tape for Training Fleas for Circus Acts because there are not enough potential customers to support the production and distribution costs for that tape. However, all of this is changing.

If an expert on training fleas owns a camcorder and buys a computer with video editing capabilities, he or she may decide to make a video. This flea expert could then charge a fee of, say, $11 to deliver it via the Internet. The VHS duplication costs and the shipping costs are non-existent. There is a fee for bandwidth, but it is getting lower and lower.

We live in a time where anyone who has a camcorder and a computer with an Internet connection can have an audience. Whether you wish to inform, instruct or entertain, keep those cameras rolling and show your work to the world.

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