I like to think of myself as a contrarian (well, until it becomes uncomfortable), and there’s something about this site that tickles my contrarian fancies. Timeshifting, PVR-fuelled, 24-hour living is all the rage, and this is of course tearing society apart as we know it, obviously. But nobody, until now, has had the courage to explore that grandest of old media devices – the schedule.
Schedules bring back memories of coal-blackened miners racing home from t’pit at the same time as stockbrokers and museum curators around Britain, all bursting through their front doors just in time to kiss the wife, gab a cuppa and jump onto the sofa as the theme tune to Top of the Pops bursts from the oak-laminated box by the fireplace. Ahh, Bisto.
There is nothing wrong that I can think of in that behaviour (although thank the Lord that TOTP has gone), but there’s plenty wrong with the way schedules have been manipulated by broadcasters (as reams of complaint letters to all TV and radio channels show). The arrogance of scheduled entertainment is obvious: “You want it? You wait until we’re ready, OK?” Hence the popularity of the aforementioned time-shifting.
But what happens if you let people schedule their own media for others? In myminute’s case, they charge you to do so (a pound!) Most of me looks at YouTube and thinks “Naaah.” But there is the contrarian in me – and he says “I think they may be on to something.”