What was the first web video you ever watched? Do you remember? This was mine:

Why do I remember this? Because it took something like 6 hours to download (after 2 or 3 failed attempts). Because it was the first new addition to the Star Wars franchise that I’d been enchanted with my whole life, and we had been teased by the remastered editions of the original movies in the 5 years preceeding. Because it was the first time I downloaded Quicktime to watch a video on my computer.

Nevermind that the movie hit a little flat. Nevermind the whole Jar Jar thing. Nevermind the fact that I’d be able to see the trailer in theaters, and on TV in a few weeks or months, the potential to get the content I wanted literally OVERNIGHT was awesome.

Clay Shirky points out the interesting thing that has changed since I downloaded the Phantom Menace preview. Back in 1999, the majority of media was produced by professionals. Because the social web has taken one-way broadcast communication (TV, Print, Radio) and two way conversations (Telephone, Telegraph) and blended them into one ubiquitous, social, reliable and cheep network that’s so common that we all take it for granted the broadcast and the conversation can now take place together.

That’s powerful. Especially when you consider that a social network’s size is the square of it’s participants. The back and forth conversation between brands, or organizations and the public is now exponentially less important than the conversations that happen among the participants in the network.

The videos and links below are REALLY cool and start to bring into focus how broadcasting and interaction are going to continue to evolve on social media. While you’re watching them, I’m going to go put all 6 episodes of Star Wars in my Netflix Queue…

Watch this TED talk by Clay Shirky: How Social Media Can Make History

Check out this product demo of NodeXL by Travel Tech Blog:

Analyzing Aviation Social Media Networks with NodeXL from Norm Rose on Vimeo.