There's a some talk about You tube putting the method of production in the hands of "the people," a la lonelygirl15. This isn't new. The argument between new and old media dates back several years, to before the Fall of Dan Rather.
Here's the thing, though. Unlike such august resources as blogs (I get everything I'm interested in from blogs right now. Hell, I surf through blogs. This also means I don't get much news, but there you have it.) and print resources, Youtube is only distributing marginalia right now. Wicked funny private jokes, online mutterings, and homemade music videos. Some short, arty cartoons, but not much in the way of narrative entertainment.
I was visiting with some friends in May. They showed me this:
Go ahead. Browse the video.
It's a TV show! It's fan fiction, but I think it is the technical definition of wicked cool. Not because it's great. The acting and script are fun but amateur. The setting and costumes, however, are at least as good as much BBC programming, or Sid and Marty Kroft.
When it comes right down to it, the means of production for fiction have always been in the hands of the consumer. Heck, the means of procution are your hands (and your head).
But for other forms of entertainment like music and movies, you need equipment. Electronics, props. The USS Justice crew had the means of production. Scripts, of course, are head and hands. Dedicated fans have costumes and props. Everybody has a video camera and home computer at this point. The USS Justice guys used video game backgrouns and a blue screen for sets. Wicked cool!
Seeing that video, for me, meant that the means of production is out of the hands of the studios. What I'm waiting for now if for someone to take talent from local theaters, make some costumes, and film something really cool and original.