Pardon the proud dad moment while I brag about my 15-year-old son, Jake‘s, new online venture: Middio.com, a search engine and player for music videos on YouTube. Jake found the quality of search there lacking, so he scraped data about the videos posted by official, legal music labels and made a search engine out of that, adding a random video feature and a top 100 list and the ability to share the video on your Facebook page. He links directly to the video’s page on YouTube and to the music lablels’ sites.
Pretty damned cool, huh?
Middio was written up with a good review — whew! — on TechCrunch and Michael Arrington didn’t even know until I told him that it came from my kin. Then it was written up on Wired. Jake politely shot down this snarky review and got an apology. Webware gets the value of it: “In other words, you’re less likely to find videos of teenagers lip syncing the song you’re looking for.”
I have a bigger point to make about this but first let me tell you about Jake’s other latest creation — continuing my proud dad moment. Jake — who truly is my webmaster and tech teacher — told me about UStream.tv, which lets any of us become Justin.TV and broadcast live via an embeddable player; I was arguing that live is the next trend to overtake online video. When I looked at UStream’s blog, I read this:
On the Shoulders of Giants
We’ve been incredibly happy with the reception we’ve gotten from the true pioneers of the blogosphere. Scoble, Pirillo, Jarvis, Pulver-that’s the kind of company we like to keep. But this is special.
I thought, all too egotistically, that that was me and that puzzled me since I’d only just heard of UStream. But following the link, I found that Jake had mashed up something else new: Knapsack.tv, which he tried and has since taken down. It promised to show you high-school life through the back of a student’s backpack. Jake hooked up a laptop with a video camera and a high-speed cellular modem and set to broadcast through the back of his backback via UStream. He did it for a few hours and it worked.
When I saw this, I was overtaken with a both parental pride and parental dread. I was amazed at what he’d built — but also scared to death that he’d get expelled from school for combining all the things that scare principals everywhere: technology, the internet, cell phones, and cameras.
Jake didn’t quite understand why I was so amazed and proud and it rather embarrassed him. That is to say, we’re a normal father-and-son.
Now here’s the bigger point: Jake doesn’t think twice about making things like this (he has made other things, including this very blog). And I think that’s an important characteristic of his generation: They take the tools available and make things, whether that’s a blog or a video or a web page or an application. The more tools there are, the more things they’ll make. There is no end to it. They don’t consume. They make.
This is the creation generation.