Tuesday, December 4, 2007

10,000 Subscribers Watching Hank and John

There was a big milestone which occurred yesterday. I almost missed it, but thanks to an introduction from tacomachickadee, I spent some time checking out the Brotherhood 2.0 site. I got there just in time for the vlog (video blog) announcement of this momentous occasion.

George Orwell’s Big Brother, is here, (but that's not the announcement I have alluded to). No, the brothers Hank and John Green are also here, and they are apparently having a good time. "Big Brother" you may remember is from George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty Four. In the society that Orwell describes, citizens are under surveillance by the authorities, and privacy is nearly an unknown. From this book we have been given the phrase, "Big Brother is watching you".

In this case though, we are welcomed to come watch. The brothers of twenty six plus years decide that, "After noticing that their relationship had for years consisted primarily of emails and instant messages, John and Hank swore off all textual communication with each other for 2007. Instead, we are making public video blogs back and forth every weekday for the entire year."

It is ironic in that, though much of what Orwell predicted about privacy can be applied to our society today, we as that society have in fact become Big Brother. Reality TV, online access to conversations, blogs, web cams and communication services like twitter have brought voyeurism, as an informational and entertainment practice, to the forefront. The web offers a legion of online personalities all volunteering to share some of their lives with us, occasionally with some rather entertaining and enlightening results.

What was the milestone announced by the Greens? Over 10,000 subscribers are now tuning in to share in a years worth of web based conversations between the two. Not only are they watching but they are participating as well. Thousands of comments are posted on the message boards, and if one of the brothers should miss a posting deadline, the community of watchers suggest the appropriate punishment.

They are also working on a Secret Project!. I don't know what it is but I signed up on their secret project mailing list anyway and may some day find out.

They'll probably have everyone set up a web cam and YouTube account so that we all watch each other. "Big Brother is Watching Himself!"

Post Script - In no way do I wish to diminish the warnings from that classic work of predictive fiction, Nineteen Eighty Four, which so effectively describes a future dystopia . Read or reread it when you can.

1 comment:

tacomachickadee said...

Hope you enjoyed your visit to Brotherhood 2.0 ... it's amazing to think: 10,000 subscribers! And that's just their YouTube audience ... there are hundreds if not thousands who go to their website, www.brotherhood2.com, each day without a subscription.

A warning: It's addictive. Good thing you have nearly the entire year's backlog. You can have a Brotherhood 2.0 marathon. But the question is, what happens come 2008!?!?!?!? I think my household will be going through withdrawal.