I met with Subutai Ahmad of Yesvideo.
They have taken an interesting approach to the power law distribution of people with video cameras. They taregt the long tail who can't be botherd to edit it themselves. Instead they drop off the videotape at Walgreens with the photos, it gets shipped to Yesvideo, and they digitise it, make a DVD and ship it back. They have smart image processing to pick good chapter points and even make short highlights video.
Watching the multiple screens of people's home movie in the processing plan there I was forcefully reminded of Andrew Odlyzko's point about how much privately made media there is:
Historically, it appears that privately taken pictures have traditionally been the dominant source of data. An interesting accounting of all the information stored in the world in 1997 by Michael Lesk [Lesk] found that home photographs were the dominant component. (For a more complete and up-to-date accounting of information, see [LymanV]].) They contributed about 500,000 TB each year (even when one assumes that each picture is stored as a modest 10 KB JPEG file). By comparison, all the texts in the Library of Congress amounted to around 20 TB, while the graphics and music in that collection came to about 3,000 TB. Thus even this great library contained less than 1% of the world's information. (The publicly accessible Web pages currently contain a few tens of terabytes, just a few percent of what the Library of Congress has, but comparable to the text collections in that library.)
An obvious comment to the estimates above is that the purpose of a library is to select the most valuable material, and that most of those photographs contributing to the 500,000 TB are of no interest to most people. That is true, but that does not stop those pictures from being taken, and it will not stop an explosion in volumes of data collected this way in the future. A few pictures or video clips will turn out to be of great interest, in spite of amateur production. Just think of the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination, or the Rodney King video. More importantly, many of the pictures being taken are of interest, or might be of potential interest, to at least one person. Most of the world will have no interest in a picture of your newborn baby, but your mother will cherish it. Similarly, in the future you will be taking digital video clips of your children and sending at least some of them to your mother.
Imagine if this company was hooked up to the Internet Archive