When I graduated from film & tv school there were few options in getting into the industry. I walked the streets in what was then the film making district of London around Wardour St until someone gave me a job as a runner. From there I worked my way upwards (or sideways, as some would say..).
Today, if you have talent, it's possible to break into the professional world far more easily. Ad agencies trawl the online video sharing sites for new talent and ideas and many vloggers have gone on to create careers and even companies producing viral movies commercially. There are even tales of feature film contracts being offered on the back of three minute epics.
This has to be a good thing. More than anything people are now communicating using video in a way they never did in the past - the moving image is usurping the written word - it is more emotive, more powerful and has more impact. Who would want a web page when they can have a web channel ? The reality is, of course, that different media work in different ways and video has specific features as a medium.
People are naturally good with pictures, signs and visuals, but have to learn the abstractions of the written word. Video is a more direct style or communication and the increasing use of the medium in day to day communications, from video telephony and conferencing to local tv classified ads is likely to subtly change the way we live in, and interact with, the world around us.
It also opens up possibilities for people who may not be very literate but are visual literate.
I taught film making for a term to a class of secondary modern schoolchildren in a deprived area of southern England; at the end of the term I marked the kids and compared my marks with those of the English teacher, whose class I had usurped. The marks were inverted - her poorest pupils were my best.
I just wonder how many great film makers and communicators have been consigned to the scrap heap because they couldn't get an A level in English and a degree from Oxford ?
Viva Youtube et al!