This July, I did something that I wouldn’t have predicted in a million years: I became obsessed with the Grateful Dead. I’ve never been much of a fan, and even though I’d try to crack the code about once a decade, I never managed to connect beyond the undeniable American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead.
But something clicked this time. I can’t say what exactly changed, other than I tried to approach the music without preconceptions about the band or its fans. Watching the Long Strange Trip documentary on Netflix helped, breaking down the band’s musical and philosophical ideals and separating them from the ugliness that took over the Dead scene in the 1980s. I still haven’t gotten to the point where I can argue the merits of the Cornell ’77 “Morning Dew” versus the Lyceum ’72 version, but getting there isn’t out of the question.
That’s not the only unexpected thing that happened recently. This marks my final issue as editor of Streaming Media, a tenure that began in May 2006. That’s a long time ago, but when I went back to look at the first handful of issues, I saw topics that are still relevant today: corporate communications, concert webcasts (we’ve never had a cooler cover subject than Pete Townshend), advertising, educational video, and “video everywhere.”
Of course, while the broad opportunities and challenges are the same now as they were in 2006 and 2007, the specifics have changed radically. The readers of this magazine—some of whom go back to the original Streaming magazine that our publisher Joel Unickow launched in 2000—have solved most of the fundamental problems that vexed us back then. When I attended my first Streaming Media East event in 2003, the exhibitors on the show floor were almost all enterprise video vendors and CDNs, and OTT wasn’t even a thing. Today, video truly is almost everywhere.
I’ll still be part of the streaming media industry, but I’ll be on the other side of the screen, working with a tech vendor to help them tell their story (yet another thing I wouldn’t have predicted, but am very excited about). I’ll also still be programming and chairing our Streaming Media conferences. Steve Nathans-Kelly, who’s been editing Streaming Media Producer for more than a decade, will be stepping into the editor’s chair, and I can’t wait to see where he takes it from here.