The youtube Phenomena

October 21, 2008

So what exactly does YouTube mean to me? I’ve never been the type to give any thought into it, I used it to search for cheerleading videos of teams I have been on and movie clips I found interesting. Never to watch home videos of a infant Charlie biting a little boys finger or even to watch the star wars boy. Until now I never realized that YouTube was a way for regular people to express themselves, free media at its best. It is fascinating that the world has come to a time where I can buy a webcam spill all my thoughts on a subject of interest to me and watch as people I never met react to it.

I will admit when I saw the length to An Anthropological Introduction to YouTubeI,  figured I would skim my way through to get the overall gist of the speech but it immediately caught my eye and that of a friend. Brilliant in his words and the way he directs his students to partake in this YouTube community. The video touched on many points I found interesting, one of them being your YouTube “Identity”. How you present yourself directly affects who watches your video and likes it. Another point i liked was being “fake” on YouTube in vblogs…in my opinion even if a vblog is scripted it is still a form of expression and reaching the people it wants to reach. I wanted to see another viewpoint of YouTube so I discussed the video with him. He said he enjoyed the work of video because it gave an insight into what goes on in YouTube. When asking him what kind of videos he watches he said he typically views TV show clips and funny videos.

I watch a video on YouTube To M Fellow Vloggers,  that a found from a vblogger talking about how YouTube just isn’t what it used to be. It was linked to an article titled It\’s Official YouTube Sucks.  The video is from a woman who speaks about how the YouTube “community” has been talking about how recent videos have been playing it safe and content is for the most part boring. The vblogger speaks about how she too is guilty of playing it safe because she has gotten hatred for speaking her mind. Maybe risk-taking has slowed down on YouTube in terms of expression because fear of criticism possibly? Maybe it is something to look into.

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One Response to “The youtube Phenomena”

  1. Jeff Nugent Says:

    Enjoyed reading this post. I too was taken by Michael Wesch’s anthropological account of YouTube…some great insights to be gathered there.

    Your idea that YouTube has perhaps become more tame and boring is worth some more thought. If you use Wesch’s idea of analysis it seems like we need to ask…:What features of the culture / community in YT have resulted in members becoming more conservative in their videos because they don’t want to invoke the wrath of the community. Would be curious about your thoughts on that.

    The other thing to remember is that YT is a huge repository of content that can be searched, and a comparative analysis of user videos over time would be interesting to explore.

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