« The New Age of Television | Main | Anyone Know a Good HTML Book? »

A four page article that took four hours to read?

Must be about YouTube.

I love YouTube. There is just no getting around it. The site is one hundred percent addicting and fabulous. Case in point: to read “YouTube vs. Boob Tube? took me hours of time…I had to engage in research, of course!

I’m not a YouTube expert. Most of the popular videos listed in the article, like the lonelygirl15 vlog and the evolution of dance, are still new to me. That is part of what makes YouTube so fun, though – and easy to waste hours of time in free entertainment land. There are millions of choices to view, some hilarious, some horrible. There are educational videos, vlogs, clips of funny TV shows from forever ago. I love that when you remember something and want to see it again…it is there:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=c6j8EiWIVZs

But, is YouTube commercial? One of the best things about it is that there are no commercials…who would want to view a 2 minute clip with a 30 second commercial lead in or out? I think it would ruin part of the experience. So much of why youtube is addicting is that ‘frenzied’ linking to video after video – stopping that stream of thought and entertainment would certainly dampen the experience.

How does google plan to recoup its 1.65 billion? Even after reading the article I’m not sure. But, if someone can make it happen, certainly google has the best odds.

YouTube has grown into so much more than just a flickr look alike (YouTube vs. BoobTube, 2). Flickr hasn’t revolutionized entertainment. Using YouTube simply as an application for sharing video might be its bread and butter, but there is a whole different aura about it. As Bob Garfield describes, there is a “water-cooler? factor to YouTube that is completely new to internet entertainment (YouTube vs. BoobTube, 4). It is riveting entertainment. Part of that quality comes from the fact that it is a free for all – there is the good, the bad, and the ugly – but also from the fact that you can jump to whatever you want to view, and to embed it so easily, without all the annoying commercials of television. It doesn’t seem right that we would have to view more than a banner add attached to our videos of silly babies or funny pet tricks.

What is the future of YouTube? I can’t predict, but I can hope that I don’t look back on the “good old days? as I do to napster. Even that is it’s own story, however, because the content wasn’t user-generated. Finally, if nothing else, YouTube is useful as purely a video sharing platform – I’m now able to upload videos of my kids to send to grandma or family far away. It isn’t exciting entertainment for anyone but us, but 4 years ago I wasn’t able to do this with my older daughter…it’s like the transition from writing a letter describing a child to sending a photo.

They definitely aren’t too exciting, but in the interest of “getting to know you,? here, for your viewing pleasure, are my new baby and crazy cat:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=j90xWkWcxrc

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=et7-wjKq-1U

And finally, my favorite discovery during the reading:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pv5zWaTEVkI
33 million people may have seen it, but somehow I wasn’t one of them until now…my life feels more complete.

Comments

There's something really interesting about a brand new person making her first attempts at verbal communication on YouTube.

I agree with you on resisting the commercialization of YouTube. Watching commercials on lead in video is annoying and it's really common on commercial news sites. It's like paying an entry fee. I would also be alarmed if Google starts trying to control content on YouTube. Commercial pressure would probably make it impossible to see the video of your daughter and cat and that would be great loss to millions of YouTube fans.

I didn't watch the treadmill dance until I cliked on the link you provided. It's great! I guess that's one argument for claiming that the quantity of views is an indication of quality.