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Everyone wants to be a star?

YouTube does seem to be the epitome of the idea “everyone wants to be a star� with its massive collection of amateur videos. People of all ages, cultures, and creeds can make their own attempts at mass acknowledgment by people from all over the world by themselves and from the comfort of their own home. The problem with this is that while there is much potential for exceptional creative works to be created in this atmosphere this is partly because of the sheer amount of content being created, some is bound to be good but this does also allow for the opposite as well. The same problems that face flicker and del.icio.us hold true for YouTube. The tags of the content is decided by the creator or up-loader so that finding content about a specific topic can be difficult and more often then not some content will be lost in the vast cloud of tags.

This is compounded by the shear number of people trying to be “stars� through this relatively new form of media. Adding to the already confusing assortment of tags is embedded the problem that has plagued many media distribution programs, copyrighted content. As with Napster before YouTube copyrighted content can be problematic for use other then private viewing.


I agree with your points. I had to look at dozens of YouTube videos to find just one that was of sufficient quality to post on our wiki. Most are rather boring at best. On the other hand, some of the videos that are of poor technical quality manage to present an interesting perspective. I found a video, for example, that simply looked at the crowd of people that came daily to the 10th Avenue Bridge to look at the site of the 35W Bridge collapse. It showed snapping photos, video taping, talking, climbing up on the fence. There was even a women painting a picture on an easel. The crowds are a phenomena that didn't receive much attention. This humble video filled a gap in the record on the bridge collapse.

Despite tags and groups on YouTube and Flickr, it's still difficult to find quality work on a subject you're not familiar with.

I also worried about copyright issues in considering options for the wiki. A lot of people don't seem to worry about that on YouTube, posting TV news shows and other copyrighted material. How can I be sure that something without any identification was stolen from someone else?

I agree with you saying that YouTube seems to be the epitome of everyone wants to be a star. The fact that anyone can make their own video for the entire world to see has opened a lot of opportunity. Like you said there is great potential for exceptional creative works to be created, but the opposite can be true as well. I also had the same problem with YouTube as I did with Flickr in the fact that the tagging can be very difficult to decifer. Everyone has different tagging styles.

While I agree with everything you said in your post, I can't help but wonder if the good features of YouTube outweigh the bad. I agree that with the vast amount of content out there it is possible that truly precious creative gems can be lost. However, i also feel that that opinion is very subjective. I think the real beauty of YouTube comes from the viewers and not always the contributors. As the viewing audience I think we create value in the videos posted. Each person who uses YouTube chooses what videos serve a purpose and are valuable to them. For example, some of the most valuable videos for me personally are the ones that give me a good laugh, I personally find them the "best" because they help me take a break from a rough day and just relax. On the other hand, I have friends who really enjoy the politically charged videos, as political science majors they find value in seeing the public's response to certain issues. So I guess that while I see your perspective and agree with what you are saying I think there are many positive aspects that allow each user to find their own "treasures".

I do believe that you are correct. There should be a way to sift through the explicit garbage that people put up, so that the greater content of the subject isn't distorted or ruined. Like wikipedia there could be something along the lines of "experts" to sift through content that is not proper, but who is right, you or me?

Hi Anthony, thanks for your post and bringing this topic to light. I'm sure there are a lot of people that post videos on YouTube hoping to become stars. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I think a lot of the stardom determining comes from the viewers--viewers choose what they want to watch, and furthermore what they want to spread the word about. Sometimes people post videos with other people, and those people on the video become stars (some in a not so good way). For example, there was the wife of a school principal whose not-so-nice message got added to YouTube. It was in response to a student call about a snow day. Her tone of voice was super angry. She became a star in a not so good way. If I were her, I would be embarrassed. It gained national fame and was even talked about on several news shows on TV. I bet she didn't expect that! Apparently the student that posted it said in an interview that he didn't expect the video to get so much attention. Whoops!