April 30, 2009

YouTube, the next to be distroyed

As I have experienced the wiki, twitter, facebook and other internet communication avenues I keep thinking that they all get wrecked in a short period of time. Up until a short time ago, I had not even heard of twitter or facebook and now they are mainstream. With the popularity of these sites, it is a natural draw to advertisers and big corporate giants to invade every household with their ads, messages and promotions. In the article by Joly, it states that there were 13 million watching videos online in 2005 and that number is projected to grow to 413 million in 2010. This is just another target for ad giants to take the most popular videos and insert a commercial before it to get the message across. There is no way to control it, but I fear that is the way we are heading.

On a more positive note, YouTube and other video cast sites have tremendios upside and can be used for positiive applications also. Think of the university setting that we are in right now. Can you picture having every lecture or lab produced online so that you can go back and watch it again or for the first time with online courses. This would save the University a significant amount of money and would draw more students that are non-traditional to get back to college. Another great application could be used by companies when training new representatives, for demonstrating new and exciting technologies or for conducting short updates for employees. These are positives that it can be used for along with making a nobody somebody overnight.

April 24, 2009

Are we someone?

We’ve twittered, wikied, and indulged in Delicious. But even though we’ve trudged onto the Internet grounds, we are nobodies, according to Garfield. To be someone, and here we are ‘someone’ as a class, we should be uploading videos onto YouTube. We are though the audience of YouTube. We are using the videos that are uploaded by other individuals. Through the Wired reading, I finally realized that YouTube as an application is costly. It is worth so much. And although the creators, or owners, try to manage the content, it is very hard to do. So to me, it seems as though YouTube is sort of at a point, where copyright is still a problem. But yes, YouTube is a great entertainment destination online.

The first time I heard of YouTube, back in high school, it sounded ridiculously silly. Why would anyone want to post videos of their self, if there were people preaching about not putting pictures online? It didn’t seem like a smart thing to do. But, that thought soon subsided when interesting videos kept popping up into conversations. Garfield was correct when he said the videos pop into conversations. I’m sure we’ve all been told by friends, “hold on, you HAVE to watch this!” And we all sit around a 13” screen and stare. Waiting to laugh, or see what’s so special. Nowadays when I hear that request, I expect something really funny or really interesting to be shown to me. It’s really a fun way to get a conversation going also. The conversation could last for many minutes after the video plays, to many days later. Shall I mention, “I like turtles?” The bad part is, sometimes a few of your friends may love the 57 second clip so much, that they keep replaying it. I’m just not one of those people who have the patience to re-watch a video, but some people are.

In using YouTube as a part of our project, it's going to enhance our site so much more. Even though we don't upload video's of our work, at least we are attaching and using the app for our benefit. :D

April 23, 2009

Tube Boob - That's me!

I am a huge fan of YouTube. Not so much of the examples Garfield cites in his article in Wired but of the endless hours of illusive Warner Brothers originals that exist (probably illegally) on the site. My husband and I miss the violent cartoons we grew up with and we insist that our son should grow up knowing the wisdom of Wile E Coyote and Bugs Bunny. To that end, instead of watching "My Friend Rabbit" and "Vegi tales" (which my son also loves) on TV during breakfast on Saturday mornings, we hook up the laptop to our kitchen TV and he watches good old Looney Toons. According to those who disagree with violent cartoons, my husband and I are breeding a serial killer - or at the very least a bully. Despite our effort to corrupt our son, we have a sweet kid who has absolutely no understanding of gravity.

That said, I will admit I miss the "Evolution of Dance" and watched it tonight for nostalgia. Then I read the rest of the article. The point Garfield made that stuck out the most to me was, "Another possibility is that potential litigants are simply being patient. They understand YouTube's value to them as a marketing tool and are waiting for a technological solution" (Garfield, 2006. Page 4). This was the point I was trying to make when we posted about copyright and fair use a few weeks ago. Copyright infringement doesn't always have to be detrimental to the artist! Geez people, let's try a glass half full attitude. The music sharing sites are some of the greatest examples of how people are sharing their music to be discovered - the more views the better, please pass it along.

The same is true for YouTube. People post for attention, to be discovered, to showcase their talents. Because as reality TV has proven, America's got Talent and no matter what talent that is, so long as it has an audience it is worth sharing. Some people post to share their views with others and some do it for advertising. In a competitive economy like we have today, I am shocked and amazed that people haven't started posting video resumes for companies to magically find. I would imagine using YouTube to apply for a position might at least get your resume reviewed at Google...if great minds think alike and the recruiters could find you!

That brings me to the topic of Weinburger's Everything is Miscellaneous. Weinburger speaks casually about the order in chaos and how tags and folksonomies work for today's online masses, but he doesn't make a solid connection between the tag and the keyword search. Tags are successful only when someone else refers to an object/item/document the same way you do. For example, in our site search I ran into a number of articles about the republican national committee when I searched for RNC. The same goes for PCD which is a process challenge device in my world, but the first entry in Wikipedia under the acronym is "Partido Conservador Demócrata, a political party in Nicaragua". If I tagged a photo or video as "PCD" based on what I know the acronym to mean; I imagine there would be a great many disappointed searchers looking for photos or video of the Pussycat Dolls.

My point is that in order for tags to mean anything and be of any use, they have to have meaning common to all users - and this is where folksonomy comes in to play and the multiple tag concept or the "semantic web" (Weinburger 194) - when more than one tag match is used to generate the best search results. The example Weinburger gives is the results for London versus the results for London, England versus the results for London, Ontario (Weinburger 194). Same goes for a search for sterilization in Flickr or YouTube - look it up, I dare you! You will find maybe a photo of an autoclave or two if you page through the results, but for the most part it is surgical procedures on animals. Let me reiterate here that my job is medical device sterilization - and as far as I know bacterial rights hasn't become a "hot button" issue yet. Support bacteria, it's the only culture some people have!

Youtube & Copyright

I think YouTube is a great resource for gathering and disseminating information to others through videos. However, I also don't think many people see it as this type of resource. I don't know many people who use YouTube purely for educational purposes or to gather information, and instead, it seems more like a place for people to pass the time watching funny videos or posting their own. Personally, I'm not much of a YouTube user. I think making and posting videos would take up a little too much of my time, but obviously there are plenty of people out there that love to do this kind of stuff. What many people don't realize is that YouTube is just as vulnerable to copyright issues as any other medium. Because people are using it more for fun and entertainment as opposed to gathering and sharing information, I think copyright issues are extremely overlooked on YouTube. I personally never thought much about copyright when it comes to YouTube simply because I never thought of it in terms of serving educational purposes. Garfield's YouTube vs. BoobTube definitely touched on these copyright infringements on YouTube, and I think it's an issue worth doing something about. Intelligent works need just as much protection as tangible ideas and products, and YouTube is no exception to this. Perhaps having a Creative Commons license just like Flickr would be able to quickly and efficiently solve this problem.

YouTube and the flea market!

I learned a lot about YouTube over the course of this semester. I was working with Liz on the emerging technologies section of our wiki and I got to write about YouTube. In the past I had used YouTube mainly to watch video clips that friends had posted on facebook or myspace. When I looked further into YouTube technology and the actual online force it has become, I was blown away. YouTube started as an idea shared between three people, some articles say two while others mention Jawad Karim as the third founder, who wanted to be able to easily share video clips. It is the American dream to think that ingenuity and creativity could lead to the fortune that these ex pay pal employees have achieved.

YouTube mainly started out as a web site for people to easily upload and share their videos using Adobe Flash Player. It ended up evolving into something that has changed the way we watch television, the way we educate ourselves, and the way we advertise. As Bob Garfield points out in his article, YouTube vs Boobtube:

"Lots of people can now watch themselves on sort-of TV, which is pretty fun in itself. The bonus is that others want to watch them, too. Third-millennium humanity has demonstrated an interest in sifting through millions of pieces of crap produced by total strangers to discover a few gems – some accidentally entertaining ("Boom Goes the Dynamite"), some breakout performances from the previously obscure ("Treadmill Dance"), and some explorations of a new art form crackling with genius (Ze Frank, Ask a Ninja, and the guys behind Loneygirl15.)"

YouTube is kind of like being at a giant flea market where you walk from stand to stand, sifting through the junk, while still having faith that you’ll find that rare gem. Sometimes you will find something offensive and keep going back to look at it even though you aren’t sure why and sometimes you’ll find something so cute you can’t stop watching it. I’ve learned that YouTube is also very helpful for educational purposes. I thought that the "In Plain English" YouTube clips were very helpful tools to understanding the new technologies we were to utilize in the class.

No Hollywood Budget Required.

I remember when I first stumbled across YouTube, my reaction was a mixture of horror and fondness. The horror came first because I could not understand what drove people to make such nutty videos, and than the fondness began to set in when I found a video to love. I thought it was a brilliant move when Google brought YouTube. Google will essentially make billions of dollars by simply providing enough bandwidth and site maintenance. The entire website is user generated content and there is plenty of space for advertisements. I know a few people who use YouTube or else Peer to Peer Networks exclusively for their entertainment needs-they haven’t watched television in months.

I personally do not think Television is going the way of the Newspapers for a few reasons. YouTube may be cool and addictive, but after awhile randomness gets annoying and people want more story/content/plot than a cute little kitten. Television programs understand their audience and have changed to meet their needs unlike traditional newspapers. Television Networks have begun to put either sample episodes or entire seasons on sites such Hulu and Fancast because they know people are spending more time online. Perhaps one day all Networks will broadcast exclusively on the Internet, but the concept of television will not die out. If anything, YouTube will extinguish before the fall of television.

While Television shows are formulaic, they have originality and a boat load of researchers working for them. Once a YouTube video idea becomes popular, hundreds of people suddenly start uploading videos of their cute little kittens. This is just one example, but I am sure everyone has noticed this trend where similar videos keep cropping up. Since the YouTube format has become instantly recognizable and frequently visited, many other websites (such as IMEEM) have copied the concept but trademark it differently. IMEEM does not only persuade existing YouTube users to their site, but have people post links in their YouTube videos. Television networks do extensive research on what an audience likes while YouTube users only have a few friends for feedback on their next video. No One can attribute YouTube’s success to one component. Yes it is cheap and there is lots of variety. Yet, all videos have an equal chance of getting thousands of hits.

April 22, 2009

Not a YouTube Rider

I have never really jumped on the YouTube bandwagon. Sure, it’s really cool; you can post your own videos or view other videos but I have never got into it. I will use it occasionally if there is a song I just heard and want to know who sings it or what the title is. A few weeks ago I used it because I was trying to remember how the Men’s NCAA Basketball championship game ended. All I had to do was search Kansas NCAA Championship game 2008 and poof there were 20 videos showing Mario Chalmers hitting a 3 point shot to send the game into overtime. Aside from YouTube being there to quell my curiosity, it honestly does not appeal to me. I don’t have videos that I want to post and I don’t like watching them. Well, let me rephrase that. It’s not something I will do in my free time. I don’t go to YouTube and say, “What new things were posted today?” However, I can understand its appeal to others. It provides a great outlet for getting information across. Like with the colleges that are using YouTube as a way to disseminate information about what’s happening on campus to students. This is largely discussed in the article Lights, Camera, YouTube, Action (Joly, 2007). I think it is a great idea for colleges to use it because the audience it reaches is very large. I believe the U has videos posted on its news page (I just don’t view them). All in all, YouTube can be a great resource to find information out and share information with others.

That said, there are some issues with YouTube. As mentioned in some of the posts before mine and surely in some of the posts after mine, there are copyright issues at hand here. That thought never crossed my mind until I read the article YouTube vs. BoobTube (Garfield). However, I think that many of the things that would be considered copyright may fall under the fair use category like Garfield was saying. I think a lot of it has to do with education as well. People who use other people’s work in their videos might not realize that they are violating copyright laws. Perhaps something like a Creative Commons license could work well here. I wonder if Creative Commons has tried to target YouTube at all.

April 21, 2009

Here comes YouTube

YouTube seems to be a place to post random videos that any ordinary people have created for purposes of entertainment. It's a place for people to gain popularity and a fan base. Hurley says that the company slogan is "Broadcast Yourself (Garfield, 2006)." Having said that, I would find it hard to imagine that there would be so many copyright issues. Making someone take down their video because of a song playing in the background seems like it's unfair. This could be a form of advertising that people might actually pay attention to. YouTube refused to sell ads attached to either end of a video (Garfield, 2006). This is on the premise that these ads acted like a TV commercial, interrupting the viewers experience. Just because someone came to watch a specific video, it doesn't mean that they want to watch advertisements before hand. If people are already there to watch, then you have their attention to anything going on in your video. As long as the work is used with good intent, it should be allowed. Companies using metadata that describes your video find related subjects is a bad idea. Right now it consists of only a few key terms that the user selects (Garfield, 2006). This means that the company could be negatively associated with a particular video that they are promoting. Since there isn't a way to monitor content unless someone requests that it is taken down, maybe you should have to submit your video to YouTube and they can decide if it it appropriate to post.

YouTube for Profit

YouTube certainly has its high points: insanely cute kittens, hilarious sports outtakes, tons of music videos (all officially licensed by the proper record companies) and randomness. Best of all, its free and open to the public. Well, sort of. As mentioned in YouTube vs. Boob Tube, there is a huge financial market within YouTube (Garfield). As a result, there are also a ton of rules regarding copyright. Irony of the day? One of the videos embedded in the article itself was removed due to "terms of use violation." It's hard to think about the fact that something as silly and fun as videos of sleepy kittens (also mentioned in YouTube vs. Boob Tube) is regulated, monitored, and may even be a source of financial gain.

Exposure? Sure. I think it's great that KSU got recognition for Assistant Professor Wesch's basement video on Web 2.0 (Joly). It even seems okay that KSU profited from said video. However, the whole Simpson's ordeal ($10,000. Really?) and similar events are absolutely ridiculous. Maybe copyright is such a huge issue because people don't understand "Intellectual Property" (as in Professor Logie's lecture). My hunch, though, is that big companies (record labels, broadcast networks, radio stations) are threatened by what seems to be an "open source" entertainment movement. As mentioned in YouTube vs. Boob Tube, 85 percent of college students watch videos on YouTube (Garfield). Plenty of them probably watch movies, too. (Once you get over the whole 6-part interrupted thing, it's quite satisfactory.) I can't imagine that YouTube will ever completely replace TV and movies, though. Until I can afford 20MBPS high-speed connections and a widescreen hi-def monitor, I will continue to watch the Twins (for free) on Channel 45. And, even though I streamed the new X-Men movie (an unfinished version that leaked) two nights ago, I am still going to see the finished version in theaters. Maybe we are at a turning point in entertainment as far as what people are willing to pay for, but I think that people will still see movies in the theater, watch certain shows on TV, and buy their favorite CDs. YouTube just gives people an excuse to be silly and creative with a webcam or video camera and questions the importance, and value, of entertainment in our society.

Reactions to Youtube

Youtube is one of my favorite and also most hated sites on the internet. I agree with many of the ideas in the videos and I do believe it can be a great tool for professional, amateur, and just everyday videographers to display their work or just videos they make to cure boredom.

However, the user base of youtube makes me hate it. It's actually not much different that a lot of other sites on the internet I guess. A bunch of people hiding behind the anonymity of a user name starting 5 comment page long fights about whether the band shown in the video has “sold out”. Or just making random comments on people's video blogs telling them they suck. I find the users on youtube are far more negative than almost any other site I've encountered, this is possibly because I use it more than a lot of other sties as well.

Also I thought the “Youtube vs. Boob Tube” article brought up a major issue inherent in youtube. Copyright and intellectual property infringement. In some ways I agree with how youtube handles these issues and in other ways I don't, it's a lot like the discussion we had a couple weeks ago. I can see why youtube would take videos down when people upload a copyrighted movie in a 10, 10 minute clip form or other major copyrighted material, but I don't think its necessary for youtube to delete the sound from people's videos for playing a copyrighted sound in the background. To me thats like the issue with the documentary having to pay 10,000 dollars to have The Simpsons playing in the background. I think bands should be happy that someone just making a video blog or a video for fun decided to include their music. This could in turn lead to a larger listener base if someone viewing the video posts a comment asking what the song is, finds out, and in turn buys the music.

Youtube is definitely an important Web 2.0 technology though that I believe will only become more popular as digital cameras with video capabilities become cheaper and broadband internet expands even more than it already has.