Anthropology of YouTube

August 2008 ยท 1 minute read

So, I’ve never given YouTube much thought (never really felt it deserved much thought either) consigning it as a fun if trivial place to see stupid videos of dogs and skateboards (like OMG!!! ROLFLCOPTER!!!!). Amusing, to be sure but not serious or worthwhile.

But then Mike Wesch of The Machine is Us/ing Us fame changed my mind with An anthropological introduction to YouTube. It’s a bit long (50 min) but definitely worth it if you are at all interested in web culture. What’s amazing here is he has gone beyond the trivial examples of YouTube (while still embracing what most of us consider trivial – he dedicated the video to Gary Brolsma aka the numa numa guy) and show us the community that has formed through vlogs. He has some pretty profound statements about how that culture is shaped by the medium (webcams) and how if reflects the wider culture as a whole.

Great stuff and well worth a watch.