YouTube is five. It was on April 23rd 2005 that the first video was posted on YouTube. Now it has become a ubiquitous social media tool allowing people to share videos with each other, to comment on them and to sort and rate videos they enjoy. But why would people upload videos in the first place and what sort of videos do they upload. As YouTube turns five it is worth reexamining the nature of YouTube videos and the anthropology that is going on here.
Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University and head of the Digital Ethnography Working Group, presents a great view of YouTube from an anthropological perspective. From exploring the fact that more content has been added to YouTube in the past six months than in a lifetime of network TV in the US, through a catagorisation of YouTube videos, this is a really informative video. It’s long (just shy of an hour) but I think time spent watching this is time well spent. Michael is a captivating speaker and manages to express things we think we know in different ways. From social media to online communities and social networks; you’ll learn something new and understand better why people are motivated to take part and contribute online.
Image via CrunchBase