Michael Wesch & The YouTube Sensation…

I found Micheal’s lecture on YouTube very interesting and came out of it fascinated by what YouTube means to media and what it has done to change the way we all look at the internet. Interacting has become one of the major ways that the internet has changed all of our lives.

Since it’s debut in 2005, YouTube’s popularity has grown considerably. Micheal Wesch explained more…YouTube has 9232 hours of footage put on it’s website every day, 200,000 of those videos are 3 minutes long and 88% of the videos that are put on the website every day are of brand new material created by people all over the world. Micheal states that that is more than  any TV network has and makes more hours of footage than anything else in a day; in the entire world.

Wesch also spoke about the availability that YouTube has. A video is put on there and anyone; anywhere in the world can access it, it’s the time of peoples lives put onto YouTube. Michael explained that YouTube is helping people to express themselves in a way that has never happened before. The perfect example being Gary Brolsma and the video he uploaded back when YouTube started; which features him dancing and singing along to a song called ‘Numa Numa’ which sparked thousands of other people doing the same thing; sparking millions of views on his video alone. He sparked what is now called the ‘global mixer’; he was the first person to get something going on YouTube, something that got people talking and doing what he was doing, having fun and letting the world know it through YouTube. Gary started the spread of happiness on the web!

Integrated media scape can start anywhere. If someone creates a video; like Gary did and uploads it, adds tags to the video then it’s going to be seen by many people who surf YouTube, they then share the video or reply to it themselves, favourite the video, bookmark it and then the video is seen by more and more people, it’s growth is how much YouTube has an effect on the media as well as the internet and it’s growing use of interaction with people. We are in the middle of a huge media scape, it’s not just YouTube that makes an impact, so many things travel through the internet everyday.

Michael stated that when the internet changes, media changes; which means we inevitably change too.

The internet is linking people like it never has done before, people are becoming more interactive and using the internet to do so. This is because of YouTube as well as because it has become more of a normal thing to do nowadays. The internet changes every six months, which means growth has always been inevitable; which means more and more people using the internet and having access to videos like the ones that are featured on YouTube.

Nowadays the biggest hit’s on YouTube are home videos, the biggest being “Charlie Bit My Finger” with over 420 million views (as of feb 2012). This is because so many people upload videos to YouTube, most of them being ones that are funny.

American music artist began his career on YouTube, he created the song, video and dance for his debut song “Crank That (Solja Boy)'”. The video created a media storm which eventually led to him becoming a big star as well as being signed to a recording contract. He released the song through the studio company and it went to number 1 in many countries; especially USA, where it spent a whopping 7 weeks at number 1. Justin Bieber was also found the same way, he has now become quite popular too. Justin’s song “Baby” is the most watched video on YouTube to date with over 600 million views.

YouTube is a community. Networked individualism. Our communities are in decline, which means we all want to feel as though we are still part of something, like a community. This is because of many things, including the media as the reason for why community is in decline; more people keep to themselves and we are all left with our busy lives and having more time spending it with our nuclear families. YouTube came at the right time, people are blogging and vlogging on the website and are creating numerous videos for themselves to feel as part of something. We all long to feel part of something. Our webcams in our computers are our little dot to the world, our windows to the world.

Michael did a study participant observation of doing a vlog, he found it hard to talk to nothing as well as feeling as if everybody was watching him; but nobody was there. New forms of community is the new self understanding; which is YouTube at the end of the day. YouTube has become a community, which has helped numerous people to find out who they are as a person because of the sort of thing that Wesch himself did as an experiment.

Authenticity or being who you are is something that YouTube allows, though fake people do arise, like shown in the lecture with Lonelygirl15. This account would have weekly videos of a girl talking about how she was so lonely and sad etc, which eventually was found out to be something fake created by an actress and three writers. They were telling a story, which brought about trouble to the YouTube community because of it’s lack of authenticity and how the website has become something of a community that things like this aren’t accepted well enough.

Michael stated that YouTube is a political soap box, as well as a place to hang out. He even stated that it has helped people to live in this world, to feel accepted. It allows anyone to show anything (mostly) of what they are about, what they like or what they don’t like etc. It is all about expression and individualism, being who you are in a major way because of who has access to this website.

I like what Michael was saying throughout this lecture, YouTube has become a community; because it allows people to express, to be themselves. It not only allows them to be who they are or who they want to be, but it makes them all feel accepted. It is a society. YouTube came when the internet needed it most, society may be failing more and more as we move towards the future; but at least there will always be somewhere where you can vlog about it, anything. It not only provides a community, but provides an escape.

Especially with Gary.

We have to thank Gary Brolsma; who did indeed start the dance for all of us.

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