First, here’s the video. It’s rather long, clocking in at just under an hour, but if you have the chance to watch it, it’s really interesting, and rather thought-provoking in some areas.
We were assigned this video for a class, and had to respond to it on our Tumblr blog, where this is originally posted. I’m probably a lot more excited about this video than anyone else in my class, but that’s ok.
Having studied many of these issues in past classes, usually from either an anthropological standpoint (as in this video) or a communications one, the most remarkable part of this video was its optimistic view. It really shows YouTube as a community-building tool, helping people connect in insane ways, but having fun while doing it.
I loved the stat at the beginning of the talk, showing that 88% of content on YouTube is original, user-generated (as opposed to corporate-generated) material. I also loved the ultra-creative video he showed created by “a housewife.” Individuals’ creativity astounds me on a daily basis.
There are two points in the video that I either wish Wesch had explored more, or I would perhaps want to investigate further on my own. The first is in regards to YouTube comments, and flaming in general I suppose, and what he calls “hatred as public performance.” The other is the idea of “context collapse” and how it’s changing just about everything and how things happen and how they get done, since the ease of taking things out of context and changing the meaning is simply growing.
I admit, I’m not a video person, preferring the written word, or at least being able to multitask while watching a video, so I never watch vlogs. But this video did a much better job of making me want to explore the world of video, of YouTube (because they are almost becoming equivalent these days!) than any other class or study I have ever experienced or seen. And again, I think it all goes back to how this video is permeated with a sense of fun, as it starts and ends with the “Numa Numa” video, and the community surrounding that.
And I think that that goes towards what Wesch calls the “seriously playful participatory media culture.” This is so amazing and relevent to my field of study in college that it makes me almost giddy. I wish I could take a class with Wesch, but I suppose these videos are the next best thing! Here’s to the power of YouTube (and social media in general)—bringing people and ideas together!
Have you watched the video–or any of Michael Wesch’s others? What do you think?