Sunday, November 20, 2011

The YouTube Phenomenon

YouTube has a surprisingly short history, and yet marks the beginning of the cultural phenomenon that is Digital Cinema. Video sharing was not simple before YouTube. This challenge sparked three young adults working at the internet company, PayPal, to establish a video sharing website that we know and love as YouTube today.

The site uses flash video to allow for multiple videos on the site without file size being a problem. If one should choose to have a YouTube account, it could be classified into one of the following categories: Classic YouTuber, Comedian, Director, Guru, Musician, Nonprofit, Partner, or Sponsor. Likewise, the site organizes its main page according to categories that were placed by any particular account member.

YouTube has affected the global population, but in my daily life, YouTube is prevalent. Virtually any media that contains image or sound can be placed on YouTube in some sort of fashion. This has raised a plethora of controversial copyright discussions because many users use YouTube to watch their favorite movies (like myself) and play their favorite songs that were uploaded by users who may or may not have rights to the material they uploaded (and made available to the public for Free).

In its five short years, YouTube has undergone tremendous and almost unfathomable growth, and I do not see its dominance in the video sharing realm ceasing at any point in the near future. Because of YouTube's popularity, the term "YouTube" is as ubiquitous as "Facebook" and are often used as verbs, which further emphasizes its assimilation into our visual and social culture and psyche. If you have some extra time, "YouTube" the video, "Lazy Sunday," (which you probably already have) and you'll see the video that first experienced rising popularity in a short period of time that it would not have seen without YouTube.

YouTube is the social media responsible for isolating many young artists, including Berklee's very own Emily Luther and Charlie Puth, who were "discovered" by Ellen Degeneres through a Youtube video the students posted that went viral. It is a social platform for alter egos and pseudo-identities. It's a place where families and friends can share their most intimate videos with each other and the world. YouTube is an essential part of our modern technological culture, and will continue to be for generations to come.

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