21 August 2008

Link of the day: An anthropological introduction to YouTube

Professor Michael Wesch of Kansas State University does research on the YouTube phenomenon. He presents a summary of his findings in this hour long YouTube clip.

Amazing presentation! Fun, smart, poignant, insightful. I wasn't sure I wanted to spend an hour on this, but Michael Nielsen said it was great and I believed him. I thought it was pretty funny to learn about "first vlog" syndrome -- the feeling that you're talking to everyone and no one at the same time. It's very awkward and I felt the same when I made my first podcast.

I had no idea that YouTube was such a deep and diverse community, that the hardcore users care about each other. Is YouTube the solution to the "bowling alone" syndrome, to our modern age alienation as Professor Wesch seems to suggest?

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