The YouTube Revolution

When thinking about what I have produced and consumed online over the past year, YouTube immediately comes to mind. YouTube is revolutionary in that it has allowed the masses of internet users to be able to upload their own content online freely and easily, as well as view content other people have posted for the world to view. Through this process, YouTube has opened up new ways for people to entertain and educate themselves and others. It gives people the freedom to post videos of whatever variety they wish (assuming it doesn’t violate YouTube’s terms of use), and look up videos of whatever variety they wish. To be put simply, as Teresa Rizzo said:

YouTube is not about telling stories or developing narratives”

Through this concept, people have posted things from skateboard videos, to cats walking on treadmills. This freedom has started several different subsets of internet culture, and opportunity. I myself have uploaded a few videos over the past few years, though I find that I, along with the majority of people utilizing YouTube’s service, generally stick to watching other people’s videos with the occasional comment if something from the video provokes me to do so.

As far as opportunity goes, people have started to take advantage of this video system and started profiting through YouTube’s partner program. Through this program people are paid according to how many views their videos get and how many ads they have agreed to place on their “channel”. Many people have been able to quit their day jobs to do this, and the most successful “YouTubers” are making well above 6 figures, by doing nothing more than posting their videos to YouTube. For this reason, many people have begun flocking to YouTube for their chance to “make it big”.

Although I feel YouTube is mostly a positive for the internet as a whole, there is one inhibiting aspect that must be considered. As Teresa Rizzo said:

“Youtube clips blur the distinction between the private and public sphere”

When you post a video to YouTube, it is visible to everyone. There is no privacy, and you can’t take back something after you’ve posted it. Even if you delete the video from YouTube, someone could have potentially downloaded it to their computer, or even posted it somewhere else. This aspect turns many people away from the service.

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