The YouTube Revolution

Eleanor Allen HendersonA fourteen-year-old boy posts videos of himself crooning tunes on YouTube. The same boy later becomes one of the biggest pop sensations of 2010; his success all due to the largest video sharing website there is, YouTube. Forty-six years worth of videos are watched every day; and 24 hrs worth of footage are uploaded every minute. I am part of a generation that the majority believes YouTube to be a staple of every day life. Its presence is almost as unnoticed as breathing though it is a vital player to our daily tasks and the music industry.

When Barack Obama ran in the most recent presidential election he used the Internet to create a grassroots movement and the same thing happens on YouTube. Local artists start up YouTube channels that allow direct interaction between the artist and the viewer, meaning an artist has a lot more exposure. By subscribing to an artist on YouTube you allow a more personal and effective way of building up a fanbase. The Internet allows voices to be heard across the masses while allowing personal interactions.

YouTube makes way for you to form your own digital viewing community specialized in what you want to see for example, you watch a music video, you like it, then you see the related videos for suggestions. In a way our whole method of being introduced to new music is being both revolutionized yet at the same time staying the same. You often see that because of a more interconnected community the viewer builds a selected taste in videos. In many ways this setting allows for the greater exposure for musicians and entertainers.

YouTube has also caused several copyright cases. Subscribers often post illegal videos of television shows and movies causing many lawsuits. Due to the onslaught of lawsuits YouTube had a large crackdown on illegal videos. YouTube has also caused upset because of the large amounts of inappropriate videos that were posted on the site. YouTube has in the last year or so attempted to become more commercially targetable because it is so hard to regain profit.

"YouTube is far and away the most popular destination on the Internet for viewing video, most of which has been posted by users. Nearly two-thirds of all video views in the United States occur on YouTube, according to the measurement firm Nielsen. In March 2009, the site had more than 90 million visitors, 10 times as many as the next biggest site."- The New York Times

YouTube can be an artist's greatest curse and greatest blessing, to be lost in a sea of a thousand others but at the same distinguished among the few. The very basic fundamentals of YouTube is contradictory and that is why it can be considered one of the major milestones of the 21 century. In several ways YouTube is representation of all my generation stands for, our vanities and ideas that the world wants to hear us, that we are unique individuals. However, at the end of our day our cry of independence is drowned by a million others crying at the world to be noticed too. My generation stands for extremities and contradictions. Let us never forget to breathe and let us never forget to advance.

--Eleanor Allen-Henderson

Created on: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Arizona Board of Regents