Archives for category: YouTube Reflection

You’ve certainly heard the bed intruder song by now!

I admit readily (although with shame), that I have only recently watched this hilariously catchy news report-remix, which has close to 21,000,000 views to date. This past Friday my Social Uses of New Media professor introduced me to  this amateur remix,I had merely heard of. It was love at first listen.

I won’t bother explaining the video, you can watch it:

Remixes, of course, are not new. Not in the least. But schmoyoho’s YouTube Channel is providing groundbreaking material to the user-generated content genre, with their diddy entering the notorious Billboard Top 100, joining acts like Kanye West and Katy Perry.

User generated content is continually expanding and gaining momentum in the age of Web 2.0. If this is the free entertainment I am provided with, then: I am a fan.

Advertisements

According to our beloved Wikipedia, a viral video can be defined as “a video clip that gains widespread popularity through the process of Internet sharing, typically through email or IM messages.”

I recently came across the most comprehensive and detailed viral video website ever!!!!!!!!! (And by the amount of exclamation points used, I truly don’t believe this to be a hyperbole.) The website is called Viral Video Chart, and I strongly urge you to check it out!

The home page lists the top 20 most recent viral videos online. The site also includes very interesting statistics, including: number of views per video, “the buzz by language”, and blogs written about the videos.

Needless to say, my YouTube Reflection du jour will focus on the top viral video within the last 24 hours: Extreme Sheep LED Art:

The video was posted to YouTube on March 16, 2009 and already has over 1,100,000 views. 

The following are the video statistics for the video according to ViralVideoChart.com:

  • Viral sharing of this video: Spreading across the interweb like Wildfire!
  • Discovered 17 Mar 2009
  • 1,129,184 views
  • 830 blog posts
  • 1,650 comments

Yet another unique video has been added to the repertoire of online popular culture. This video combines art and… sheep. Clearly a very complicated video which must have taken hours to compile. I’m just excited to see the inevitable video responses and spoofs that will occur in the near future!

As for ViralVideoChart.com, let’s just say a lot more of my leisurely time will be spent watching such videos as “Flight Attendant doing raps!!”  and “BEST DUNK EVER! BACKFLIP! “Ah yes. The internet. Always giving me what I want.

This YouTube reflection will be short: If you love old people, and you love rap, then the following video is perfect for you:

 

Personally, I can think of little that is more entertaining than watching a group of elderly people perform popular rap and R&B hits, including: Eminem’s Lose Yourself,  OutKast’s Hey-Ya, and the McHammer’s U Can’t Touch This.

They call themselves the Funky Fresh Sr. Choir, and they are available for wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs and private parties. 

Through the likes of YouTube, viewers can be exposed to videos such as this, which put a new spin on popular culture as we know it. YouTube exposes its viewers to new genres of entertainment… because surely this isn’t something one would see everyday. 


Recently I was sent the following link to this YouTube video:

  

The video features clips from the popular children’s television series, LazyTown, mashed up with a vulgar rap ditty by Lil Jon, and is entitled CakeRoll. What is most interesting about this amateur video, in my opinion, is not the video itself, but rather the “disclaimer” written in the description, which is as follows:

DISCLAIMER

“Excerpts of “Cooking By The Book” used in this video remain the copyrighted property of LazytownEntertainment. Footage sampled in this video is used as a parody and is protected under United States Fair Use copyright law.

(§ 107 of the Copyright Act. Also, see Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 U.S. 569 (1994) and Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films, 410 F.3d 792 (6th Cir. 2005) for precedents).

This video is free to distribute and not for profit.

The producers and distributers of this video are in no way affiliated with Lazytown Entertainment or the Lazytown brand. The unlawful removal of this video will result in LEGAL ACTION being taken against the responsible parties.

So fuck off you corporate fascists! Do not delete this video! If you have a problem with the video relating to copyright issues please send me a message and I will reply as promptly as possible.”

I find it quite interesting that YouTube users are taking a stand against the site and its current barrage of video removal due to copyright infringement. 

Included on the YouTube website are some “Copyright Tips”, which although very detailed, are not very helpful. Please follow this link to view the information YouTube provides on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/t/howto_copyright

According to an article entitled, Viacom Sues YouTube for $1 Billion…The End of the Tube, Viacom filed a lawsuit against YouTube for 1 billion dollars, claiming “massive intentional copyright infringement, saying that 160,000 unauthorized Viacom clips have been uploaded onto YouTube, totaling more than 1.5 billion views.”

And quite frankly, YouTube hasn’t been the same since. Videos are constantly being removed from the site, which is frusterating for the viewers… all we want is simple entertainment. But- obviously, YouTube must cater to large corporations,  because let’s face it, they’ve got the power and the big bucks.

I just found the most simultaneously irritating and entertaining YouTube channel of all time…or maybe just this week: iJustine.

She’s blonde. She’s beautiful. She’s Justine Ezarik, the 24-year-old YouTube user, Twitter user, Myspace user, Flickr user and avid blogger. She’s a self-proclaimed “media chick”.  And after watching only a few short videos, this woman is clearly an enthusiastic Apple User too.

Justine’s YouTube videos seem to be divided into four categories, which include:

  • “Apple Store Videos” Following Justine’s visits into Apple stores across the USA.
  • Mozy Commercials” Commercials Justine has participated in.
  • “Must see iJustine Movies” The best of the best.
  • Ask iJ” In which the viewer can ask Justine any question through any online medium she currently uses. She responds to inquiries in form of video.

Her style is improv: she simply speaks into her webcam, or hand held camera and freely speaks her mind- usually on tech-related or media based topics. According to an article in Advertising Age, by Michael Learmonth, entitled, “AT&T’s iJustine Web Series Doesn’t Exactly Go Viral” her videos have earned 25 million views online, 16 million of which are from YouTube. 

The following video “300-Page-iPhone-Bill” is the video that unquestionably created instant online stardom and celebrity status for Ezarik. The camera watches as she opens an iPhone bill sent from her provider AT&T, which was sent to Ezarik in a box and was 300 pages long. The video focuses on the obvious paper-waste of the bill’s size. Please watch:

Couple this video with the hundreds of others created by Ezarik, and you’ve got yet another pop culture amateur online hit! With a collective 25 million views, and target viewers believed by Ezarik to by between the ages of 11-18, her videos further depict the direction in which popular culture and mass media are going. We love the amateurs!

Not only can the youth of today find role models traditionally, through the likes of celebrities: singers and movie stars, but also through the means of online amateur videos, which allow viewers to connect as well as be entertained by everyday people.

“Appropriation often refers to the use of borrowed elements in the creation of new work”, which today enjoys its prevalence online, specifically on YouTube. For example: films are edited, spliced, reworked, and mixed with a new soundtrack to give something, such as a movie trailer, or film, a new feel or emotion which was not initially intended by the original creator.

I find the number of appropriated movie trailers found on YouTube to be quite interesting: The story of Mary Poppins, turned into Scary Mary; The Shining, an upbeat tale of a man and a young boy; the Lion King, in which Simba and Nala go psycho… the list goes on.

As quoted by Henry Jenkins, “one of the real potentials of cyberspace is that it is altering the balance of power between media producers and media consumers.” It seems that many are no longer merely consumers, but also the producers themselves. Amateur creativity is at the tips of each of our fat little fingers. With the ever-expansion of media and technology, creativity (by which I mean appropriation, parodying and spoofing) is endless.

So, why are people on YouTube appropriating and parodying the existing works created by others? This I cannot answer: but solid entertainment seems to be the best response that comes to mind. It is an era of entertainment: to entertain and to be entertained.

I want to write about the cat phenomenon of YouTube and the Internet. I think there should be scholarly texts devoted to this subject alone. Purr-haps one day, I shall take it upon myself to do so. It may seem irrelevant. But the increasing popularity of cats online depicts how we as a society are growing into individuals who will do anything to waste some time. Catz rule.

Cats have taken over the world… and they don’t even know it (I fear what they would do if they knew of the power they hold). When I type the word “cats” into the search bar on YouTube, I have 580,000 glorious video results-and how I’d love to watch each and every one. Half a million little cuties, I could watch them for days, and I might just. They amaze me, intrigue me and sometimes disgust me with their antics. But I am compelled to log into youtube at least once a day and watch them play fight, play the piano or puke. I love them. And I don’t know why. 

.

I’d like to say it’s just me who wastes hours on these cats. But when videos such as “Talking Cats” have attracted 17,613,275 hits, sadly I know I am not the only one. We as humans are wasting our waking hours watching cats! I’d like to know how many hours are wasted watching kittens stare blankly into a digital camera as they unknowingly submit to our online addictions. The answer would be appalling I’m sure.

I feel for the cats in the world who are being neglected and abandoned by their owners while they watch felines frolicking on Youtube, casting their own pets aside; disappointed in their lack of natural cuteness which would undoubtedly lead to online superstardom. It breaks my heart.

And it is not just videos, the popularity of the LOLcat  is probably far more prevalent among the Internet society. If you are unsure what a LOLcat is here is a definition from our beloved Wikipedia: 

Lolcat an image combining a photograph, most frequently of a cat with a humorous and idiosyncratic caption in (often) broken English—a dialect which is known as “lolspeak,” ”kitteh,” or “kitty pidgin” and which parodies the poor grammar typically attributed to Internet slang. The term arose in 2005.

LOLcat

LOLcat

 

Unbeknownst to the everyday modern house cats of the world, they have somehow manifested themselves into the world of the Internet. Taking Internet slang…and throwing it back into our faces, like kitty litter in our eyes. Basically these cats are a combination of insult and comedy. 

“You are not going to turn passive consumers into active trollers of the internet.” These are the words of Stephen Weiswasser (ABC-1989) He was wrong. Professor Michael Wesch has stated that YouTube is able to produce over 1.5 millions hours of programming in a mere six months… something that took ABC 60 years to do. The internet seems to have taken over the media. And with that comes the LOLcats.

The freedom we have in amateur videography is amazing. If I wasn’t wasting so much time watching cats, I’m sure I could find something much better, something knowledgable and informative. But I am not interested. I want to spend my leisurely time with the cats.

We are good little  consumers. With phenonenoms such as this, it is quite clear that as a society we will buy into anything. Cats rule, you’ll do well to remember that.