YouTube at Five: What's it to you? (May 17, 2010)
NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
This is the last blog about YouTube that I plan to include in the first version of the online publication of this video-book. The five-year mark is an artificial but meaningful-enough stopping point because, although YouTube continues and my blog continues, MIT needs an "archive copy" of this work. MIT needs it to stop, as do I in a sense because the arguments here (at least in the tour form) are constructed and shaped, and every time I enter something new into its corpus I have to reconsider and reconstruct (parts of) the work as a whole. While online writing never stops, the work of its offline writers must.
Democratic media is debated, fought for, and controlled on the Internet.

Dr. Strangelove reports in his blog that "The data shows that Google has established a Microsoft-like monopoly in some key areas of the web. In video, Google has nearly doubled its market share to almost 80%. That is the legal definition of a monopoly, according to the federal courts, which have held that a firm achieves 'monopoly power' when it gains between 70% and 80% of a market."[cit].

YouTube recently opened a modest storefront with video rentals. In another real-world deal with the Sundance Film Festival, film buffs can watch five selections from the 2009 and 2010 festivals on YouTube, and now the service is expanding to include indie studios, Bollywood films, and some content from Lionsgate. and [cit]

One of my ten founding terms for this project is technology. The machines we use affect what we can produce. But machines are never enough, as YouTube itself efficiently demonstrates.
You probably watch it more than you did five years ago (15 mins/day according to the LA Times [cit]).

You notice there are more ads, both before videos and scattered around the page (yet its corporate owners still haven't figured out how to really make a buck according to the New York Times [cit]).

Your favorite video has a better chance of getting pulled due to copyright infringement (thank god for YouTomb!)

You find there is more professional and commercial content made just for YouTube.

You'll notice there are more and more user-generated videos (24 hours a minute), although this fare (unlike commercial content) stays more or less static—highlighting the common ideas, talents, jokes, pranks, and foibles of regular people (i.e. cat videos) recorded directly and badly to consumer quality devices—but is just as hard to find them (again) as it's always been (where's that bloody archivist!).

You see that the nature of expertise loosens and consolidates. It's still the Lady Professor who gets interviewed, but now that's here and there. I speak, they record and air it, my husband rips it and emails it to me, and I put it on YouTube:

Make sure to view another "YouTube expert's" (for example, Dr. Strangelove's) take on Five, with lots of facts, and YouTube's anniversary video too.