NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
I created this texteo in the summer of 2010 on the advice of my anonymous readers for the MIT Press who suggested that the experimental, exploratory form of this video-book might put off some readers. Learning from YouTube resembles a book only in that it has a lot of words, some lengthier arguments that resemble "chapters" (YouTours), and is written by a college professor and presented by an academic press. However, given the many ways that this video-book does NOT function in ways expected for an academic book, it seemed most kind to offer some initial advice about how to make the most of its interface. Its unique design functions and navigation systems ask for the same open and playful attitude toward an immersive, only sometimes linear yet nevertheless didactic if always reflexive space, that was first modeled by the course itself. In this vein, I shot the videos with my LFYT 2010 class. Our last book of the semester was Learning from YouTube in beta.
Debates about whether radical content demands radical form have been central to modernist and postmodernist avant-garde and political art movements. Some argue that mainstream audiences can be best reached through forms already familiar to them. Others believe that ideas that resist or contradict a society's hegemonic beliefs (its commonly held views) can not be contained in forms that are themselves hegemonic, already familiar and comfortable.

Recuperation ("radical" ideas and images being commodified and incorporated within mainstream society[cit]) and detournement are terms from Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle (1967).

"To non-critical readers, texts provide facts. Readers gain knowledge by memorizing the statements within a text. To the critical reader, any single text provides but one portrayal of the facts, one individual's 'take' on the subject matter. Critical readers thus recognize not only what a text says, but also how that text portrays the subject matter. They recognize the various ways in which each and every text is the unique creation of a unique author."[cit]
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More videos related to the content of this page
(Navigation note: In the HOW TO USE THIS VIDEO-BOOK YouTour, by hovering your mouse over many of the red words—those that refer to navigational devices for the video-book—the device being discussed will become highlighted with yellow to help you locate it on your screen. Here, and throughout the rest of the video-book, green words are in the Glossary. If you click on them a short definition will pop up. Clicking a red word provides a link off the texteo.)

Learning from YouTube is a unique video-book composed of approximately 250 texteos. Here's HOW TO (a blue word and a camera indicate that clicking the link will start an associated video). You can navigate it in three ways by using the interface to view:

1) Sixteen YouTours (available from the pull-down list above and navigated by the YouTour window on every page's bottom left) that present a sequences of texteos designed to create linear arguments about YouTube. Six of the YouTours provide a pre- or post-tour. The remaining ten YouTours are organized around a series of binaries or dialectics that themselves structure YouTube. Follow a tour by clicking "continue current tour" in the YouTour box at the bottom, or by pulling the slider and then clicking the title of any texteo that tickles your fancy. Often a texteo is in more than one YouTour and this will be indicated, along with its particular placement in each tour, in the YouTour window.

2) Twenty-two tags (available from the pull-down list above or the window at the bottom right) that create more thematic arguments about YouTube (still loosely structured by the author, of course).

3) Search (a window available next to the YouTours, Tags and Voice pull-down lists at the top) that delivers a triage page: a simple list or overview of everything held in the video-book that includes a particular keyword. Triage pages are also displayed when you click on a specific YouTour or tag in a pull-down list. This gives you what YouTube itself won't: a clear view of the video-book's entire holdings and structuring architecture.

Furthermore, the Origins and Context and See Also pull-down lists (just below and to the right of the Search window) give you, respectively, brief bullets of background information with offsite links for further reading that frame the short (often tweet-like) texteos, and external YouTube links to related videos.

The More pull-down list (to the right of the Search window) gives you several further resources—a list of Online Resources (like a bibliography), a list of Online Citations (like footnotes), the complete Glossary, and Credits (these are all described in greater detail in the final texteo in this YouTour, called "MORE.")

Finally, Voice (the pull-down list between Tags and Search) provides the opportunity to speak to (and on) the site in its vernacular and within its architecture (via YouTube), by authoring your own texteo! From there you can also help the project by reporting broken links, typos, or other problems. See the next texteo on this YouTour called "How to Comment, Interact With, or Add to This Video-Book" (by clicking "continue current tour" or dragging the slider bar in the YouTours box on the bottom left and clicking a texteo's title) for further details on user interaction.