The Youtube Problem
As of the date of this posting, Youtube is the third-most popularly visited website in the world. The video upload site is so popular and accessible, in fact, that every mom and pop store, doting parent, amateur filmmaker, musician, and even some of the more savvy national politicians have uploaded videos on it since it went live in 2005. In less than 6 and a half years, Youtube has grown from a quirky utility thought up by three former PayPal employees to a staple of our culture.
Early on in its history, Youtube was dismissed by more established production houses since there was no filter on the video and audio quality on the site, no checks on artistic quality for content, and no definitive authority but the mass populi to gauge whether a video was worth watching or not. as an after-effect of the more democratic philosophy driving the popularity of the site, people in more established or polished circles lost out on the initial growth of the site and, as such, the people who made the most out of its popularity were regular folks with lots of time on their hands.
Lots has happened since Youtube launched, though the fundamentals of both its benefits
and hindrances are essentially the same: on the upside, there’s the obvious benefit of it being accessible, widely known, and easy to use, both on the upload and user and of the spectrum. On the downside (as mentioned early on in this blog,) searches on the site can bring up all sorts of different things that might not have had anything to do with what a user really wanted to see. There’s also the problem of its wide swath of quality insofar as its videos are concerned.
That is, because everyone and their mother can (and often does) put up an account with Youtube and post a video, the average viewer has become accustomed to watching all sorts of silly videos that might well be endearing or instructional, but might also have a whole bunch of technical problems that could easily be fixed if only the video were shot and edited right in the first place. It’s true: the launch of sites like Youtube has made it a whole lot easier for anyone to post a video with the chance that thousands of people could easily view it. It’s also true that most of the people trolling the site for quirky videos don’t care about whether the video they’re watching were well lit or if the sound quality were good. They just want to see a cat freak out at a laser light or watch a cute kid’s baby brother bite his finger.