Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Now that it is up for all the world to see, why not spend another five hundred words telling the world just what exactly they're looking at. Easier than making museum placards and sticking them to the screen, I suppose.

Starting in the top left, we have the universal blog search and universal news search loaded with the slightly obvious keywords "youtube" and "viral video." Honestly, the scope of diction I have found in blogs surrounding this topic is so vast and this particular flake is so temperamental that any additional keywords (attempts include 'phenomenon,' 'popular,' and 'media') make for irrelevant information (believe it or not several pornography blogs made it in when 'phenomenon' was included - how that happened, I have less of an idea than I may have had about anything in my life). At any rate, youtube is a fairly new and expanding medium/phenomenon and the discourse surrounding reflects this in its apparently erratic, schizophrenic nature. In other words, if my keywords seem a little broad, it is because my subject matter is a little broad and is broadening by the second.

Continuing in a downward manner (no, not my general outlook on life) on the left in the skinny column we find all ten RSS feeds included in my blogroll. Media Praxis is a blog whose voice I have detailed in its very-own post, and many others made it onto the blog in a slightly more abbreviated state, leaving only Youtube Reviewed, Virtualpolitik, The Tubefilter News and The Youtube Bibliography Project left undiscussed. Youtube Reviewed and The Tubefilter News share very similar mission statements with my blog, so their inclusion here is without mystery. Readers may balk, however, at Virtualpolitik or The Youtube Bibliography Project, as their purposes exist slightly tangentially to mine. While Virtualpolitik does contain discussion of youtube and online video, it is largely geared towards discussion of media practices at large, a topic whose exploration, I find, proves valuable when attempting to nail down the flightier trends of such an ever-changing medium. Readers may also ponder my inclusion of The Youtube Bibliography Project, as they will find a perfectly acceptable Citeline bibliography directly to the right of it. As a satellite to Dr. Strangelove's "Watching Youtube" (another blog with an analytical outlook similar to mine), the YBP is incredibly thorough in its organization of writings about youtube, from books to articles in scholarly journals right down to blog posts (a list probably far more valuable to my readers than that provided in the blog search window), and provides quick, if minimal instantaneous research into what is being written about this rapidly expanding trend.

Finally, back to the top right in the fat column we have my actual bibliography - an interesting amalgamation of once again tangential topics. For my book sources I have included two very different works - one details the effect of the internet on traditional television consumption in quite the scholarly tone, while the other reads as more of a DIY manual for aspiring youtubers. I also tried to maintain a sense of variety in my selection of articles: two concern themselves with viral video as a marketing device, one with the issue of copyright law and another the effect of youtube on politics. In this wide array of mostly-scholarly texts I have attempted to create a cloud of information that hovers above and around what I am getting tired of emphasizing as a malleable, expanding platform. Youtube is new and powerful, we know this, yet it does not have a single, spoon-fed, highly apparent function. I have tried (coming as close as I feel is possible in a paper that does not exist in writing) to present as accurate a portrait as can be drawn given the nature of the topic. Art critics hated "Nude Descending a Staircase" when it was painted anyway.

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