Have you caught the YouTube.com bug yet? You may have inadvertently found yourself viewing a video on YouTube or you may now be a full blown YouTube addict but the website is all the rage. So much so that NBC has now decided rather than fight YouTube it will join it. Now they’ve begun inviting YouTube participants to make and upload their own promos for NBC shows.
Last week, hundreds of amateur filmmakers were busy editing together shorts as part of a contest to build a promo for the hit show The Office. Most of the videos are private to the general public but once the contest is over most will likely be available for viewing.
NBC is also bringing back a show that was cancelled because of activity on YouTube. Nobody’s Watching was a pilot on the WB network which was downloaded so many times on YouTube that NBC picked the series up.
The pilot was “leaked” as a “viral spot” on YouTube, presumably to build buzz. And indeed, now is the time to leak spots of any kind to the website, which nearly doubled its viewership last week from 7 to 12 million.
It seems people can’t get enough of the videos, which range from news clips to montages from favorite movies or shows – amateurs and pros co-mingle seamlessly and all that is needed is the right keyword. Users have their own channels that people can subscribe to and see what their latest and greatest is. It’s all a bit overwhelming, to tell the truth, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
With our fast internet connections and our limited time and our ever-increasing need to be in on the joke, YouTube offers the best of all possible worlds – it’s a place where videos are short and sweet, funny and even informative. Best of all, you can catch stuff you might have missed if your TIVO didn’t catch it.
Log on to YouTube and type in “Jon Stewart.” Sort by date added and you’ll see more Jon Stewart and The Daily Show than you could have ever imagined. So the next time someone says, “Hey, did you see Jon Stewart last night?” you can say, “Hold on a minute.” Clicketyclickety and viola, instance access. Perhaps this is but one of the reasons people are hopelessly devoted to this website.
But it isn’t just fun and games on YouTube. When you don’t get direct access to places like Fallujah on CNN you can find first person video accounts of the war on YouTube, by typing in any keyword like “Iraq” and “Soldier.” There are even clips that have to be age-validated in order to see (not that anyone follows those rules, though, for the record). For the first time in history, eye-witnesses are putting their experiences on video online as they happen.
YouTube’s logo is “broadcast yourself,” and many do that, for better or worse. There is footage of a dolphin giving birth, a child’s first birthday, Britney Spears videos, a how-to bake a baked Alaska. It’s all for free and watchable on YouTube. We may never watch TV again.