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as a Cultural Phenomenon

Media is not content, and not tools for communication, but media
meditates human relationships; when media changes, human
relationships change Michael Wesch

Michael Wesch

Michael Wesch is a cultural anthropologist exploring the effects of new media on society and

An anthropologist is a person with an extensive knowledge of anthropology, who uses this

knowledge in their work, typically to solve problems specific to humanity

Wesch says YouTube is a social space built around video communication that is searchable,
taggable and mashable. It is a space where identities, values and ideas are produced, reproduced,
challenged and negotiated in new ways.

The Phenomenon
Wesch states social media is not controlled by the few, not one way, and has the potential to
transform social action, online communities are changing this age.
Wesch and his students got online and started trying to understand the YouTube phenomenon.
Its a community created through webcams and screens he shows us a young woman talking
to a webcam explaining that shes talking to the cam, not to you she doesnt know who you
are. Its awkward to talk to an unknown audience Wesch shows us his own awkwardness
talking to the camera. One student points to the camera and says, it would be so much better if
this thing blinked and smiled.
Some find it uncomfortable and awkward but for others, it can lead towards a freedom to have
new kinds of conversations. Sometimes this distance allows us to connect more deeply than
ever before Wesch tells us that the camera allows people to confess things to the camera that
they wouldnt say to their close friends. We see this creating new forms of community and of
social understanding

An example of what hes talking about..

The guy in the video goes by the
name One Man, and we see a
video of him walking around a
city carrying a Free Hugs sign.
Not only do people give him
hugs, others take up the sign and
start hugging. There have now
been thousands of these events
held around the world its an
example of how new media can
facilitate collective action

An Anthropological introduction to YouTube

by Michael Wesch
In this 55 minute presentation Michael Wesch talks
about YouTube being apart of everyday culture and
community as its a way for everyone to share ideas
and connect with another.

the web is not just about information, its about

linking people, linking people in ways they have never
been linked before and in ways we cant even predict
because its always changing..

YouTube and You an article by Wesch
New media not only introduce new ways for us to
express ourselves, but also new forms of selfawarenessnew ways to reflect on who we are and
how we relate to
others. This article analyzes the experiences of selfawareness generated by creating, viewing, and
responding to deeply personal, unaddressed vlogs on

How relevant is this theory to the postdigital revolution era?

YouTube by itself is a social phenomenon, it is more consistent than any other
websites and this is because due to the vast contributions by normal citizens, giving
birth to an era where domains were fuelled by dominantly user-generated content.
Those videos can even become breaking news or even create a whole new culture.
Youtubers around the world and even our local people have made user generated
content that are easily accessible and can even become more aspiring to others.
By doing so, ordinary people are able to upload videos to share their passion,
creativity, opinions, ideology, philosophy, interests, and many other more. In this
digital age, more and more youths are born that realize the potential of social media
and one such as YouTube has been taken advantage to used to create a whole
new culture.

More views on if YouTube is a Cultural


What started as a site for bedroom vloggers and viral videos has evolved into a global platform that
supports HD and 3D, broadcasts entire sports seasons live to 200+ countries. We bring feature films
from Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers to far-flung audiences. Activists document social
unrest seeking to transform societies, and leading civic and political figures stream interviews to the
world. YouTube Blog

YouTube is a cultural phenomenon: one of a new wave of websites that can rely on their community
of users to create their content. Rushe & Durman The Sunday times

YouTube is the world's most popular online video site, with users watching 4 billion hours worth of
video each month, and uploading 72 hours worth of video every minute.

It has had a huge impact on the way we share information as a community, When I was video taping
shows twelve years ago, I would only be asked for copies on the rarest occasions. Now because of
YouTube and tiny, high quality cameras, sharing video is part of the experience of an event YouTube, now a cultural phenomenon, streams 2 billion videos every day by Tim Connellay