24 November 2008

Michael Wesch on YouTube culture

I first came across Michael Wesch almost a year ago when his Digital Ethnography class at Kansas State University produced a 5 minute, dystopic video, A Vision of Students Today. It's now had almost 3 million hits on YouTube. I watched a response to it today (which I now can't find), from a fairly recent graduate running his own business. The drift was: stop wasting time social networking, use school to learn. (Given this and yesterday's post I suppose I must be entering the sisterhood of grumpy old women.)

Whatever. Via John Naughton's blog I've now come across a lecture by Wesch to the Library of Congress in June, An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube. One, of many, interesting insights was that 25% of YouTube videos feature someone of 35 and over. The same proportion as those featuring someone in their teens. Most YouTube presence currently is 18-24s, and 25-34s. Wesch doesn't discuss this distribution, but I suppose it's not surprising, perhaps, given the skills, confidence, access to technology etc. that appearing on YouTube requires.

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