Mass media is arguably the most abundant source of idea sharing, and thus a veritable powerhouse in generation of pop culture. Perhaps one of the most prominent media outlets today is the popular website known as “Youtube”. Created in february of 2005, Youtube.com was designed with the idea of sharing video clips across the world. With few exceptions ( like the exclusion of pornographic material), Youtube became a forum to share any idea imaginable that could be captured on film. Through Youtube, pushes in technology, innovative ideas, obscure claims to fame, and even a culture itself have grown from its influence.
On April 23, 2005 the first video uploaded on Youtube was a 19 second clip of a man talking about elephants at the San Diego Zoo. From that point, the rest is archived history as users stormed the website to share everything they could think of from silly videos of their pet cat, to useful tutorials, to independant “shows”, to documentaries of their daily lives. Within the realm of Youtube, these videos get categorized to become custom entertainment for the viewer. Hours can be spent exclusively watching videos of cats chasing lasers.
Since these videos became so easy to share to the masses, a revolution emerged: particularly entertaining videos become “viral” overnight, and within 3-4 days, most people who frequented youtube would have seen it. As time has passed, the ease of sharing has only increased as Youtube was bought by Google, then integrated into all the other rising popular social websites like MySpace, Facebook, Reddit, and others. With the added compatibility, even the more basic users of the internet would catch wind of the latest sweeping phenomenon, and see global news from a 1st person, non-corporate perspective.
Utilizing the possibility of instantaneous popularity, some users on youtube have continuously uploaded content and attained legitimate fame for their videos. Philip DeFranco found a niche in reporting the news that matters to him, and generated one of the largest fan followings on youtube. The Shaytards channel is simply a man name Shay filming himself, his thoughts, and his family daily as they go about their business. Followers of his channel have seen not only past three years of Shay’s life unfold, but have also been included, by proxy, in the experience of his wife’s pregnancy, and the birth of his 4th child (all of which have code names when on camera for protection). Many musicians have actually gotten their start by being discovered on youtube, some of the most famous examples being Justin Beiber, Sam Tsui, and Boyce Avenue.
Through the past 7 years, youtube has grown, changed, and evolved as it has become a common household name. It has paved the way for media sharing as we know it, as well as contributed to the growth of a culture shifting to internet based entertainment. By extension, it has even created celebrities simply by hosting an originally normal person showcasing their talent for the world to see.