YouTube 2012

January 18, 2012

Yesterday I began my fourth incarnation of Learning From YouTube. Welcome class of 2012! Since I began the project in 2007, there are quite a few differences for both YouTube and my class about/on it. While I named some of those changes here when YouTube turned 5, I’ll enumerate some new changes for our fresh beginning.

  • Most critically, there is now a large and worthy body of YouTube studies, both scholarly and journalistic (including my own “video-book“), that my students and I must account for. When we began, we were writing the stuff, but now we must play the role of dutiful learners. This quick consolidation of expertise runs against the common understanding of the Internet (and its studies) as a flat playing field where all users and uses are equal.
  • When I began, a course about YouTube was thought to be a joke.
  • Today, there are lost of college classes and other esteemed cultural institutions devoted to thinking about social networking and new media. The mainstream media, scholars, and culture at large takes YouTube pretty seriously.
  • When I began the class, YouTube was already ascending but not ubiquitous.
  • Everything we thought was hot on YouTube in 2007 has been forgotten.


  • YouTube’s economic and architectural and design structures have made superficial changes.
  • Tastemakers now watch YouTube for us, and get us through its sea of crap to the “good” stuff.
  • There is more quality programming on YouTube from both corporate culture and everyday users


And the rest of the current state of YouTube will be for us to determine. Look for findings here and elsewhere as we commence our studies.


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