You know you’re living in the twenty first century when you discover via a blog entry on Groklaw that 88% of all content uploaded to YouTube is original content and the amount of content being uploaded daily outstrips the amount of content generated since the beginning of time (or, well 1966) by all three major US networks combined.
The source of these and many other fascinating facts are An anthropological introduction to YouTube which is a 55 minute presentation from anthropologist Dr. Michael Wesch of Kansas State University about the YouTube phenomenon and how it’s contents are constantly cross-pollinating across blogs, being remixed, reworked and germinating a well of new and exciting media which could well eventually crush the old media business models entirely.
Hence Viacom’s legal action against YouTube owners – Google.
They might well win some money in the battle but they will certainly lose the war as YouTube is just the start of what can be done with a bit of time and imagination and not an awful lot of money – Joss Whedon‘s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog, for example, is the product of boredom during the writer’s strike and “less than $100k” which is buttons for the size and scale of this straight-to-internet show in which the lead antagonist Dr. Horrible keeps foiling his own plans for World Domination by blogging about them.
I know I’m living in the 21st century because I’ve just watched a 55 minute video on YouTube anthropology (which I highly recommend) and plan to watch Dr. Horrible shortly. And I’m blogging about it.
xkcd captures the feeling nicely.