Tracing YouTube's Ancestry Back To America's Funniest Home Videos

from the the-web-2.0-family-tree dept

The tech world is pretty fast paced, with people looking forward all the time and rarely looking back. That’s unfortunate sometimes as there are things to be learned from what happened in the past. Slate has a fun article tracking the cultural history of home videos from the cultural zeitgeist of America’s Funniest Home Videos to YouTube today. It mostly focuses on AFHV and what a cultural phenomenon it was when it first aired, while noting the underlying boundary pushing it encouraged, which is now displayed widely on YouTube. While the article trashes YouTube a bit for being “lonelier, less welcoming, and more pathetically voyeuristic,” that’s only half of the equation. It’s also a lot more powerful for both publishers and viewers (and, in some cases, the distinction gets pretty blurry). Of course, that’s representative of just about all of the new online-enabled publishing platforms these days. The signal-to-noise may be lower, but the absolute signal is much, much higher and much, much more compelling.

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