on Jul 12, 2013
In this episode I mentioned An anthropological introduction to YouTube. I said this about it in 2008, and today I still tell people it’s the best thing on YouTube. It’s a presentation given to the Library of Congress in 2008 by anthropologist Mike Wesch. It’s a study of the way YouTube (and to a lesser extent, the net in general) has both shaped our existing cultures and arguably formed a completely new culture. I find it captivating.
We also mentioned PewDiePie, who is insanely popular but also intensely reviled. My spontaneous estimate of our fanbases was roughly correct. His typical video gets in the neighborhood of 14 to 20 million, and the average Spoiler Warning hits in the 1.4 to 2 thousand range. It’s easy to get bitter about that if you look at view numbers as some sort of public evaluation of your work and worth, so I try to avoid thinking of it in those terms. I like what our show does, and there aren’t many shows like it. More people like Katy Perry than They Might be Giants, more people like Transformers than Primer, and more people like Call of Duty than System Shock 2. In an ideal world, we’d all be just delighted to have our little shared communities and not envy the larger ones.
That’s what I tell myself, anyway.