From YouTube's head of culture and trends, an intriguing examination of internet video--the world's largest collection of cultural data--and what it reveals about us.
Think about it- for the first time in the history of storytelling, human beings have the ability to freely disseminate, with absurd ease, their ideas and passions to the majority of the world. YouTube is the first centralized example of nearly uninhibited creative expression and distribution since the beginning of recorded communication. It is the largest collection of cultural data--of taste, of creativity, of emotion--in the history of our species. More than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. And the videos we share have had a huge impact on the world.
Viral videos of politicians have changed the course of elections. Clips from Iran, Egypt, Tunisia, Myanmar, and the Ukraine have inspired outpourings of aid and support from both local and international communities. Footage of the tragic deaths of black men fueled an entire social movement that put a spotlight on relations between the black community and law enforcement. And it 's not just the serious videos that have an impact.
The massive popularity of oddly satisfying videos indicates our desire for order in an otherwise chaotic world. Videos that highlight the features in elevators are very soothing for people on the autism spectrum. Children love unboxing videos almost as much as they enjoy opening new toys themselves. These videos tell us about ourselves, and they're all on YouTube. As Allocca says, if aliens wanted to understand our planet, he'd give them Google, but if they wanted to understand us, he'd give them YouTube.
This book is about a new era of creativity, in which the small ways we react and interact every day have unprecedented power to affect the world. It 's about art that we'd never call art. It's about creativity that often doesn 't seem creative. But what we watch, as a society, deeply matters, and these videos can tell us everything we need to know about the evolution of modern communication and our cultural landscape.
A fascinating and illuminating book. Essential reading for everyone who wants to understand the surprising power and reach of internet video * Jonah Berger, New York Times bestselling author of Contagious *
Refreshingly, the author offers more than just a history of YouTube; he takes on the role of anthropologist as he riffs on the current state of popular culture and content consumption ... An insightful look into the inner workings of YouTube and its wide-ranging influence * Kirkus *
Allocca gleans cogent insights into the human psyche from his analysis of popular clips, vlogs, and communities on YouTube ... An entertaining overview of a popular digital platform * Publishers Weekly *
If video is the future of communication and entertainment, this book is a road map to the future. Inside are clues to creating better ads, music, comedy, education, and yes, cat videos * Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take *
Offering an insightful and nostalgic backstage tour, Kevin Allocca reveals how YouTube tells our collective story * Jeffrey Katzenberg *
Breezy and packed with stories about fun viral videos -- Steven Poole * Guardian *
Allocca tells us pretty much everything we might want to know about YouTube, from the ridiculous numbers (the pop song Gangnam Style has been watched more than two billion times) to the effect YouTube has had on politics, policing, advertising, and television ... This book certainly makes you think, not just about YouTube, or even the internet, but about the history of culture -- William Leith * Evening Standard *