YouTube being used in innovative ways: Study

June 25th, 2008 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 25 (IANS) A research team that analysed 4,300 of the most popular videos on YouTube found that it is being used in new and innovative ways — especially as a platform for amateur cultural production. The study compared user-created and traditional media content on YouTube to understand how broadband was being used in participatory culture.

Jean Burgess of the Queensland University of Technology and Joshua Green from MIT’s Convergence Culture Consortium looked at the content over the last six months of 2007.

“There are two ways of understanding YouTube — as a low-cost distribution channel for commercial media content and as a platform for amateur cultural production.

“Both YouTube uses are alive and well, but each has some unexpected patterns,” Burgess said.

The study found that YouTube is also being used commercially in new and innovative ways. An example is the ongoing HotforWords videos in which a skimpily clad woman gives the etymology of words.

“It is participatory in that viewers can send in videos of themselves asking a question. It is clearly orchestrated for YouTube and is syndicated to iTunes and acts as the main driver of viewers to the HotforWords website which carries a lot of advertising,” said Burgess.

The study found that some people who look like ordinary vloggers - as video bloggers are called — might have started out that way, but now have production teams behind them as they explore and expand the social and business networking potential of YouTube.

YouTube was also an online community, where ordinary people went to participate in and create online culture by uploading clips from traditional media sources or by vlogging.

“We also found a fascination with video technology itself. There are many videos that were based around tricks, novelty and humour. Because of this emphasis on variety YouTube is kind of like vaudeville,” Burgess added.

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