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YouTube and Online Video

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7/22/2015 4:06:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Ever since YouTube became successful, online videos have changed the way we share, find, and absorb information on the internet. Almost everything on the web used to be text-based, but video is now the predominate medium for learning and teaching, entertainment, and marketing. Other text-orientated websites are still popular, such as Wikipedia, but in the future these kinds of sites will likely either make use of video or dwindle in popularity.

Before YouTube was created, not everyone could easily share information on the internet. Written articles, pictures, and some videos existed but were not always easy to find. With YouTube, however, anyone can share almost anything in an accessible way. Rather than reading an article about a country, we can now hear directly from the people who actually live there. This has made the world a smaller place with an enormous amount of information at our fingertips. Video is also easier to digest than text, making it the prevalent genre. Instead of reading a how-to article, most people would rather watch a demonstrational video on the internet. This opens new opportunities for learning and teaching. Anyone can upload an educational video to YouTube and anyone can learn from them. Entire YouTube channels are dedicated to instructional videos, allowing us to learn anything online from cooking to physics. Information is now easily accessible to all through the use of video.

Entertainment has also been changed by the dawn of YouTube. We used to watch TV, read books, or play games for fun. Now, people can spend hours browsing all kinds of different videos on YouTube. Even TV series and movies that are on television can be found on YouTube. Rather than looking for videos, articles, or pictures on many different websites, people can find a huge variety of subjects all in one place on YouTube. This is part of what makes YouTube"and its videos"so popular.

YouTube has influenced marketing as well. It is much easier to sell a product or explain an idea with a video than through online text. People can easily ignore a written advertisement, but good marketing videos can grab the viewers" attention with catchy music and interesting visuals. Most YouTube videos now have thirty to sixty second ads at the beginning, which are seen by millions of people. This makes video a much more effective medium for marketing than written advertisements.

Another change has been brought on by YouTube and online videos: a new criteria for what is considered "good" and "popular." An article is usually judged based on the quality of the writing, creativity, and how informative and credible it is. Generally, this means the best article becomes the most popular. With video, however, the standards are much different. When evaluating an article, we usually take the time to read all of it. But if a video does not grab our attention within the first minute or so, we become bored and watch something else instead. Therefore, videos must be highly entertaining right from the start in order to become popular. However, this means that not always the best-quality, informative, original videos come out on top. This new standard and shorter attention span may also influence how we judge text as well. When reading text, we may become bored quicker if we are not instantly entertained, which could change which articles are the most popular. Our new criteria for judging videos, which may influence our opinions of other mediums and genres, might not be the best way to determine what is "good."

One benefit that YouTube has brought us is exposure. Any up-and-coming singer, actor, or entertainer of any kind can post a video for all to see. And, if the right person comes across it, that video can open doors to a career or even fame. Before internet videos were popular, it could be difficult to find enough exposure to start a career. Of course, there are now millions of videos online and many people hoping to make it big, but YouTube has brought those people better chances of reaching their dream.

It is hard to say for certain where video will go in the future, but I think it is safe to say that its popularity will continue to grow and influence other mediums on the internet. Websites that are predominately text will probably incorporate videos or risk becoming obsolete. Also, the standards for videos will likely increase, which would bring us even more entertaining videos. However, an unfortunate side-effect of this is our attention spans will probably continue to shrink. I can"t see another juggernaut replacing YouTube anytime soon, unless perhaps it is more interactive for viewers. Video has certainly revolutionized the internet and how we interact with all kinds of information.