A History of Youtube: Part 1: Intro

Ah, youtube. The land of cat videos, let’s plays, and Rick Rolls. It’s an internet enigma. So vast- it would take you 60,000 years to watch every video– and yet so specialized. You have a thing for soccer video games mixed with social commentary? It’s got you covered. Into board games and want to learn how to play them courtesy of some geeky celebrities? boom.

There’s also weird uncanny valley versions of South Park characters singing children’s nursery rhymes. If you’re into that…

But I want to take some time and look at Youtube from a different perspective. One of a historian. The website is now over a decade old and has undergone enormous changes. There was a time when Youtube was something rather remarkable- a platform for the amateur like no other. It offered ambitious amateur writers/performers an outlet for their passions that reached millions of people for free. But something happened along the way. It’s no longer the fertile stomping ground for the aspiring unknown. And to explain just why, we need to dive into the history of the site. Retrace the steps we took.

I’ve been in severe writer’s block for a long while. I think I’m finally out of it, and hoping I can make a long-running series out of this, since I think there’s a lot to discuss. But, knowing me, I might lose steam soon. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen…

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