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You Tube: A snapshot of humanity

I watched MIchael Wesch’s presentation on You Tube yesterday. It is a brilliant and very powerful presentation of new media research. I fully agree with , that after watching this presentation you will watch youtube contributions with very different eyes.

Michael and his group of students used participant observation, a method mostly used by anthropologists to study different cultures and by doing so offer a very different perspective of youtube. My first impression of many youtube contributors as weird and individualistic was replaced with the image of a highly connected community with strong values. Very frankand aggressive commenting, attempts to cheat and other acts against these values and the community complete a snapshot of humanity.

All in all, this research shows that you can only really understand (and should only judge) social media (and any community for that matter), when you have participated yourself.

Watch it:

More on digital ethnography and Michael Wesch’s work on his blog.