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Volume 78
Volume 79

Web site of the week: YouTube

Published (Volume 79, No. 9)


The Web site YouTube.com, recently purchased by Google for $1.65 billion, is one of the many Internet boom 2.0 Cinderella stories (like Facebook, MySpace and it’s new owner Google). But despite the hype and press coverage as of late, YouTube still remains a functional and entertaining site for lots of users and searchers.

YouTube works on a simple concept: users can upload videos to share with others. Seems simple, but YouTube has revolutionized media access on the Internet. With YouTube, anyone can upload their own political commercial. This video could then potentially be seen by hundreds of thousands of people and potentially change an election. This is the same type of potential afforded to the blogger, only now in video format.

Also, bloggers who tackle politicians by quoting or analyzing what they have said on various television shows can upload clips and stream them or link them to their blog. An excellent example of this would be the video of Rush Limbaugh’s comments on Michael J. Fox which have pervaded televised news. Some of the videos have been viewed over 100,000 times.

YouTube has more than just political potential, though. Check out the “Categories” page for the science and technology section where you can see a pressurized soda can explode from a pellet gun. Or check out the news and blogs sections for a series titled “7 Days @ Minimum Wage.” Of course, you can always find plenty of time-wasting humorous videos.

If you are not sure where to start, try checking digg.com’s Video section. Lots of really cool YouTube videos are “dugg” there.

Rumors abound that YouTube will soon be replacing Google’s video foray: Google Video. Either way, with backing by Google, YouTube is sure to be around for a while (much like Google, whose best services are not even out of beta testing).