Media Stereotypes Online-Video Clichés

There’s no question that traditional media tends to characterize online video — and YouTube in particular — as a cute fad. Certainly the bulk of the stories are about the “one hit wonders,” Internet clichés, and sensational hits like Chris Crocker, Sneezing Pandas, laughing babies and Star Wars Kid.

When I saw some recent Comedy Central parodies, I actually got a little frustrated that comedy writers are captivated with the drama prairie dog, and misses the more interesting trends:

The boys on Southpark were right that the distribution channel is still far from a mature monetization model. But it’s getting more interesting and obviously an important trend and not a fad.

spoof of traditional media’s coverage of youtubeAs I was thinking about all this, I felt compelled to spoof my somewhat defensive reaction. So here’s me taking this argument to an absurd extreme. Attacking media for stereotypes, only to resort to groveling for an SNL deal with Lauren Michaels.

24 Replies to “Media Stereotypes Online-Video Clichés”

  1. Nalts, if you wind up on SNL, promise to try and get me a segment were I hurt myself. It’s been one of my biggest dreams since the age of 4…

  2. When I lift weights, I imagine killing Big Media guys. Sometimes I actually mumble murderous invectives under my breath as I complete reps.

    What you say in this video sounds a lot like my self-talk at the gym.

  3. The problem I see is that the vast majority of REALLY popular online video IS a stereotype or basically a cute fad. Most stuff is not people producing an interesting variety of content.

    Granted, there are exceptions to this rule, but the people (and weird animals) that get really, really big generally are the Chris Cockers and… well, the weird animals.

    Yes, traditional media stereotypes it but they do it for a reason. We aren’t a legitimate threat yet.

  4. Just going to repeat the comment I just left on the video. That South Park episode only touched on the weirdos of YouTube, and certainly NOT what attracts me to YT.

    I am almost ashamed to admit that I first began my long YT addiction when I first saw “Viral Video Genius” and proceeded to watch other videos by the creator of that video, unaware at the time that he had over 200 videos already on YT and that it would take me weeks to watch them all. By that time I was hopelessly addicted. Thanks a lot, Nalts.

  5. I saw a few minutes of that South Park episode, & it is not surprisingly speaking exclusively to people who don’t “get” YouTube, etc. The apex of the joking seemed to be that even with millions of views for a video (the videos themselves are represented as a freak show Barnum & Bailey wouldn’t touch), there’s no monetary benefits. What a sad, shallow, morally bankrupt statement to make about online amateur content.
    That episode of South Park will not age well at all.

  6. Either that or the fads and freak shows that make up the majority of the most popular videos the internet has seen won’t age well.

    Something that needs to age – or rather mature – is the level of production being put into videos. The core reason YT fame does not equal big money is that it’s hard for a company to get behind some dork in his room talking/singing about something or some random instance that doesn’t build any attachment to the creator of the video as to create a brand.

    YT is talk radio with pictures or a freak show to those that opt for TV still. The medium is there, but the content needs to really be stepped up. For comedians, that means being consistently funny in more than one situation. Some have managed it.

    However, it’s really hard to do with no money. And with that the paradox of legitimizing online video to the advertiser, the viewer, and to yourself has been defined.

    South Park is about what people see and how they see it and I think they nailed online video.

  7. Hey Nalts, forgot to tell you that I had a YT dream last night. It was very weird. My husband came home from work to find you, Zipster, sukatra, and several other YouTubers in and around our house. I insisted that I had no idea how you all got there, and you guys were doing really strange stuff and video-taping it. Actually, except for the fact that you were all at my house, it doesn’t really sound all that weird after all.

  8. Reminds me of the same crappy headlines published by newspapers in thelate 1990s. Monster was just a fad, etc… Television will suffer the same consequences… Great post

  9. gee, I don’t know what the hell I’m looking for on You Tube any more.

    let’s see before Google (BG) I think it was just connecting with people and making videos – trying stuff out, looking for feedback, collaborating, experimenting…

    after google (AG) I figured it would be big business as usual and if you were lucky enough to get on the front page you’d find an audience and maybe make a little cash.

    Isn’t that why Google bought You Tube, to corner a market and make loads of money? I means let’s get real, the RIAA was all over You Tube’s ass and Google bought them anyway, they saw the potential and the power behind this whole thing and they have the lawyers to negotiate. It’s the nature of the beast.

    A number of people I used to watch BG have moved on to other making money sites. Those who stuck around AG are in the partnership program and have little time for the stuff that used to be fun and what made You Tube I guess a bit more homey and familiar, even the now popular asshole vlogers don’t want to pick a fight any more, “I’m making money now and don’t have time to give you a hardy f u!”

    I don’t even bother leaving comments, you’re just lost in the crowd now, the interaction was one of the things I enjoyed most and unfortunately will miss.

    Now You Tube has the Rolling Stones, in my mind this site has jumped the shark, it’s officially TV. The next stage is being set.

    Anyway, I knew AG it would change, so I’m not really bitching about it all, you just have to keep doing what you do, hope you connect with some nice folks or like minds and have fun on the internets.

  10. To rebuff Peter Coffin’s remarks:
    the idea that the video makers spoofed in the South Park episode are representative of, or worth defending, is simply irrelevant. The heart of the issue is far away from anything refrenced in that spoof.

    Peter Coffin, you sound like a comedian who is annoyed at the indignecy of having to use the internet as a marketing tool.

  11. Good vid Nalts

    Basically, I agree. The ‘real’ youtube community aren’t just watching the vids u find in the most viewed of all time, at least I’m not. Beneath all the high profile stuff are some great vids, good comedy, entertainment, music, etc. All this created by some really talented people. I’m not a content creator, but I feel part of the community, and it’s a good community, a friendly community. Big media can keep on running stories on sneezing pandas and laughing babies and suggest that youtube is just full of pointless crap, I don’t mind, as long as I can still enjoy the real youtube community.

  12. I am in no way annoyed by the fact I use the internet as a distribution channel and as a promotional tool. In fact, I don’t want to do TV or anything else ever. Not even a goal.

    I love the internet as a content distribution model – I hope I can support myself off that and that alone one day. The freedom it allows absolutely maims anything TV could offer.

    My point is that not just the traditional media – but the general public (about 70-75%) sees YouTube as a haven of OHWs and freaks. We want this to be as viable a medium as TV, right? THAT is the biggest obstacle. Making enough high-quality, BRANDABLE content that builds loyal audiences so that people from the public, the media, and advertisers will take the online video community more seriously.

    Remember, the YT scene has not replaced TV and won’t for a few years minimum. There are reasons for that.

  13. the front page will be – but you’re right in this respect You Tube is essentially 1000’s of little TV channels, there’s more variety and the only thing that makes it unique is the ability to upload almost anything you want and receive an immediate response and interaction.

    when I was a little kid I went to an expo that put on a demonstration of smellavission, what ever happen to that? well I can’t smell you, but I can communicate with you in real time without picking up the phone. and I can see your ideas and know a little more about you in an abstract way.

    the big question is, why do I want to do that?

  14. Jischinger – I can smell you, and from this vantage point it ain’t pleasant!

    Marilyn – woo hoo!!! I’ve finally gotten inside marilyn’s head!!! And I’m never, ever leaving.

  15. Yes, you are in my head, sukatra, and I can’t get rid of you. I don’t even know what you look like, but you are in my dreams. If I could stay away from this blog for a day or two, it might help. But I am like a moth to a flame. I am attracted to something destined to kill me, yet I ca not resist.

  16. Yes, you are in my head, sukatra, and I can’t get rid of you. I don’t even know what you look like, but you are in my dreams. If I could stay away from this blog for a day or two, it might help. But I am like a moth to a flame. I am attracted to something destined to kill me, yet I can not resist.

Comments are closed.