Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. – John Perry Barlow
Nodes, centralised networks and cybernetics – When talking about the Network Society Paradigm these are all important things to both be aware of and understand.
However it is one particular phrase that I want to discuss today:
“…each individual node can broadcast to the entire network” (Mitew, 2014)
At first glance all many would see is a bunch of networking jargon, it is however the basis for what we know today as the modern internet. This blog post is one example and tweets are another. We can literally send whatever we want to a friend across the country, or broadcast it to the world, without any forethought and the simple click of a button.
The power to broadcast is something that we have become used to, and it’s something that websites like YouTube have fostered into their own online communities. At first, this was entirely an activity for fun, but with Google’s $1.65 Billion (USD) purchase of the video sharing giant in 2006 came a whole new game from Google. In 2008, Google brought their Ad platform, AdSense, to YouTube. This started the ball rolling for a whole range of content creators who could feasibly support themselves and the work they had created simply by positing it on YouTube and having people watch and interact with it.
This power to broadcast ourselves is something that YouTube is constantly trying to encourage, from the partnership program though AdSense and more recently the creation of “YouTube Spaces” across the world, in LA, New York, Japan and London. The spaces are designed to help content producers both create entertaining and engaging content for us to watch, but also to teach them new skills in video production as well as provide vital marketing information. As content has grown, so have the personalities that create them, with YouTubers running many different channels online, hiring staff and sometimes even moving to television (Fred, Grace Helbig, Smosh). YouTube as also become a space for people to create things such as “proper” short films, such as the one below.
It’s this kind of company commitment to the YouTube Service that is slowly changing YouTube from a whole lot of mediocre content to a real and competitive entertainment hub, and this is making it a larger and larger competitor to mainstream sources of media such as television. I just hope there are less “challenge” videos, because I’m sick of them.