In this month’s issue of NetGuide our featured blogger Patrice spends her time surfing the web finding awesome new country music acts on YouTube, which she then features on her radio show. This got me thinking about the nature of fame and how much things have changed since the internet came around. It used to be the case that to become famous you pretty much had to get lucky. Nowadays, however, it would seem that you just need to post an attention-grabbing video on YouTube – and your video can be just about anything that will get you noticed by enough people to put you on the map ("Double Rainbow” anyone?)
This has caused a lot of controversy, with one side of the debate arguing that thanks to YouTube a lot of talentless people are getting rich and famous for all the wrong reasons, while the other half feel that YouTube is a way of democratizing fame, putting the fate of a particular act (whether musical, comical or just plain ridiculous) in the hands of the millions of viewers rather than a few Hollywood executives.
In my opinion, YouTube is a wonderful creative outlet, and any video that manages to garner upwards of 90,000,000 views (like Double Rainbow has) deserves the fame, regardless what the content of the video was. The internet has become synonymous with entertainment, and YouTube in particular serves as a great way of passing time. Sometimes the best videos out there are the ones that were unintentional (just look at America’s Funniest Home Videos!) Not to mention YouTube gives talented people who may never otherwise be discovered a chance. So in a day and age when the public sphere (a place where people can come together to discuss and share their thoughts and opinions freely, like 18th century coffee houses) has been all but abolished, I say long live YouTube!
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