From YouTube’s Head of Culture and Trends, a rousing and illuminating behind-the-scenes exploration of internet video’s massive impact on our world.
Whether your favorite YouTube video is a cat on a Roomba, “Gangnam Style,” the “Bed Intruder” song, an ASAPscience explainer, Rebecca Black’s “Friday,” or the “Evolution of Dance,” Kevin Allocca’s Videocracy reveals how these beloved videos and famous trends–and many more–came to be and why they mean more than you might think.
YouTube is the biggest pool of cultural data since the beginning of recorded communication, with four hundred hours of video uploaded every minute. (It would take you more than sixty-five years just to watch to watch the vlogs, music videos, tutorials, and other content posted in a single day!) This activity reflects who we are, in all our glory and ignominy. As Allocca says, if aliens wanted to understand our planet, he’d give them Google. If they wanted to understand us, he’d give them YouTube.
In Videocracy, Allocca lays bare what YouTube videos say about our society and how our actions online–watching, sharing, commenting on, and remixing the people and clips that captivate us–are changing the face of entertainment, advertising, politics, and more. Via YouTube, we are fueling social movements, enforcing human rights, and redefining art–a lot more than you’d expect from a bunch of viral clips.