Found this in my inbox sent by email from Dr Strangelove who has a blog called ‘Watching YouTube’ on which he has collated over 270 academic articles on the video-sharing website. Included in this bibliography is a list of articles on tagging and taxonomy subjects related to YouTube. From the bibliography list:
Crane, Riley, and Didier Sornette. ‘Viral, Quality, and Junk Videos on YouTube: Separating Content From Noise in an Information-Rich Environment.’ In Proceedings of AAAI symposium on Social Information Processing, 2008.
Ding, Ying, Ioan Tom, Sin-Jae Kang, Zhixiong Zhang, and Michael Fried. ‘Mediating and Analyzing Social Data.’ In Proceedings, Part II, On the Move to Meaningful Internet Systems, OTM 2008 Confederated International Conferences, Monterrey, Mexico, 9–14 November 2008.
Geisler, Gary, and Sam Burns. ‘Tagging Video: Conventions and Strategies of the YouTube Community.’ In Proceedings of the 7th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries, Vancouver, BC, 18–23 June 2007.
Lin, Wei-Hao, and Alexander Hauptmann. ‘Identifying Ideological Perspectives of Web Videos Using Folksonomies.’ Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Fall Symposium Series Papers, Menlo Park, CA, 2008.
Paolillo, John C. ‘Structure and Network in the YouTube Core.’ In Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 7 January 2008.
Ulges, Adrian, Christian Schulze, Daniel Keysers, and Thomas M. Breuel. ‘A System That Learns to Tag Videos by Watching YouTube.’ In Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 415–24. Berlin: Springer, 2008.
From the Modern History home page:
Modern History is a series of collages assembled exclusively from screen grabs of Youtube videos. This is a work in progress and the site will be updated as I finish new pieces.
Users like you? Theorizing agency in user-generated content
Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 31, No. 1, 41-58 (2009)
José van Dijck
from the essay:
To illustrate the complexity of user agency, the recent development of YouTube serves as a case of inquiry. Started as a video-sharing site in 2005 and run by three students from a Silicon Valley garage, the financially flailing but hugely popular site was bought up by Google in October of 2006 for the unprecedented sum of $1.6 billion. Obviously, Google’s acquisition was not about bringing innovative technology into the home, as its own GoogleVideo was already running on superior software; it was about bringing in communities of users. In less than a year,YouTube became an (independent) subsidiary of a commercial firm whose core interest is not in content per se, but in the vertical integration of search engines with content, social networking and advertising.
YouTube opens up downloads, He’s not even president yet and Obama is changing YouTube
YouTube has announced downloadable videos on their site. That means if you like a video, you can click a button and it’s yours to keep.
“La de da,” say tech enthusiasts who figured out how to rip copies of YouTube videos eons ago.
Real player one of many examples, How to Download Youtube and Other Online Videos using Real Player?
But Lessig sees it as a positive step, Really great news from YouTube
Envisioning the Future of DIY – part 1, Ulrike Reinhard, who is blog (video records of the panel)
Then they started out by giving their best visions of what Rheingold called the activist question: what to do to influence the way the institutions of democratic governance, of cultural production, of knowledge gathering will shape the outcome of DIY media!
Dialogue from a online video recoding by the first speaker Henry Jenkins:
My vision of the future would be one where everyone had the power to participate, and where diversity was valued as central to the enterprise so it is not that we build and they will come, it is not that we construct YouTube and we are automatically at democracy, there is still a struggle to be fought around democracy, it is a struggle in terms of education in terms of teaching media literacies skills to kids, struggle in terms of law, in terms of changing the notion of fair use so we have strong protection on our ability to respond to the stories that are absolutely central to our culture, it involves changing politics, how we mobilise people who are feeling empowered by making videos and turn them loose in the streets to transform society…
From YouTube to WeTube… , Henry Jenkins blog post, February 14, 2008
One of the things that has excited me about YouTube is the ways that it represents a shared portal where all of these different groups circulate their videos, thus opening up possibilities for cross-polination. Yet, as many at the conference suggests, the mechanisms of YouTube as a platform work to discourage the real exchange of work. YouTube is a participatory channel but it lacks mechanisms which might encourage real diversity or the exchange of ideas. The Forums on YouTube are superficial at best and filled with hate speech at worst, meaning that anyone who tries to do work beyond the mainstream (however narrowly this is defined) is apt to face ridicule and harrasment. The user-moderation system on YouTube, designed to insure the best content rises to the top, follow majoritarian assumptions which can often hide minority works from view. Perhaps the biggest problem has to do with the way YouTube strips individual works from their larger contexts…
Video Addiction: A confession by Seth Keen, written for the Video Vortex conference (January 18-19-2008).
“I don’t use YouTube much…”
Video Vortex happened for me as a researcher and collaborator through my PhD research into online video practice that I started at RMIT University in Melbourne at the beginning of 2006. I was interested in being part of a project that generated a current critical perspective on what is occurring around video on the Internet. In terms of my own research, which is project-based the Video Vortex Amsterdam conference, the Argos forum in Brussels and the Montevideo exhibition program provided a platform to examine online video practice from a number of perspectives. The participants across all these events include not only theoreticians but also hands-on practitioners including artists, activists, hacktivists, media producers and web developers.
Hooked on video, I have a history of contact with video practice from early pioneering single-handed write, shoot, direct and edit TV documentaries shot on the Hi8 format, through to previous MA research that focused on the influences of the Internet on audiovisual narrative structures. Examining online video directly was a natural progression from these earlier experiences. Focusing on alternative and independent platforms is influenced by my interest in documentaries, the democratisation of access to production and autonomous methods of distribution made possible by the Internet. With the Internet, there is the potential for a diversity of content that is not centralised like mass media. I have always remained critical of populist genres, favouring instead avant-garde approaches that consider both form and content in their realisation. My passion is exploring new audiovisual territories as way to critique the status quo. I think it is important to continually question the way media is articulated and digested.
Craving a new direction, I made the decision as a practising TV documentary maker to either consolidate my practice or put myself in a position that enabled me to examine change and developments in audiovisual practice. Teaching and researching provided a fantastic space to pursue a position of reflection and critique. I currently teach in a very progressive media department that has been prepared to face up to the enormous changes occurring in media, as part of negotiating the influences of the Internet and new digital technologies. An integral part of the program focuses on the nexus between practice and theory. I teach courses that engage directly with the production and distribution of online video content. Exposure to both the hands-on technical aspects and theoretical context of this teaching feeds directly into my research and this topic.
There is a strong emphasis in the department and broader School of Applied Communication I teach in towards project-based research. A mode of research influenced by developments in this area within the School of Architecture and Design. I have been encouraged to think about the way that practice can be used to generate research. This can be research through practice, research on practice and research about practice. The Video Vortex events provide platforms to examine and critique existing online video practice. Alongside this event the collective videodefunct project that I am working on utilises an iterative approach to generate new types of practice. Each prototype is used to inform the next experiment. These hybrid vlogs critique online video practice by examining the adaptation of video for Internet publication and storytelling within this environment.
The research behind this conference spans almost two years through a significant period of growth in online video practice. The topic itself covers an enormous amount of developments at a pace that only occurs on the Internet. A pace that can really only be managed through a collective flexible process of inquiry. This is research that relies on a network of people working together towards a specific focus. Social software tools like social bookmarking and mail lists play an integral role in this type of approach, where the sharing and transparency of information is paramount.
It is hard to ignore the pivotal role YouTube has played in making video the medium of the moment on the Internet. Economic success stories like YouTube generate a flurry of copycat activity and reappropriation as developers look for the next latest thing that will get users flocking to their address. At the same time a website like YouTube raises all sorts of other questions around things like ethics, copyright and aesthetics to name a few. YouTube represents a significant shift in how people are beginning to understand the potential of the Internet. But, unfortunately due to the speed of these developments and the hype, there are very few critical points of view. It is the unnoticed small-scale alternative developments that often provide a contradictory viewpoint. With the conference interested in both the success and failure of YouTube, the research has revealed many projects that respond to YouTube from a questioning critical position. It is the close analysis of these projects that provides crucial insights into this topic.
I don’t use YouTube much unlike some of my students who are 24-7 addicts or even a colleague who has given up TV and uses editorial services like videosift to do long chill-out sessions after work. I tend to work across all of the video archive websites and the Internet in search of online video content that I think provides useful context in my teaching and research, these I bookmark on delicious. I think online video provides great opportunities to distribute presentations and interviews as part of the open knowledge mandate. These opportunities I think are still yet to be fully realised in terms of archiving and the metadata tagging of the video timeline as part of accessing information in smaller non-linear units rather than in the larger traditional linear form.
What I do notice with teaching in this area is some of the issues that students encounter with YouTube. There is very little consciousness of the terms and conditions that YouTube imposes and other social media websites like MySpace and Facebook. In most cases it takes students awhile to realise that just because a website is fashionable and seen as being successful due to popularity, that this does not necessarily make it bona fide. Over time there is this realisation that there are other services that may offer more for the user in terms of respecting their rights and aesthetic needs. These other options are often located by tuning into online discussions that critique and lay out the pros and cons.
Somehow there is also a blindness to the aesthetic restrictions that a website like YouTube places on producers of online video content. YouTube has frame size, file type and compression quality control over the video uploads which leaves no room for individual aesthetic input from the producer. I see this as setting publishing standards, a referral to old media like TV broadcasting. Also, it seems to early in the development of online video to grasp the concept that online video could move beyond the YouTube regurgitated TV-cinema model of single-channel linear clips. Ironically, to demonstrate this point, I heard recently that there was TV program that was broadcasting YouTube videos in the funniest home video style. Beyond this direct translation, I believe there are types of online video that can be more responsive to the materialities of the Internet, exploring linking, networked structures and other multi-channel forms of presentation.
Understanding the friction around copyright on YouTube and more broadly the Internet is another significant hurdle. Discussions on copyright has produced some of the most vocal input from students, it is a topic that attracts a lot of interest and passionate debate. Initially, the laissez faire attitude of YouTube towards copyright is really attractive and offers a lot of freedom. Often the most important requirement seems to be having the option to grab a copy and get it onto your own website or blog. Exposure to the varying approaches towards copyright from copyleft, creative commons through to conglomerates like Hollywood aiming for total control, raises all sorts of questions for students who are aiming to become media professionals. YouTube does not offer the user a choice when it comes to being able to choose some of these alternatives, like applying creative commons licenses for example.
A more hidden aspect is questioning the way YouTube as a commercial enterprise utilises creative labour for economic gain. The huge financial success of YouTube and other websites like MySpace for example have brought more attention onto this issue. But, from what I can tell, for the moment, this is restricted to a minority of theorists rather than becoming a significant public debate. It is intriguing that all the creative activities from making, uploading to favourite lists and beyond are all taking place under one roof, like a factory plant. A minority of owners at one centralised address have the power to remove users and their content. But, these websites offer free storage space, along with the prospect of public exposure and possible celebrity status. These attractive qualities for users often overshadow the economic inquiry.