Sunday, April 19, 2009

End of Civilization As We Know it?? (Day 24)

Two years ago, YouTube wasn't even a twinkle in my eye. I don't even know when YouTube came into existance. In some ways, it seems like it has always been around (I'm so used to it) and in others, it is still fascinating and eats up hours of time I don't really have to spare. What would life look like without it? I can't really remember clearly...

Then I read an article about YouTube and the price of bandwidth at, it says that Google is going to lose something like $450 million dollars this year because user-generated material (specifically videos in the case of YouTube) take up so much bandwidth and advertisers tend not to purchase ad space on the most popular "viral videos". The implication was clear - YouTube could be going down the boo-Tube.

When I read the article, it created a little flutter in my heart, a little panic - "How can I save my videos in case YouTube disappears?" Other websites have disappeared that I loved and I lived, so I would probably be fine...


Life as we know it now would be so different without access to YouTube videos of cats jumping out of their skin , kids reciting all the presidential famous quotes, little girls singing precociously in perfect precious pitch, ordinary housewives stunning the world with their beautiful singing voice, music videos, clips of old interviews or Randy Graff singing "I Dreamed a Dream" on "The Tonight Show".

It's going to be fascinating to see what will happen in the future. Will people pay for something they once got for "free"? Look at cable TV. What's one more thing we pay another monthly fee for - phone, Netflix, internet, cable, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, all major newspapers, etc. It's gonna be interesting. At a time in our economic history when we can't really afford luxuries, we are ALL ABOUT LUXURY. What can we live without? What are the items people will pare down ultimately? What services and companies will survive?

Ooh...It got serious there for a minute... I just want to be able to watch my African Alphabet video from Sesame Street and Alison Moyet's appearance on "Late Night with David Letterman" back in 1987 and Bernadette Peters singing "Time Heals Everything" or Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech" or Peter, Paul and Mary singing "Blowing in the Wind".

I have other favorites that are not necessarily accessible to all - some in sign language, some that are more insider to the interpreting community...but I close with a beautiful song and a memory from 1980-

I Sing the Body Electric (1980 Fame) 

See what I mean?  Things that make you go HMMMM.

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