A Different Kind of Fame

As the usage of the internet continues to sore, replacing the physical means of information and entertainment, we start to see a difference in the way one can become famous.  We now live in a world where the common, everyday person has the ability to get their 15 minutes of fame (and then some in many cases).  YouTube is a prime example of a venue that can help someone become famous.  I’m sure you can think of at least one person whose fame started on YouTube and is now all over the news and walking the red carpet.  Justin Bieber is the first person to come to my mind.  I doubt he would be where he is now without the internet exposure on YouTube.

Then there are plenty of other videos on YouTube that might not take people as far as the red carpet, but gets them thousands of views and perhaps some exposure on the news.  I can list a few just off the top of my head:

  1. Charlie Bit My Finger-http://youtu.be/_OBlgSz8sSM
  2. The Sneezing Baby Panda-http://youtu.be/FzRH3iTQPrk
  3. Chocolate Rain by Tay Zonday-http://youtu.be/EwTZ2xpQwpA
  4. Nyan Cat-http://youtu.be/QH2-TGUlwu4
  5. Dramatic Chipmunk-http://youtu.be/y8Kyi0WNg40
  6. Antoine Dodson-http://youtu.be/EzNhaLUT520

Like I said, these are only a few.  I can think of so many more that I could mention to just about anyone and they’d know what I’m talking about.  The interesting thing about a lot of these videos is that others can get famous from the original video as well.  For instance, Charlie bit me and Antoine Dodson’s news report has been autotuned and gotten a lot more fame from that.

So, what makes these YouTube videos so appealing?  To be honest, it’s a mystery to me sometimes.  I understand why a funny video would be so popular or one that’s controversial, but how does something like Nyan Cat get so famous.  It’s a cartoon cat flying in the sky, a rainbow coming from its butt, with repetitive music playing in the background.  I honestly don’t understand the appeal, but as off 2:02PM today it has 84,854,860 views and 658,832 likes on YouTube.

With videos like “Charlie Bit My Finger,” I think the appeal lies in the fact that we can relate with the video in a way.  It’s not staged or rehearsed; it’s just a home video from an everyday family like our own.  It’s like the show America’s Funniest Home Videos, but online where you can watch it multiple times.

I think YouTube videos are such a big deal for a lot of us because it’s so real.  Not reality show real (well I guess it is sometimes), but actually real.  You can see anything from a tutorial on how to curl your hair to a reaction to something going on in the world.  Perhaps that is how an everyday person posting videos on YouTube gets their fame.  There must be a demand for the sense of reality that they bring and, since these videos are free to watch, it only adds to the appeal.

I’ll use myself as an example.  When I’m on YouTube, I like to watch videogame commentaries.  Right now, one of my favorites is from a guy named Pewdiepie.  The reason I like his commentaries are because they’re funny and makes me feel like I’m watching one of my friends play a video game.  I don’t really play too many videogames on my own, but for some reason I really like watching my friends play.  It’s that familiar feeling that appeals to me, as if we are good friends.  Even though I’m not physically with him, I can see his reactions to the game and react along with him as he plays.  The only thing I’m lacking is the communication.  Obviously I can’t talk to him while he plays, just leave a comment.

Now, I have a question for all of you.  What do you think is the appeal of YouTube videos?



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