Marshall McLuhan, the superstar media professor we have talked about before in class, wrote a book called The Medium Is the Massage. In it, he outlines the notion of the global village. The global village is the result of out environment, which is, ultimately, our medium. Electronic communication speeds up communication and increases the amount of information we can communicate. Electronic communication is, is many ways our environment. It has shrunk the world. There are a number of ramifications as a result of this, according to the book, from war, to the family, to punishment. Still, I find the processing of information to be the most interesting theory.
The speed of communication, as well as the amount of information we have available, means that, by the time we process information, there is a good chance that there is newer information to process. As a result, McLuhan suggests that we must learn to process patterns rather than take every piece of information bit by bit. This is important to education, but other fields benefit from it as well. Namely, youtube celebrity.
This video has one of the best descriptions of youtube ever. Simply put, there is a lot of noise out there in the youtube sphere. Becoming famous through it is certainly possible, but unlikely.
Remember Tay Zonday? No? Remember his song Chocolate Rain? That probably rings more bells. What about Rebecca Black? What are these people doing now? Why are their talents, or lack thereof, no longer the talk of the town?
I propose it is all in the way information travels and evolves. Their videos intersected with the interests of the population at large for a certain time. However, the populous has moved on. Each still has fans and they still garner some love/hate, but it is much more muted. Both of their channels don’t really have much beyond what they have done. Each has a few more songs, but not a lot. They looked at a piece of data, and tried to replicate the same results, but the rest of the world had already moved on. They had caught lightning in a bottle, and it brought them success, but lighting doesn’t strike the same place twice on youtube. You have to keep moving if you want success. Not by a lot. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel, but you can’t be using a horse drawn carriage either.