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MySpace + YouTube = The Global Village

July 5, 2006

You can see the enormous changes in communication that have occured in the last few years by looking at MySpace and YouTube.

We live in a global village, as Marshall McLuhan predicted in the 1960s. My daughter, an active MySpace participant, told me several weeks ago about a group she’d discovered through MySpace called Gnarls Barkley. She talked with great energy and enthusiasm about noticing the spread of their music in Toronto, hearing it on the street, and finding people who already knew about it. This was not formal advertising, but the new “word-of-mouth” based on social networks such as MySpace.

GnarlsVid.jpg

When I heard that I could see the Gnarls Barkley video for their song “Crazy” on YouTube, I searched for it, and found it there. The lyrics are great, and the video is striking, both beautiful and interesting But that’s not what this post is about. What is amazing is that in a very few weeks, this music and video spread “virally”, as they say, through the social networking sites, MySpace and YouTube.

Most of the social netwarking I look at is in English, my language. But YouTube uses videos, a more univeral language of images. We may not uderstand what is on the audio (or what they were thinking, for that matter) but there can be no doubt that we are only part of the world.

YouTube.jpg

Look at the variety of languages that show up on YouTube. The Web shows us that we live in a global village, and the ease with which people can put content on the Web shows us how the enforced passivity of movies and television is being superceded by the activity of posting on the Web, whether it be homemade or professionally produced content.

To me, this worldwide activity is what is most amazing about the Web.

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