What do Internet users love more than Google? Surely the answer is YouTube. If you want to check out Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's press conference at a turkey farm, or if you want to hear Will.i.am's stirring "Yes we can" video or are willing to view society in its funniest and rawest form, YouTube is for you.
The leader in online video, YouTube attracts 100 million people each week to access its inventory of five billion videos. YouTube provides a variety of things to watch, even several hours a day of 2008 Olympic coverage on its own dedicated channel.
Part of the fun of YouTube is the chance for fame. People post homemade videos, some of them crude and others—such as the hyperactive character Fred and fashionista William Sledd—quite clever.
Juan Man (not his real name) described himself as aimless and friendless when he strolled into a Sydney, Australia, shopping center holding a sign offering free hugs to anyone who cared to have one. When a video of his hugging escapades was uploaded on YouTube, he became a global sensation. "One week I was washing dishes in Sydney, the next week I was on the Oprah Winfrey Show," he said. "I have friends, I have a fiancée, I have a purpose. And I have never washed dishes since. Unless they were my own, of course."
Much of the content of YouTube, unfortunately, has been commandeered from people and companies that earn their livings producing it. These producers are less than happy at finding their video and audio content free ...