YouTube Is Boob Tube

A friend of mine has sent me this bit:

Lee Gomes of The Wall Street Journal “scraped” YouTube and discovered, among other tidbits, that the “total time the people of the world have spent watching YouTube since it started last year… is …9,305 years!

“Scraping,” for the uninitiated, is “a popular and entirely legal practice of using a computer to gather methodically all the tiny bits of public information scattered around a website, and then piece them back together.”


Lee’s initial YouTube “scrape,” which he did about a month ago, also revealed that “there were 5.1 million videos.” A subsequent “scrape,” done just a few days ago, showed an increase to 6.1 million, or about a 20 percent increase.

The most popular titles for videos, Lee reports, include the words ‘love,’ ‘music’, and ‘girl,’ … and “nearly 2,000 videos have ‘Zidane’ in the title.”

He comments: “For all the talk of the internet community fragmenting tastes and interests, YouTube is an example of the web homogenizing experiences.” His point is underscored by Andrew M. Odlyzko, a
mathematician, who “has examined YouTube data, such as lists of most-viewed videos, to see whether the numbers follow a pattern familiar to statisticians, where a few of the most popular items get an especially large percentage of the traffic. They do.”

YouTube’s demographics are fairly well clustered, too. According to Johan, “70 percent of YouTube’s registered users are American and roughly half are under 20 years of age.”

So, I guess the revolution will not be televised. It will be YouTube-ized.

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