Thursday, September 20, 2007

YouTube 101...A Good Idea?

During today's Houston Business Hour, Thursday co-host Mike Gray of Exit Complete Realty and I often watch the news during breaks on our program. You would think much of our discussion would have been on the recent arrest of OJ Simpson (YAWN). But instead, YouTube 101 at Pitzer College was the focus of much of our discussion.

It seems like one of those many silly ideas that pops up often throughout academia and such an idea is easily dismissed due to lacking substance. Unfortunately, it doesn't have to be. I feel a program such as this could have serious potential. Imagine if such a show focused on the following:

* Examined some of the tragic stories related to YouTube of kids filming kids beating each other, or adults giving toddlers marijuana to smoke, or even the silly teen trying to look like a Star Wars character and who has to deal with the long term social consequences of such a decision.

* Examine the ways YouTube is used for guerrilla marketing. I think of Andy Valadez of Marketing Dynamics and a regular participant of the Houston Business Hour who has made YouTube an integral part of his marketing. People can attract millions of people to their message without spending a penny on the distribution of that message.

* Discuss how YouTube has become the first major television network of the 21st century and will change the way people view all media in the future. They may be doing such, but I can only imagine the limited scope this course will take. YouTube is changing the way all media is conveyed.

Instead, rumor has it, the YouTube class will look at the most "interesting" videos each week and students will be asked to write reports on these subjects. I have my doubts the most serious themes will be examined and it appears this course will be a modern form of basket weaving. At some point I want to get the professor on the course and see if they are discussing the important issues surrounding YouTube or will it be just another opportunity to blow some time online.

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