When internet video sharing began, it became a way for regular people to share their passions, jokes and skills. It quickly became a way for people to earn money and gain popularity, with some even gaining fame. People began to mimic the style of comedy seen in popular television adverts, using fast comedy to keep the audience entertained for the very short amount of time that the video lasted. But eventually, the tables turned, with the internet become a desirable place for large companies to promote their adverts.
The internet isn’t just a place for people to make each other laugh, or for companies to promote themselves, it’s a place where people can change the world. Youtube played a significant part in the conflict in Egypt last year, it let millions of people know about a Ugandan war criminal, and even raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for a bullied bus monitor.
Another in the long series of PBS Off Book takes a look at the World of Viral Videos.