So this is definitely worth an hour of your time if you haven’t already invested it. (I seem to be about four days late to stuff any more…go figure.) Michael Wesch of Kansas State and the “Machine is Us” fame gave an overview of the cultural significance of You Tube to the LOC, and suffice to say, it’s incredibly interesting stuff.

The really bizarre part for me, at least, is that two of the viral videos that he discusses in the presentation just popped up on my radar thanks to my own kids. Tess, who is turning 11 today, pulled up the “Charlie Bit Me” video on my iPhone the other day and Tucker cranked up the Sponge Bob version of “Crank Dat” just yesterday and started dancing around the house. I felt SO out of it. (“You haven’t seen this, Dad?”) For all that I live and breathe this stuff, I’m such a loser…

Anyway, the best part about this presentation is that it doesn’t try to make any real bold statement other than this is what the YouTube world (and much of the rest of the online world) is like these days: highly networked, highly individualized in terms of content distribution and organization, and incredibly personal. It captures to a large degree the “networked individualism” that Barry Weller talks about and that Wesch refs in the video. (I’ve got some reading to do on that score as well…)

The one concept that really struck me was the idea of “the collapse of context.” I think one of the most difficult things for those who are not familiar with these technologies (and even for some that are) is how different the contexts can be for the content we create. We really don’t know when a video or a blog post or whatever else we create is going to be “read” or how it’s going to be shared or what the response cues might be. And it got me thinking even more about George Siemens’ idea of context and how important it is to be able to identify the immediate circumstances for learning before implementing a tool or a particular pedagogy. My brain is humming…

At any rate, I’d add this to any list of “must views” for this year…