View blog reactions Waiting for Speedway Fowler: YouTube Can Be Really Strange

Monday, January 08, 2007


YouTube Can Be Really Strange

No surprise there, I guess. YouTube is the clearinghouse for every bit of digital flotsam and jetsam that people find in the corner of their pockets. But some trends I've noticed on YouTube have honestly left me shaking my head.

Airplane landings.

These come in two categories: those taken from the ground and those taken from the passenger seat. These videos are all over YouTube. They tend to run anywhere from :20 seconds to 2:00 minutes.

I can understand these somewhat, I guess. I've stopped by the side of a road at the end of a runway to watch a landing jet pass overhead - the Portland Jetport in Maine is perfect for plane-spotting. And since so many people keep a camcorder in their car these days, the tendency to have a lot of these landings show up on video is probably inevitable. And travelers will of course have their cameras out recording their vacations.

But why post it to YouTube? One :17 second static shot of an airplane wing and the tarmac rolling underneath?? There are HUNDREDS of videos identical to that on YouTube. What's weird is the almost total lack of context for these clips...AND the apparent community of watchers who are really into them. These landing videos will invariably have a ozen or so comments posted under each one, debating the time of day, the type of airplane.. was it an Airbus 230 or 231? Well, the 231 is know for its leather seats... etc. It's like a club. Very strange.

But not as strange as the bus videos.

That's right. Videos of buses. Moving. Parked. Idling. City buses. Tour buses. Even double-deckers. Just shots of buses. Generally no narration. No captions. Just buses.

And again, lots of commentary from viewers. "Oh, that's the old Roadmaster 800, which used to run the route up to Hampshire Road and back." ... "No no.. that's actually the 800-A, which featured the second-generation hydraulic bushings."... or something like that.

Can you imagine how strange YouTube would be if there were no user standards enforced?

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