Sunday, April 2, 2017

YouTube: From Buffy to Tessa

I am thinking about YouTube, which has been around for a bit more than decade.

I wrote my latest Corridor Business Journal column about a local news show, “Ethical Perspectives on the News.” It’s a show recorded by and aired on KCRG-Channel 9 in Cedar Rapids, but because the show was recently moved to 5:30 a.m. on Sundays, I find it easier to catch the show on YouTube.

The show, sponsored by the Inter Religious Council of Linn County, is posted after its first airing. As I write this, today’s show is already on line.

Anyway, I was a bit proud of my March CBJ column simply because it represented two cool realities: 1) It was a last-minute rush job before I flew out to San Francisco for spring break, and as such, I am glad it came together, and 2) I managed to work in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” I’ve seen a lot of YouTube highlights from Buffy lately, tied to the show’s 20th anniversary. There are some good highlights reels out there, but one genre is the fan video where Buffy scenes are used to illustrate some popular song. Like this one.
Crop of screen shot from video linked above--final seconds of final Buffy episode. As she thinks about the end of her life as a slayer, Butty is about to break into a series-ending grin.

It got me thinking of online video as a new medium. Of course, like “Ethical Perspectives,” YouTube can represent simply posting material from some other medium.

Then again, there is original content. I follow a number of channels on YouTube—some associated with programs I like but don’t have time to watch. I see highlights of Steven Colbert’s CBS program, for example.

I also follow the Vlog Brothers, one of whom is also active on the channel SciShow, which I also follow.

Besides those, I’ve been listening to a fair number of frothy pop songs from a young lady named Tessa Violet, who first came to YouTube fame by lip synching other people’s songs and vlogging about her life, and now has moved on to writing and performing her own songs in YouTube music videos.
YouTube thumbnail for Tessa Violet's "Sorry I'm not Sorry" video. I also used "Baby I'm Not Over You" on my bike blog.
I am particularly fond of “Sorry I’m not Sorry,” a song about a woman who refuses to stay in a bad relationship. I kind of like that message, and it’s a catchy song.

So I’m on a bit of a personal mission to make Tessa Violet a star beyond YouTube. We'll see if this blog post gets the ball rolling. That’s a joke, of course. Unlike Tessa’s fan base—she has 1 million YouTube followers—my blog audience is small

Still, I am interested in what the online video medium means.

In particular, who in Iowa or the Cedar Rapids area is creating interesting, original videos that are shared via YouTube or some other online video service?

Readers, do you have any suggestions?

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