What Does YouTube Tell Us About Us?

I admit that I am a bit freaky about data. Numbers, and what they tell you. I also admit that I am a bit Rain Man about them–perhaps much more idiot than savant. But sometimes I see stories in flat numbers.

The story begins with this video.

Since being posted 4-months ago, it has been viewed 9,037,074 times. That includes 1 million views since I first saw it two weeks ago. For some odd reason, I am entertained by the video, and have since learned to do the Crank Dat Soulja Boy dance. Very aerobic. [as an aside: you can do it, too. Here is a link to the instructional video which has been viewed 1,266,561 times since August 2nd. ]

Now here is the story. Somehow millions of people have seen the simple, low-res video of three guys doing part of a dance. It has become a viral thing of beauty. I have seen it and sent it on to more than a few people. They have seen it and sent it on, too.

Why do people like this video? I don’t know.

Looking at other videos on YouTube can give a window into what people are drawn to–maybe even the zeitgeist.

What are you watching? What do you value?

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