Was interviewing someone for a job, and he said that he Googled me. I know that I get Googled all the time–people want to know a bit about who they are dealing with. Like are you higher or lower on the food chain?

But I have to say that I did feel a bit weird about someone in an interview–like when they are trying to impress you–saying, “Oh, I Googled you.” Seems a bit personal, almost like I was violated.

The 13-year-old found something from Google on YouTube about Gmail that I found diverting, if not a surprise.

Looks like Google finally figured out what to do with YouTube. But here’s my question.

Did Google think that it was a good idea to do this project? Are they really so cool, corporately, that they get it? Or is this something that came from YouTube, or–more sadly–an advertising agency?

I guess the answer I seek is that the corporate guns would “get” that media and advertising belongs to everyone. But maybe that’s just wishful thinking. And I mean wishful thinking that they would get it. Not wishing that it’s a fact, because it is.

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?