Videocracy: How YouTube Is Changing the World... with Double Rainbows, Singing Foxes, and Other Curious Trends

Kevin Allocca. Bloomsbury, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-63286-674-5
Allocca, the head of culture and trends at YouTube, gleans cogent insights into the human psyche from his analysis of popular clips, vlogs, and communities on his company’s popular video-sharing platform. Allocca offers a glimpse into the mind’s “subconscious drives” through what he describes as “oddly satisfying” videos featuring cookies undergoing surgery and a dishwasher cycle seen through the lens of a GoPro camera, and explores the success of channels such as the popular AsapScience, which he credits to the channel’s short, pop-science “explainer” style of videos. He elaborates on technical aspects of YouTube mechanics, including the surprisingly complex way the company determines what constitutes a “view.” Allocca also points to the impact YouTube has had on culture globally by “democratizing the power of distribution.” This leveling of the playing field is responsible for achievements large and small—particularly the blossoming of niche communities built around, for example, an autistic man’s vlog about elevators. Allocca’s perspective is skewed by his obvious desire to put a positive spin on all things YouTube, and his suggestion that corporations are using YouTube to “meaningfully interact” with consumers is naive. Still, his sunny disposition is a forgivable flaw for readers looking for a light and entertaining overview of a popular digital platform. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/13/2017
Release date: 01/23/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-79972-212-0
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