Since the age of Web 2.0 is upon us there has been a rise of user generated content, resulting in a freedom and abundance of information.
Because of this, we look beyond the notion of ‘value’ attached to this information.
As Web 2.0 comprises of an architecture based on participation, everyone is able to become a producer of content. This transition from a passive audience to an involved and contributing audience has resulted in nodes (users) mass producing content on unimaginable levels. Consequently, this has resulted in a shift in the market place, where more people are directing their attention towards a large number of niche content, that is being distributed continuously and endlessly, as opposed to a small number of ‘popular’ content, that may be released a couple of times per month.
This is otherwise known as ‘the long tail effect’.
E.g. over the years Kim Kardashian’s face (head) has lost value as her most notable asset, which is now her booty (long tail). Some would argue that her booty has pioneered the current cultural obsession with big bums in the West. You only need to look at the “Kimoji” to see how viral her figure, especially her bum, has become. Has this notable aspect of her figure fuelled the Instagram obsession with #booty; garnering over 900,000 posts by users. Yes, mass produced content by users, solely about bums.
But I am not here to write about Kim Kardashian’s behemoth backside.
I am here to talk about how our idea of what is popular, even if it isn’t necessarily good, has changed because of the Web 2.0.
YouTube is a powerful platform due to the amount of freedom given to users to produce content. As a result, there are many questionable and interesting videos that have surfaced.
Resulting in remixes of this content:
These are just a view examples of user generated content that have gone viral. Trust me, there are many, many, many, more.
And while some of these are horrible, cringy and disturbing to watch, the amount of views speak for themselves, with each video garnering well over 1 million views.
Could anyone have predicted this?
Another video, which is a personal favorite of mine is by AUSTRALIAN ‘rapper’ R.A.E.D.
Eric Andre perfectly sums this up as a song by an “…emotionally disturbed” man that is “so painfully unmusical that it is so pleasurable“. Another user has similarly made a video reviewing the content. Both of these reviews basically affirm that the reason why R.A.E.D’s music has garnered so much attention is because it is genuinely just really bad.
What about musicians who post their videos on youtube and are actually very talented? The popularity of these videos does not seem to compare.
This niche and horrible, yet popular, music reveals the wide range of content that is out there, and although I may love it, someone else might not. This works both ways.
Considering all of this, I decided to write my own song and make my own video about my dog, Buddy:
Cudos to my brother for singing on this #fire #lit track.
This is an example of how easy it is for users to generate content and expose it to the world. Because all aspects of this video (including the song) were created by me, this gem of a video will not fall prey to copyright.
With respect to the amount of niche music available on YouTube today and the amount of views these videos are accumulating, this reveals that our personal taste is much more diverse than what conventional marking leads us to believe. Sites like Triple J Unearthed are also critical in exposing underground artists and pushing for the recognition of an array of different music styles.
We have seen content that was previously rejected, become popular once more. Why? Because this is the age of the internet, this is the age we are now living in. There are no boundaries when it comes to the kinds of material that can be produced. Therefore, there is no definitive word that can determine what will flourish and what will flop. The internet is largely unpredictable and what becomes popular one day can become forgotten the next, and vise versa.
So kids, it seems the way to get noticed these days is to release terrible quality music and videos.