There are awards for everything, so it’s only natural that YouTube honors the mostly-amateur artists who submit their work to the online video sharing site.
YouTube today announced the winners of the second annual YouTube Video Awards — and the content ranges from silly and amateurish to totally captivating. There’s an adorable laughing baby, Harry Potter puppets (including a naked Dumbledore), a blind painter, a 25-year-old Minnesota PhD student who sings an original song now covered by Green Day and John Mayer, and a girl named Lisa.
Granted, the content is far from professional or semi-pro at best, but that’s the point. If you want to see spit and polish, watch the Oscars or the Emmys. With the YouTube awards, you’ll see a laughing baby fall over, a human TETRIS performance, a dramatic show about friends who play online games, and a gripping short film about Lisa and her mentally ill mother.
While the “highbrow” write off the YouTube Video Awards as a “major yawn”, we think otherwise, especially as more devices — other than the AppleTV or TiVo — bring YouTube into your living room. When YouTube is readily available on your television, just like network and cable or satellite TV, then what’s the difference between it and NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and all the other channels?
Content is content, right? What’s one man’s trash is another man’s treasure … or something like that.
The point is the YouTube Video Awards winners, and all the nominees in the 12 categories, are interesting to some, not to others, but are worthy of our time to skim through and find the ones we like. This year’s contestants received a quarter-billion views, according to YouTube.
What’s more intriguing is that we determine who wins, not an academy of professionals. It’s user generated content after all. We’re “users”, so to speak, and we rank and rate all kinds of stuff on the Internet — from books at Amazon, to reputations at eBay, to who’s hot or not. So why not videos on YouTube?
Who knows. One of these days ABC, the broadcaster for the Academy Awards, may interview Tay Zonday live about his song “Chocolate Rain” and Joan Rivers comments on the red carpet about Lisa’s choice of blue jeans.
See also: Wired’s collection of YouTube winners.