Comments and Community on YouTube

Knotty commented on the YouTube Cyber Haterz thing with:

I don’t know why people even bother with YouTube comments… Imagine if you had to listen to every bitchy comment people made to their TV?

I was thinking about that when I posted the clips.

I was thinking how sorry I felt for the kids that had posted the original clip. They were only having a laugh.

Then I thought about how they’d just have to not look at the comments and responses. I think if I was them I’d just move on and ignore it. Or at least I’d try to. But it’s really hard not to look at what people are saying when you know they’re saying something. I guess that’s just human nature.

But if you didn’t have comments on YouTube there would be no sense of community. And there are plenty of people who do think that YouTube is a proper community. These guys from the SouthTube get-together certainly do. And a couple of them acknowledge that even the haters have a sort of role in the community.

I’m not saying that I agree with them, they certainly feel pretty strongly about it though.

5 thoughts on “Comments and Community on YouTube”

  1. I guess I mean that just because YouTube offers community enabling features, it doesn’t mean that good communities always develop.

    From my experience there are a few YouTube ‘communities’ that are obviously very valuable to their core participants but I don’t think generic public comment threads add anything at all in most cases… In fact, I think a lot of the comment threads discourage community.

  2. Online communities are optional; you choose when & how much you want to participate from your comfort zone at home, one click away to opt out of any commitment, and I personally see them as weak, superficial and secondary.

    I believe that the growing popularity of online communities is due to the lack of real life communities in our life.

    One of the guy’s in the movie says;
    “I know these people… better then I know my own neighbours, I know these people. I know what they are about and what they do and… it was like it was like going to a family reunion. That’s what it was all about.”

    That statement, to me, states how little he knows his neighbours and how his family doesn’t spend much time together rather than how well connected he might be to his online friends.

  3. I think that the question of youtube is / isn’t a community feels somewhat inadequate. Youtube is just too big and diverse to be one thing or another.
    It’s almost like asking if youtube is good or bad.

    For me, youtube is a universe or ecosystem where the modes of communication are videos, video comments, verbal comments, linking etc., and it enables the emergence of thousands of cultures and sub-cultures and yes, what you can call communities that their character and activity are as diverse as youtube itself.

    Depending on the content and the ‘participants’ some are more temporary, brief and episodic (the skater case) while some have much more longevity and meaningful relations like the south tube people. and if you’d dig deeper you’ll discover dozens more ‘versions’ of ‘community’ with unique characters and set of behaviours.

  4. Yesterdays Observer had two articles that was kind of touching on the subject of online communities. Don’t have the paper here so can’t quote or give page numbers.

    The articles common threat was a young author of a Guardian Travelog that got bullied and attacked by ‘haters’.

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