Friday, February 17, 2012

Pop Culture? YouTube!

Back in those pre-Internet days, the only way to effectively do any kind of research was to trip down to your local library and pester the reference librarian for help in finding some moldy-oldy book about a moldy-oldy topic that you were interested in learning about.

Fast forward to the present.

In the present, the Internet is so part of our psyche, that we now turn to it to help us with our research. Almost everyone, including yours truly, has used Wikipedia as a starting point for any and all things known and unknown that we may be interested in. But after having a casual conversation with the wife and reading a thoughtful response to a comment of mine this past week, I've come to realize that the best place to research anything known or unknown is not Wikipedia.

It's YouTube.

Yup, that great all purpose video website where everyone and anyone uploads their videos in the vain hope of becoming the next Fred, but realistically, just hoping for a least a thousand hits to their video, is the ultimate research site.


Because anything that was originally put to video/VHS/BETA/celluloid/small screen/vinyl eventually makes it way to YouTube. And to use YouTube is so ridiculously easy that you don't even need a complete title of something to search for it, just a random snippet.

Like for instance, while I was with my with this past Monday celebrating her b'day by taking her out to lunch at a local restaurant and waiting for a friend to show up, a song called "A Brimful Of Asha" popped up on the radio. I mentioned to the wife that I love the song but I wish I knew the name of the band. She said why don't I look it up on YouTube. I did (by using the title of the song) and found out the name of the band was Cornershop.

Another time, I was having a conversation with a co-worker about the local sports scene, and one point we got to talking about minor league hockey. I happened to mention that the local team the Hartford Wolfpack (now the Connecticut Whale) did a commercial for Norelco, which at the end featured one of the players punching out the mascot. Now I didn't know the name of the player at the time, but by using YouTube as a starting point, I was able to find out what that particular player's name was: P.J. Stock.

And finally, about the comment that I'd left at a blog. I have a history of spouting off all kinds of pop culture minutia and more often than not, it makes the receiver of the minutia curious enough to do a search and destroy for the origin of said minutia. And usually the first place that they go for to find this pop culture minutia is YouTube.

Basically, if you can think of a snippet or anything longer than a snippet, chances are that you can find it on YouTube.


Because sometimes, you just need to find the answer to the question, "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't."


  1. I'd never really thought of Youtube as a research site, but I guess it really could be a good resource.

    And as for the CT Whale, I'm not sure about that name change. I liked the Wolfpack title better. And that commercial was good for a laugh too.

  2. I've been a big fan of YouTube from day one. I have to be careful because I can get lost jumping from vid to vid.

  3. YouTube is good for that. But there's an app I like that I have on my smartphone, called Shazam. You press the button and it tells you what song is playing and the artist. I was with my friend Leisa in a bar a few weeks ago and demonstrated it for her. It picked out the song playing in the background - even over the hubbub. She said, "That's kind of freaky!"

  4. Joanne: I like the Wolfpack name as well, but there is a lot of history connected with the old Whaler's name, so Howard Baldwin wanted to capitalize on that as a first step in trying to get an NHL franchise back here.

    That commercial is a blast though, yes indeedie. :D

    David: I've only discovered the whimsical nonsense that is YouTube only in the past year or so, but I agree that you can become completely lost while jumping from video to video.

    Lynn: Now that, is a very cool app to have. Especially in a noisy setting like a bar where the music can be good but hard to pick up sometimes.

  5. "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't."

    I should totally crib that line for work.

  6. M: Yeah, that would go over really well amongst the natives at your job. :D

    Then again, the natives at your job are probably the only sane people there. :D

  7. True, but that doesn't mean that I'm forgiving youtube for Fred. My daughter tortures me with Fred.

  8. Mama Z: I'm super fortunate in that aspect, as the only time I've really seen Fred was when I was watching a show on Al Gore's cable channel about the top 50 viral videos of all time, and his swimming one was in the top 10.

    Also saw him a couple of times on "ICarly", but did not watch the movie (thankfully).

  9. I seldom visit you tube, although I do have it bookmarked. When I do I'm usually looking for live versions of some song I like. You could certainly spend a lot of time there.

  10. Charles: You can get completely lost on YouTube if you're not careful.

    I usually use it to see if I can find any vidoes of either old songs from the 70's or just old/strange songs in general.

  11. Extra O: Absolutely!

    So long as you're careful on how you're exposed to it. :D


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