Is YouTube the Single Best Thing That Has Happened to the Net in the Past Several Years?

30 Sep ’06

Fred says so. I think it’s pretty cool, too, but judging from his tone and from Bob Lefstez’s tone (I left a comment there telling him I thought he needed to put down the bong and breathe – let’s see how that goes over) – in a post Fred seems to admire (Mathew, too), I have my suspicions that this is a little – OK, a lot of – hyperbole to draw a little Cuban blood.

Jason doesn’t think it’s the single best thing, instead singling out “voip, blogging, podcasting, Google Adsense, social software, social news, and broadband”. I would have started with and ended shortly after zefrank, personally. Oh, and blogging, of course – it’ll have profoundly more of an impact than YT has – ever will, as far as I’m concerned. Podcasting for sure – I spend about 5 hours a week now listening to podcasts, but only about 30 minutes or so watching YouTube. And then there’s Napster and all of its spawn – BitTorrent and the like. They’re pretty darned cool, too, and back in the day I used them far more than I use YouTube. eBay, of course – it’s created a revolution in out of the home businesses. And we can’t forget – it and its half bricks-and-mortar cousins have almost killed the small bookstore, but they’ve also brought every book to anyone, and of course created a whole industry in long tail analogies. And then there’s PayPal – making it all quietly happen in the background.

So it seems pretty clear to me that YouTube isn’t the Single Best Thing That Has Happened to the Net in the Past Several Years. Maybe it’s close, maybe not. I sure do like those clips of Aunt Jenny, though.

Update: Funny, my comment on Bob’s post still hasn’t been approved, and my trackback still hasn’t shown up, even though later ones have. I wonder why? Shame, because my comment included one of my favourite lines – something like “OK, Bob, put down the bong and breathe” – my point being that it was a nice rant, but that it would actually be nice to know, while he was tearing Cuban a fresh one, what he actually thought about Cuban’s arguments. Particularly since Cuban’s point is that YouTube’s success to some (still unknown but possibly quite considerable) extent depends on the continued indulgence of the media barons Bob loves to trash for their refusal to play nice with the other kids. Oh well.

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