Blog Post 4: YouTube: the New History Book

What stuck out to me the most in the Hilderbrand article was is analysis of YouTube as being a storage place of cultural memory. Hildebrand discuses how YouTube does not only act as a portal for pre-YouTube memorable media moments (iconic movie scenes, TV shows, music and more) but is acting as virtual history book for today’s events. There have been major political, social, and economical events that have uploaded to YouTube. Hilderbrand mentions Sudan Hussein’s death was uploaded on to YouTube for all to see the turbulence occurring at the end of his regime and life. As a history student, it fascinated me to see where my field will lead. Historians of the 21st century will have so much material to analyze and deconstruct thanks to social media platforms and YouTube will be the biggest space for historical reference. It is already started to become a major academic reference for many different fields. YouTube before 2010s is already a timestamp of culture for people to study the first decade of the 21st century. There has been major changes since in content of videos, length of videos, and production value. YouTube in the past 3 presidential elections has had the same audience power as TV did during the elections of the mid-20th century. I can only imagine what it will be like for historian 10 or 20 years down the line.


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