The people formerly known as “the audience”

I cannot be in Washington DC on the 23rd of this month. And as a result, I’m already looking forward to a webcast of something that’s happening at the Library of Congress that day.

Yes, this is an unashamed advertisement. For someone I don’t know, have never met, and in whose business I have no stake. But I have enjoyed the things he has been doing with his class, particularly the things he has done with YouTube and Twitter.

Dr Michael Wesch, yes he of The Machine is Us/ing Us and A Vision of Students Today, will be speaking on the Anthropology of YouTube. I quote from the Library of Congress news release:

More video material has been uploaded to YouTube in the past six months than has ever been aired on all major networks combined, according to cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch. About 88 percent is new and original content, most of which has been created by people formerly known as “the audience.”

Wesch will discuss the three-year-old video-sharing Web site in a lecture titled “The Anthropology of YouTube” at 4 p.m. on Monday, June 23, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the Library of Congress’ James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Wesch and his classes have been doing some very interesting things with YouTube and with Twitter. (See for example his post on teaching with Twitter a few months ago.). Actually there are many people doing very interesting things with twitter, what makes Wesch and his classes different is that they capture and articulate what they do very well. And then they share their articulation.

I’m fascinated by the behaviour of digital natives; I try and understand them every chance I get, usually by watching my children; I feel I now know a little about how the dinosaurs must have felt when they foresaw their own deaths.

If any of you do get to see him speak, let me know if you plan to tweet it.

Incidentally, I’m also looking forward to seeing/hearing the Douglas Rushkoff lecture on Open Source Reality scheduled for the end of the month.

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