Students take advantage of digital innovation
In the running for Time Magazine’s Best Invention of 2006, there was a vaccine being used in hopes of preventing cervical cancer, a robot that can rescue soldiers on a battlefield, a machine that sterilizes fresh fruit and vegetables with ozone-infused water and a long list of quirky and innovative gadgets. But Time’s top spot went to YouTube, an online resource where anyone with Internet access can view, store and show off digital videos for free. CU students are taking advantage of this resource to let their work be seen.
Greg Rosenthal, a junior geography major, said he uses YouTube because it’s a more detailed way of conveying information than writing in a blog.
“It’s a pretty novel way of sharing my experiences,” Rosenthal said.
Rosenthal said he doesn’t know if he agrees with YouTube’s selection as Time Magazine’s top invention, but he acknowledged it has made a serious impact.
“I’m not sure if I’d call it the number one invention,” he said. “If given a choice between (YouTube and a cancer vaccine), I think the vaccine has more impact in a global sense than YouTube.”
Rosenthal said videos from YouTube have let him see political ads and cultural phenomena he wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
“A friend of mine showed me campaign ads that are really bizarre,” he said of a YouTube clip from a campaign ad from North Carolina just before the midterm elections.
Another YouTube user, John Gessner, a senior marketing major, said he uses YouTube solely for entertainment.
“I can’t think of any time I’ve used it for information purposes,” Gessner said.
Gessner said he uses YouTube to watch TV shows, and looks at it four to five times a week.
“I’ve been on it a lot more recently, watching funny videos,” Gessner said.
Gessner said he likes using YouTube but he can’t see how it got the recognition as the invention of 2006.
“YouTube’s cool and all but it’s nothing extrodinary,” he said. “I don’t really consider it an invention.”
Gessner has uploaded one video on YouTube, showing a group of friends drinking, which has received over 400 views, he said.
“Over the summer we sort of had a reunion of a bunch of high school buddies, and we got ridiculously drunk,” said Gessner, who recorded the group’s antics and posted them on the website.
Rosenthal said he has uploaded videos from CU football games he took from the stands, and got video of Farrand Field on 4/20 last year, where Rosenthal says he caught on tape the man who was seen kicking down a sign on the field. He said he has seven subscribers to his profile, notifying them whenever he puts a new video online.
But “there are some people who have thousands of subscribers,” Rosenthal added.
Rosenthal said an added advantage of YouTube is that it is a free service, and that he wouldn’t use it at all if it charged a fee.
“If they ever make it a pay site, that would be the end of it for me,” he said.