The YouTube Reader
"When examining YouTube by way of metaphors such as the archive, the medium or the laboratory, one is immediately confronted with a number of inherent (and not easily solvable) conflicts and problems vying for more detailed answers. How does, for instance, the practice of open access relate to traditional archival standards, legal constraints, "old" media distribution and the entrepreneurial interests of the Google subsidiary? To what extent do clip aesthetics challenge traditional notions of, for example, textuality, episodic and serial narrative, documentary forms and also the very basic requirements of teaching and research? And what about the relationships between free-for-download video and mobile devices, between mashup software and patented hardware? How does the promise of empowering the "broadcasters of tomorrow" (YouTube) correspond to the realities of careers in broadcasting and film, to fan participation and management strategies? And finally: if YouTube is to be regarded as the world's largest archive, how do the texts and practices associated with its use work for and against cultural memory?" -- Introduction (p. 17).