Blog 4: Wesch Anthropology

1. Michael Wesh, an anthropologist, delivers a presentation on the power of digital media, specifically focusing on YouTube and its viral properties. Wesh’s speech examines a variety of Youtube sensations including his own video, which was a viral hit, outperforming Super Bowl commercials. He speaks on the power of Youtube and the ability it has to become more prominent than network TV.

2 AND 3. The main ideas that I have taken away from Wesch’s delivery are the ability Youtube has to make $0 budget amateur, webcam video producers into worldwide sensations, the issue of authenticity involving Youtube videos and the ability Youtube has to connect people and bring them together. Wesch explains how during Superbowl weekend, the video sensation that he create for $0 was number 1 on Youtube’s most viewed videos, ranked higher than the Super Bowl ads that cost millions of dollars for companies to shoot and air. Speaking on authenticity he introduced his listeners to Emo Boy, who had captured the hearts and attention of the internet and mass media, when he opened himself up on a webcam for the world to watch. Several post later, his true identity is revealed and he is no one like the person he has portrayed himself as. Wesch also introduces Lonelygirl 15 who was an even bigger sensation and later revealed as a fraud. However, as the creators of Lonelygirl15 stated, she and the rest of these Youtube “frauds” are a reflection of our only personalities and perceptions.


4. The most peculiar topic for me to grasp was Wesch believing that a lack of authenticity is a criticism of Youtube. Youtube is an amazing medium that allows people to express their ideas and beliefs in a creative non restricted way that should not have to be limited to placing some sort of disclaimer as to whether a video is fiction or non fiction.

5. A. Can Youtube continue the success it has had or will copyright issues and bills such as the proposed PIPA and SOPA eventually be the demise of the site?

B.  How can companies utilize Youtube to reach their fans?

C. What do you believe to be the strongest form of video media? Movies, TV, Youtube? etc…?


1. This video has been successful delivering it’s message because of the way it is delivering its message and the channels it is delivering it to. In order to speak to their demographic, who is primarily generation Y and X, the video includes celebrity endorsements, inspiring music and images, and characters who look like them. Using Youtube and Facebook as their mediums, they have specifically targeted these generations and by urging viewers to share the video, they are giving them a feeling of self accomplishment and fulfillment by taking part in the movement.

2. Although powerless for the last 6 years, Kony is a figure that can be viewed as a great villain and one that will conjure up feelings of hate amongst the viewers. Having a central figure like Kony, makes the campaign easier to sell to the public.

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