Thursday, November 23, 2006

postheadericon You Tube: A Blessing or a Curse?

First off, let me wish my American readers a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hope most of you got to spend this wonderful holiday with your family and friends. What are the plans for your Turkey leftovers? I just love left-over Turkey sandwiches, mmmmmmmmm!

I have a question for all of you out there - I have been mulling over merging my two blogs (for those of you who don't know, I have a book blog "Lotus Reads"). I plan to do this, not just for the convenience it affords, but also because my blogger friends are a diverse lot, interested in a whole spectrum of topics, so why have two blogs when I can have one? The plan is to move the anthropologist blog over to the book blog, what do ya'll think?

And now to the post..."You Tube"- a blessing or a curse?

Culled from "The Eye-Opener Online (The Ryerson College Independent Newspaper)

A senior information technology management class was promised a five-mark increase on all their midterms after a dramatic lecture-showdown between a student and professor Carole Chauncey last Friday.

The ordeal was captured in a two-minute video available on YouTube, titled “Chauncey getting owned” and was uploaded shortly after the class. As of Tuesday, the video had received 530 hits.

The video is another example of students using technology to wage war against their professors. The availability of internet accessibility and camera phones in lecture halls fuels popular video sites such as and many professors are known to obsessively search to see what their students think about them.

Ok, so this is just one example of how lethal a cell phone camera/you tube combo appears to be. I have to tell you, knowing that so many people own cell phones with cameras these days I am very wary of offering an opinion in public or even at a gathering where the majority of people are not known to me, like a conference, a book reading/signing, a school council meeting etc. It's not like I worry about my words being used against me, it's just that with the power of editing, many things we say can be projected out of context.

What about you - should You Tube exercise some censorship (well I know some form of censorship exists already, but only after the video has been uploaded), but should the videos be screened before they are broadcasted to the public. Since some people don't have a sense of responsibility should we impose it on them?


hellomelissa said...

merging your blogs would be one less click for me! and you're right... turkey leftovers are the best. last year i made a turkey AFTER thanksgiving (which was spent at disneyworld) just to have the leftovers.

youtube isn't the only thing that damages people, careers, lives, etc. blogs, forums, and the like ALL do the same. i would have no idea how to control any of them. even if viewed by an approval team, things may not seem damaging that really are, if you catch my drift. unfortunately, i think it's like spam... here to stay despite the valiant efforts of many to put it to rest.

beenzzz said...

I think you should merge your blogs. :)
Yeh, You Tube can be a dangerous thing but a good thing too. It just depends on what is being filmed. I tried to watch the video, but it had been removed. :(

Happy Thanksgiving to you!

Lotus Reads said...

Mmmmmm, Melissa it's lunchtime and turkey leftovers is all I can think about at the moment - all I have for lunch is a red bean curry and roti :(

Beenzzz A Very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, too! I tried several times to visit your blog this morning, but it won't let me in! I guess betablogger is up to its usual mischief.

And thank you both for agreeing that a merger of the blogs would be best, I'm definitely warming to the idea.

beenzzz said...

Hey Lotus, My beta blogger has been doing some really odd things this morning. I think I have the problem fixed though. :)

Aashay said...

Hello Lotus. I stumbled upon your blog via Sruthi's blog (Fiesta).

The video has been taken down from YouTube since the article was written, so I have not seen it, but I did read the article.

Whereas I agree that YouTube should probably have more stringent policies on censorship, it would be relatively impossible for them to be able to review videos before they were uploaded. YouTube's entire business model centers around user-based uploads; it is essentially a Flickr for videos instead of images.

Also, in the case of bad professors, I think I'm all for the tech revolution. Whereas I share your sentiment on being cautious about what I do and say in public, I think that when it comes to bad professors, sites like are necessary.

In many institutions, particularly research-oriented ones, professors are placed into teaching roles when they would rather focus on their own research. For those who are only teaching because they have to (and not because they want to), they end up being very poor professors.

Speaking from experience, consulting with the professors' superiors (such as the department heads) leads to very little action. Sometimes the best way to get a bad professor to come down from their thrown is to lead a small revolution of sorts.

Great blog by the way!

Prithi Shetty said...

I vote to merge them both. Now that Blogger has Labels, sorting is much easier. I too had separate ones for Books & Others. But, it is too much maintanence, decision making and audience is split.

Lotus Reads said...

Hey Aashay!

Welcome! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your valuable insights. It's been a while since I was in college and I guess things have changed quite a bit,especially on the technological front and now that I reflect on it, why shouldn't students use every leverage they have to make themselves heard? And heard they have been...imagine a 5 mark increase on every assignment, that's quite a victory, isn't it?

As for YouTube and censorship, you're right, it's impossible,I was just indulging in a little wishful thinking! :)

Speaking of revolutions, the Zapatistas also owe their success to the's wonderful how such a tiny struggle has now found awareness not just all over Mexico, but all over the world.

Hi yaPrithi!

Thanks so much for the input. I think a merger is the way to go, except, I may need to look at a name change...Lotus Reads just doesn't sound all-encompassing! :)

jac said...

Drifted in through the blog of my cousin, anali.

I am for merging just because it is one click nearer.

I think that you should separate cell phones from the group as it revolutionalised the communication as a whole, its advantages surpassing the minus points. Don't you feeel so ?

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, jac

Welcome, happy to have you here! I agree with you about the many positives of the cell phone, but it still makes me nervous that some people would use some of its features, namely the video camera, to take irresponsible footage of people. But then you hear the odd story of how a film taken over a cell phone was able solve a crime and you think "Ok, it's not so bad after all", you know? :)

Lotus Reads said...

melissa I was so consumed by turkey greed yesterday,I forgot to address your You Tube comments...

You are right, there are so many other avenues that people can use should they wish to destroy someone, but I feel a larger degree of control with some of these other ways, like blog moderation etc., ofcourse, if someone wants to destroy you on their blog there's not much you can do...guess I should just stop worrying about You Tube, huh? :)

beenzzz Yes, the video was taken down and it was due to pressure on the student from the authorities, I have ascertained that!

Collin said...

I sure hope they don't censure YouTube. As much as I hope they don't censure your blog, or mine, or anyone's. YouTube is a medium for communications, we must be prepared to hear things we don't like if we value the freedom to hear the things we do.

tanabata said...

You mentioned your 'other blog' at some point on Lotus Reads and I kept meaning to have a peak. Well I finally made it over and love it! I'm going to have to read through some of your archives. Will you keep this one or import the old posts when you merge?
BTW, congratulations on the citizenship! :o)

Lotus Reads said...

Hi, Nat Sorry for taking so long to get back to you, but with this particular blog, I have no way of knowing when a comment comes in - obviously I need to tweak it a little.

I think I will continue to keep this one even if I merge blogs. You manage more than one blog, don't you? How do you find that works for you?