WHO AND WHY?
Every time I use Google's YouTube, I'm amazed that someone took the time somewhere to upload a clip of some video from somewhere else.
And while we've all come to take for granted how incredibly useful that is for millions of YouTube viewers every-day, it's easy to take for granted that there is a pretty amazing community of folks globally who take the time to slice and dice video and then upload it into the Google/YouTube cloud. Most of the time, it's stuff they like and/or find notable and they think it might be of interest to someone somewhere sometime. And as a user, it feels like magic when one finds something you're curious about on YouTube.
Maybe I've missed it somewhere, but I've yet to find any information on this community on the web. How large is it, how is it growing, what are it's demographics, and simply what kind of hardware and software tools do they like to use to do their YouTube uploading. So many other questions also come to mind.
What made me think of all this is re-reading a post from some time ago by entrepreneur and programmer Andy Baio, who was curious along similar lines about another innovative web service, this time courtesy of Amazon:
I've seen the demographics, but that was too abstract for me.
You toss 500 questions into the ether, and the answers instantly start rolling in from anonymous workers around the world. It was great for getting work done, but who are these people?
Last week, I started a new Turk experiment to answer two questions: what do these people look like, and how much does it cost for someone to reveal their face?"
The rest of the post goes into the clever survey he implemented to get some answers, and the cool results of the experiment:
"The final results: 30 people total — 10 women, 20 men. Almost all were white, mostly in their 20s and 30s. 21 said they turked for money, 9 for fun or boredom."
It'd be fascinating if something like this were done to query the many folks who contribute to YouTube every day. Who knows, it may even be doable using YouTube.