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User-Generated Mobile Crap

Dan Jones
11/28/2006
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6:00 PM -- Today's deal between Verizon Wireless and YouTube Inc. to allow downloads onto cellphones doesn't yet open up the operator's subscribers to the full cornucopia of awfulness that constitutes most of the world-beating site's content. What it does open mobile users up to, however, is already pretty bad -- there's a whole world of strange people out there, folks. You may even be one of them.

Verizon's deal so far allows users of its V-CAST service to access selected content on YouTube, including top-ranked videos of the day. So let's take a look at some of those, shall we?

There's this guy, a song, a card shark, and this insightful window into the soul, among many other gems.

It's hardly news that some people just love the sound of their own voices. What's remarkable is that millions of other people have nothing better to do than to watch them on YouTube.

Like most everyone, I do use YouTube more than is probably healthy, mostly to watch old music and video clips that I never thought I'd see again. Which is the stuff that is already disappearing now that copyright holders are cracking down.

I have to admit I'm pretty skeptical about the longevity of the current boom in "user-generated content." It just seems so... naff, and unlikely to interest anyone outside an immediate circle of friends. But then, what do I know? I thought reality television would be done by now, too. Evidently people have a thirst for extremely cheap and bad TV and videos. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Rupert Murdoch, and the many other strange bedfellows that make up today's media-Internet complex (like the military-industry complex, but with more double lattes and air-kisses) must be laughing all the way to the bank.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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