(U-WIRE) NORMAN, Okla. – “Tini” springs repeatedly into the air, ears flapping and jaws snapping. As she reaches the apex of her jump, her teeth sink into the object of her derision: an upside-down University of Texas flag.
Martini’s owner goads on the anxious, University of Oklahoma-loving pup from behind the camera, “Who do you hate?” The owner later posted the video alongside millions of other user-created films on the Web’s most popular video site, YouTube.
Millions of users have found their way onto this site to share their own videos and search for clips they heard about from friends. Chances are, many OU students will hear chatter about an underground Internet phenomenon on campus this semester.
The site hosts hundreds of OU-themed videos, with subjects ranging from sports clips to humor pieces.
YouTube was founded in February 2005 by three PayPal employees and has since surpassed even MySpace in growth, according to another Web phenomenon, Wikipedia. Today, YouTube videos account for 60 percent of all videos watched online, according to the company’s statistics.
Each day, 100 million people meander onto the site to watch soda-pop bottles exploding or crimson-clad running backs tearing through defenses, according to the company’s figures.
The Web site’s content is a collection of videos uploaded by independent users around the globe.
Users upload both content from mainstream pop culture and “viral videos” popular across the Internet. A quick search can take viewers to music videos, “how-to” clips, portions of television shows, sports highlights and advertisements.
Besides the requisite ads for hair products and Volkswagens, some politicians have jumped on the bandwagon and started advertising their campaigns. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, an Oklahoma congressional candidate, has uploaded his campaign spots to YouTube, which hosts the video to be played on other sites.
“It gives people an opportunity to link to the Web site, imbed the video and help to share the message,” said Ryan Cassin, a member of Cornett’s campaign. As far as imagination can go, YouTube can be used to an advantage.
Anyone who wanders onto YouTube could see OU’s own “Pterodactyl Man” trilogy, which has received 1,168 views to date. This series follows a man with a pterodactyl “face” and his friend Craig through their adventures at OU. Pterodactyl Man is Marty King, who graduated from OU with a bachelor’s degree in film and video studies in 1996.
“YouTube is an absolutely beautiful thing,” King said. “It is the ultimate public access station, […] an easily accessible alternative form of media.”