An interesting aside to the emergence of YouTube as a possible location to collect folk culture, is Brock Read’s comments on the ubiquity of digital content, which may far exceed the commercial production of content. Whether this will be any more artistically meaningful than vernacular photographs far outnumbering art or commercial photography remains to be seen. It does mean have significance for those who value the vernacular and is more evidence folklorists and historians will be mining this trove for decades to come.
Cellphone cameras and digital-video devices have turned college students into campus watchdogs and have made YouTube a household name. In doing so, the tools have generated an amazing amount of digital content.
It would take 161 billion gigabytes of storage space (or, for those who like their standards of measurement more tangible, an equal number of iPod Shuffles) to hold all the digital material created in the last year, according to a new study. The study, conducted by IDC, a firm specializing in tech-related market research, argues that digital information is growing ever more democratic. By 2010, the company says, more than 70 percent of existing digital content will have been created by consumers. –Brock Read (original post).