Check out this interesting New York Times blog article which offers compelling rationale for the apparent "success" of certain types of user generated content (to wit, "The Evolution of Dance" - with more than 34 million views to date). It's successful - "nearly double the number of the runner-up, because it’s not in English. That’s all. No talking. No dialogue, no voice-over, no monologue. No language but lyrics.....That’s it’s secret: it’s a silent movie. With a soundtrack."
The posting continues with an interesting cultural insight (that's either cultural or just about language, I can't decide which) : "In English, people love to opine and blather, which is well-suited to blogging. By contrast, Asian blogs — the ones I’ve seen them translated from Mixi — are not polemical, and not even very wordy. They’re links and images."
Well I love to opine and blather and my first language is English so there you have it, focus group of one, validating this assertion.
The posting has an interesting conclusion: "What will make the web universal, what will turn us into one magical networked planet, what will blow our minds with how much can be said in icons and images and film — and, above all, why Google didn’t overpay for YouTube — is video."
Kind of makes sense - and what I most respond to in video (specifically the example cited above) is the easy entertainment aspect of it - you don't have to think too much, you can just let it wash over you.
If I want a lean forward experience I'll go shop for a vehicle, man.
Thoughts from the Peanut Gallery?