Maybe it’s a tad early to speculate, but I foresee YouTube one day breaking off into shell fragments of its former self. Like some skyscraper Wal-Mart, there is simply too much content for one site to ably manage. As such, browsing has become a chore. Thus the easy solution would be to scale YouTube back into a few dozen separate sites, each one containing a specific topic. You’d have YouTube/sports and YouTube/falls and YouTube/girlsfarting and YouTube/funny. Then the algorithms maybe wouldn’t get bogged down trying to guess videos I’d logically want to watch after my dramatic chipmunks and whatnot.
Well guess what? For as much as a prognosticator as I aim to be, BoooTube has me beat. See, they’re already housing a cross-section of YouTube, but their niche is the somewhat questionable “worst of YouTube” category. You know, for all those times that you don’t want to watch good stuff. Just a smattering of options on BoooTube includes Harper Gruzin’s performance of the National Anthem, Rick Perry’s campaign video and, likely, any video made by the Miami Heat.
Of course, while some of the selected videos are chosen by the somewhat less democratic “staff pick,” others are determined by what has the most downvotes amongst YouTube content. And that is where you get into trouble. Because a lot of what gets heavily downvoted, is there not because it is truly, wretchedly awful, but because it is insanely mundane or boring (or worse, foreign) — exactly the sort of crap that makes YouTube so obnoxious to browse in the first place. But if you stick to the “staff picks” page and are judicious in your selection of the thumbnails, you can discover some mesmerizing content that you otherwise might never have known existed.