Thursday, December 8, 2011

The third account of money in our modern world. Two small boys have made a staggering (staggering considering their age) £100000! How did they do it? Or rather how did their parents do it for them? They put a 57 second video on You Tube that went viral – the internet term for spreading like wildfire - and which has been seen 400million times. And just what is this 57 second video that is so fascinating that it is worth 400million, or more by now, viewings? It is called ‘Charlie Bit my Finger.’ Yes, folks, and that is it. Charlie bit his elder brother’s finger. It was videoed by dad and the result is the family is now £100000 richer. Having hit the jackpot with Charlie bit my finger; the family have followed it up with other truly inspiring videos like Charlie with the scooter he got for Christmas! Wow! Isn’t that fascinating? It is the advertising around these videos that generates the income and it appears more and more people have become aware of the possibilities and are having a go as though the internet isn’t overloaded with crap as it is. Don’t I sound like a real old bear? But I honestly can’t get my head around the fact that there are millions of people world wide who go for this sort of thing. Not surprising really I suppose if you consider that if you hit the jackpot it’s money for old rope. Kids and animals are always up for the aaaah factor. Advertisers are not slow in realising the potential, You Tube evidently fitting the product to the video. For example with Charlie bit my finger there is advertising for Aptamil baby milk. ‘Lots of people know that You Tube is a place to upload and watch ‘inspiring’ videos,’ says Sara Mormino, head of ‘You Tube Online Content Partnerships for Europe.’ Gulp. Inspiring? Inspiring? Come on, is this what life is really all about? Is this to be the sum total of people’s ambitions? Either that or making it on a reality TV show? Anjula Mutanda, a psychologist and social scientist said, ‘For all those parents tempted to grab their camcorders and start making cash from their children there is a caution – ‘If you are going to put your head above the parapet be prepared to be shot. Not everybody will find your clip funny, your child cute or your pet adorable and the flipside of You Tube fame is that by going public with your video you are inviting the chatter of the universe (I like that phrase, good on you Anjula) and not all of it will be flattering.’ And sometimes, when the furore subsides and they are no longer famous, people can suffer a severe depression.

On Greek TV every evening there is a programme called ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ which I have watched a couple of times and which consists mainly of people falling on their arses, sometimes obviously painfully and dangerously so. It’s a multi-variation of the old banana skin joke and the studio audience seem to find it incredibly if not hysterically funny. Small things obviously amuse small minds but again it’s money that attracts. If your video in any programme is voted best of three it’s worth ten thousand smackaroos. Go for it kids.

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