One of the key components of the Youtube revolution is the one minute video (OK, it can be 30 secs or 3 mins, but I've averaged all that out). So, forget your 15 minutes of fame, this now has to be shared with 14 others - and only if you have the 'talent'.
So, what works on Youtube and beyond:
The Brutal - beheadings, executions, murders, war footage
The Sexual - Paris and Pam and their friends
The Stupid - dumb and dumber, only dumber
The Illegal - ripping off other people's content
The Exclusive - yeah, pull the other one, a C list celebrity leaving a nightclub in Lyon is suddenly the hottest thing on the web ?
The Sensational - did they really blow up the twin towers ?
So far this is hardly a ringing endorsement of the medium., but like all ecosystems, it has its pondlife.
But there are a few elements that are more socially valuable:
The Communal - share your little league Sunday game with the other parents
The Important - let's try the WTC attacks again
The Voice - get published when no one else will publish you and say what you want
The Fun - what harm can there be...?
However, overall, this is a sad medium full of people prepared to go to extremes for their one minute of fame. It is lollipop jokes, not high comedy; it is doggrel, not literature.
But, I'm still loathe to write it off and still question if the sheer democracy of it all is a good or a bad thing - indeed, is democracy a good or bad thing considering that stupid people get to vote (as the US used to prove before they became intelligent in the last elections)?