Matt Frassica is a producer for Studio 360. You can find him on Twitter.
Introducing the Least Viral Videos on the Internet
Monday, July 21, 2014 - 04:00 AM
The internet runs on an attention economy. Those with the most views, clicks, retweets, likes, and friends win. That's why Petit Tube is so wonderful: it presents only the least-viewed videos on YouTube. It's a bare-bones site, streaming video after video (1:30 long tops), with two buttons: "cette vidéo est bien? and "cette vidéo n'est pas bien?" Thumbs up or thumbs down.
To say Petit Tube curates videos is probably an overstatement. Real estate tours with corny music aren't popular for a reason. But even they have their charm, and you'll also find the occasional gem of found poetry. Like this one, the drum intro to a country-and-western band's performance at a dance competition in Whitehouse, Texas:
Or this Chinese youth orchestra playing "Scarborough Fair":
Or these young people wearing fake goatees while crab-walking:
Or the Webdriver experiments, which look like Mondrian-inspired test patterns:
It isn't clear where Petit Tube came from or who made it, but it's a delightful reminder of the early, weird Web of the 1990s, when the bizarre, amateurish, and unseen dominated, before we all wised up and started presenting the slickest, safest version of ourselves to the online world. With 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, Petit Tube will not run out of material anytime soon.