Matt came to Studio 360 in 2014 from Louisville, Kentucky, where he was a features reporter for the Courier-Journal. There, he wrote about celebrity chefs, the world’s largest collection of poisonous snakes, and a former monk turned furniture maker to the presidents. He also taught courses on literary journalism, feature writing, and arts and culture reporting at Bellarmine University. Although he lived for four years in Louisville, he still doesn’t know how to bet on a horse race. His writing has appeared in Salon, The New York Observer, USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, The Rumpus and elsewhere. A former Studio 360 intern, Matt’s first piece for the show was on the design of that quintessential 1970s mode of transportation, the moped.
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.