Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Sensation Pays Tribute to Himself, and YouTube, With a “YouTube Orchestra”

Gotye is an Australian musician whose music was very hard to find outside of Australia until last year. Now, thanks in large part to YouTube, it is nearly impossible not to hear him.

His video for “Somebody That I Used to Know” has been played an astonishing (but not a record) 299 million times on Google’s video site. And like everything popular on YouTube, the video and song have spawned a whole series of imitators, tributes and “responses.” This cover, for instance, has racked up 132 million views in 2012.

So here’s a perfect way for Gotye to acknowledge the site, and its users, who made him a phenomenon. It’s a video made up of other people’s versions of his video. A “YouTube Orchestra,” in his words.

If this looks familiar, there’s a good reason: Three years ago, Kutiman, another one-named musician, used the same technique to great effect.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald