Oprah has “discovered” YouTube and she wants all her followers to know about it. First, she created her own YouTube Channel, then she had founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen (he’s the one with the earrings) as guests on her show today.
Most of the show was dedicated to the same litany of viral video stars you’re all too familiar with: Evolution of Dance-guy, Netherlands singing sensation Esmee Denters, the couple who did the Dirty Dancing routine at their wedding, the skateboarding dog, etc.
The show veered off into a strange plug-fest with Patrick Swayze stopping by to hawk the 20th anniversary edition of Dirty Dancing, and P. Diddy made sure to mention his new perfume before he picked his new assistant chosen via YouTube (Heather won).
While it’s easy to be snarky about how 2006 a show dedicated to YouTube is, it’s also a good reminder that living in Silicon Valley is like living in an echo chamber. Guaranteed that there are a host of people who prior to today hadn’t been exposed to the video sharing site. Yes, those people do exist.
True to web style, Hurley and Chen were only given small chunks of time to deliver bite-sized answers to questions and didn’t add anything new. Oprah did ask one interesting question after the show (you can watch the video on her YouTube channel because she won’t allow embeds). She wanted to know if YouTube changed what it means to be famous. Coming from one of the most famous women on the planet, she could be just protecting her turf, but it’s a good question nonetheless for all those webcam stars with viral video dreams.
Oh, and in a very Oprah-like move, she gave away Flip video cameras.