Astronaut: YouTube Videos with Nearly Zero Views


Astronaut
is a joint project by James Thompson and Andrew Wong, where users can get a glimpse of YouTube videos with nearly zero views.

Superimposed over NASA video taken from the International Space Station, it evokes a sense of distance as you catch a very quick (and very intimate) glimpse into a random person’s life.

The videos only play for a few seconds, before jumping to the next. You can choose to click the circle to remain on the current video, if you want.

Also – this wasn’t working earlier in the day, but I think now you can click the YouTube logo and be taken to the original video on YouTube’s site. The titles are all generic (hence the low view counts), but you can glean some additional context through the uploader’s username, the date posted, and sometimes even a description.

I became enamored with lesser seen videos through my Underviewed project, and absolutely love stuff like this. I think the implementation by Thompson and Wong is great, and capitalizes on the whole distance/intimacy that exists, when watching videos like this online.

The act of watching is an intimacy, but the lack of context creates a kind of distance… and dissonance.

I’d be curious to learn more about how things are working, under the hood. I heard of some reports of cock-fighting videos being shown, and I know from experience that there can be some dark stuff posted, when you’re talking about videos with low view counts. Filters do part of the work, but if a video isn’t seen… it can’t be flagged as problematic either.

Still – the overriding sense I’ve gotten from visitors online is that it’s a joyous experience. And folks really seem to love these little moments, which is exactly how I felt about the videos I came across.

It’s a nice reminder that we are, always, surrounded by these small moments worth celebrating.

[via MetaFilter]

Related:
Underviewed: Searching YouTube Using Default Video File Names
Zero Views App
On the Darkness of Randomness

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