Where are they now? It sounds like the beginning of a TV show on Entertainment Weekly or possibly an expose on the problems of a little known person who briefly became a star, like Joey Buttaffuco. But the reality is that what we're talking about is InternetTV. Yes, the granddaddy of them all, YouTube is the subject of discussion for today.
First, a bit of history, Youtube was founded just five years ago (it's looking awfully big for a five year old – maybe it needs diet?) and it's already one of the most popular addresses on the Internet. But where did it all begin? Who came up with the idea and how did it grow?
Well the concept began innocently enough. The story goes that Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal had been at a dinner party where they recorded the proceedings. They wanted to share it with each other but were having a really hard time sending it around. What to do? Well, naturally, create the hottest video-sharing site on the Internet.
The founders deny the story completely and insist that the whole thing was simply a fabrication created in the press. After-all everyone likes a good story and this one was a doozy. But whatever the case may be, You Tube created its first beta test in May 2005, six months before they officially launched (and changed the face of InternetTV forever) in November of the same year.
Word quickly spread and the site was inundated with content. It was a chance for people to really get their expressions out there and the webcams, which at the time were just starting to become popular really helped things along. But probably the biggest thing to make internet TV a big deal was a song.
In 2004, a year before You Tube came out, Gary Brolsma, a 20something from New Jersey released the Numa Numa video. This was simply a song that he liked which was actually called Dragostea di tei. It was by a Moldovan band called Ozone. His hand gestures and facial expressions made it popular and when You Tube came out just a few months later, Brolsma's video was of course one of the first to be downloaded from the site.
A few years later, Google acquired You Tube and today, it is one of the most visited sites on the entire Internet. Not bad for an evening spent at a cocktail party, eh?