YouTube Book

Joshua Green and I completed a research project on YouTube between 2007 and 2008, and the book that came out of that project is called YouTube: Online Video and Participatory Culture (Polity Press, April 2009).

Here’s the official blurb:

YouTube is one of the most well-known and widely discussed sites of participatory media in the contemporary online environment, and it is the first genuinely mass-popular platform for user-created video. In this timely and comprehensive introduction to how YouTube is being used and why it matters, Burgess and Green discuss the ways that it relates to wider transformations in culture, society and the economy.

The book critically examines the public debates surrounding the site, demonstrating how it is central to struggles for authority and control in the new media environment. Drawing on a range of theoretical sources and empirical research, the authors discuss how YouTube is being used by the media industries, by audiences and amateur producers, and by particular communities of interest, and the ways in which these uses challenge existing ideas about cultural ‘production’ and ‘consumption’.

Rich with concrete examples and featuring specially commissioned chapters by Henry Jenkins and John Hartley, the book is essential reading for anyone interested in the contemporary and future implications of online media. It will be particularly valuable for students and scholars in media, communication and cultural studies.
More info at the Polity website.

It has now been translated into Italian and Brazilian Portuguese, with very different cover art from the English version – most notably, minus the feisty little webcam that has become affectionately known as “The YouTube Creature”, and as of 2011, there is a Polish edition too.


The book has been reviewed by:

Abigail Thomas in the International Journal of Digital Television 1(1), November 2009

Sarah Brouillette in Reconstruction 9(3), 2009.

Thomas Masebo in Medie Kultur 47 (Dansk)

Patricia Lange in New Media & Society 12 (2), 2010 (paywall)

Daniel Chamberlain in Popular Communication 8 (1), 2010 (paywall)

Marion McCutcheon in Media International Australia (paywall)