Kevin Allocca: ‘Early YouTube was defined by the unintentional viral video. That’s changed a lot’

YouTube’s head of culture and trends on the evolution of viral videos, fake news – and the old-school joys of writing a book

Your YouTube colleague Robert Kyncl published Streampunks last year and now you have a book of your own. Why is everyone at YouTube writing books?
I’ve been thinking about this: why now? I guess it takes time and distance to reflect on the why of things. We have had almost 13 years of YouTube history; so much has changed in those years. There’s been enough time to say what the larger picture is.

What’s it been like taking an excursion from the overnight successes of viral video to the snail’s pace of nonfiction publishing?
That’s what I’ve really enjoyed about it actually, putting something in a physical format adds a level of deliberateness. Books are some of the oldest technology that we have, yet are thriving and still a major part of life.

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