Wednesday, March 19, 2014

youtube and the tubes

YouTube is a great place to find lots of material about another kind of tube; the pneumatic kind. This week an article I wrote with Susan Kelly and Sally Wyatt called "Autobiologies on YouTube: Narratives of direct-to-consumer genetic testing" was published online, in New Genetics & Society. You can find the article here, and if you don't have online library access to the journal, a post-print version on my page here.
For those with a good internet connection, the website is now a taken-for-granted way of uploading and watching videos posted by users of all different kinds for a range of reasons. YouTube is only beginning to interest social scientists, who are starting to explore the ways in which people engage with the media. I am starting to think about how this platform is used by those using, making, playing with pneumatic tubes. Initial searches for pneumatic tube systems on YouTube bring up many promotional videos, alongside cartoon segments, computer game tips, DIY systems and my favourite, tubecam videos. Here are a list of a few of my favourites so far (see also previous blogposts about pneumatic tube on YouTube here, here, here and here):

The Smithsonian Museum has uploaded some great historical footage of the Philadelphia Post Office.

Stanford Medicine video including spliced tubecam and footage of a canister being sent and received.

Molly Wright Steenson's Ignite presentation.

I'd love to hear if you have any other others to recommend.

Image from the Smithsonian YouTube. Thanks to Thomas for some of these links.

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