Categorising YouTube


  • Thomas Mosebo Simonsen Aalborg University



YouTube, User Generated Content, Typology


This article provides a genre analytical approach to creating a typology of the User Generated Content (UGC) of YouTube. The article investigates the construction of navigationprocesses on the YouTube website. It suggests a pragmatic genre approach that is expanded through a focus on YouTube’s technological affordances. Through an analysis of the different pragmatic contexts of YouTube, it is argued that a taxonomic understanding of YouTube must be analysed in regards to the vacillation of a user-driven bottom-up folksonomy and a hierarchical browsing system that emphasises a culture of competition and which favours the already popular content of YouTube. With this taxonomic approach, the UGC videos are registered and analysed in terms of empirically based observations. The article identifies various UGC categories and their principal characteristics. Furthermore, general tendencies of the UGC within the interacting relationship of new and old genres are discussed. It is argued that the utility of a conventional categorical system is primarily of analytical and theoretical interest rather than as a practical instrument.

Author Biography

Thomas Mosebo Simonsen, Aalborg University

Department of Communication and Pschylogy

MA, Phd. Candidate




How to Cite

Simonsen, T. M. (2011). Categorising YouTube. MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 27(51), 23 p.