A miraculous thing happened this week, something that united millions and millions of people across the world and something that couldn’t have happened just 5 years ago.
It wasn’t a religious event, it wasn’t a sporting occasion, it wasn’t aliens bringing Elvis back, it was something far more unlikely.
It was a woman called Susan Boyle singing a showtune.
There’s no chance you haven’t heard of Miss Boyle by now, the lady with the brillo hair but brilliant voice who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and then computer monitors around the globe.
But I’m not here to add to the media commentary about how society views talent and attractiveness, instead I thought it was worth mentioning about how the world is viewing at all.
Because in all the talk of her impact there is always one common denominator, one currency that validates her popularity in every news article and one main reason those outside Britain have been able to hear Susan Boyle sing, and that’s…YouTube.
And it’s this side of her story I thought was worthwhile giving a nod towards, the side without which not that long ago, there would be no worldwide fairytale.
For when you think that YouTube only started in February 2005 and it’s dropped into reports like everybody knows what it is without reference, that we realise the likes of what it is, and what it does, is now taken so much for granted.
The social web may be synonymous with MySpace, Facebook and now Twitter, but it’s clear that YouTube demonstrates the real power of the peoples internet.
You can read all you like about the Susan Boyle effect but you can’t be emotionally included in this phenomenon until your eyes leak by watching it yourself.
And part of this global experience is that for seven eye opening minutes we can feel connected to so many others who watched the same small flickering box, within the same white background, and who must have felt as joyful and uplifted as you did.
A connection emphasised by all the comments on the site, like a planet wide group hug.
Although who would have thought that YouTube could have quite this much cultural influence. That within days our most famous British singer would change from a rehab denying, bedraggled tattooed waif who looks like she’s never been washed, to an ordinary lady with an extraordinary voice who’s never been kissed.
You didn’t expect that did you, did you, no.