THEY capture every triumph, disaster and embarrassment – along with everything else in between.
No matter where you are or what you are doing, if it’s of interest to someone else, then there’s a good chance it will end up on YouTube.
Someone will have whipped out a smartphone and started filming, instantly uploading footage which can be enjoyed or ignored for eternity at the click of a button.
It is technology which has revolutionised the way we tell the news, sparked a new privacy debate and transformed our every day lives.
Of course, much of what ends up on online will receive no views at all, others perhaps only a handful of clicks.
But get it right – post the right video at the right time with the right title – and quite literally anyone could find themselves with a viral hit on their hands.
With that in mind, we have scoured YouTube for some of the best Edinburgh videos which have captured the digital imagination, some obvious, some less so – and one of our own for good measure.
Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill
The original film by Edinburgh bike shop worker turned global superstar first hit the web in April 2009. With jawdropping stunts which would terrify parents everywhere, the video quickly became a sensation. The hits are still mounting, with an eyewatering 33,880,434 views at the last count. Danny must be Edinburgh’s undisputed YouTube king – if not champion of the world.
The Corrs and Bono - When The Stars Go Blue (Live8)
They may be no patch on The Paper Shop Boys, but Ireland’s finest took to the stage at Murrayfield Stadium at part of the Live8 concert in 2005. This clip wasn’t posted until a year later, but still managed to clock up more than 4.3 million hits.
Koala running down the hall
Who needs pandas? Edinburgh Zoo’s antipodean superstars cannot only successfully procreate, but also make for great video.
The shot of playful Yabbra running down a hall at the zoo quickly went viral. We await the follow-up of panda Tian Tian wandering through the gift shop.
The Top Secret Drum Corps
The ever-popular stars of the Edinburgh Tattoo, the precision drum corps based in Basel, Switzerland, have little need to er, bang their own drum. Footage of their demanding routine from four years ago is still racking up the hits. There were almost 900,000 at the last beat.
A UFO is seen in the skies over Edinburgh
Is it a bird, is it a plane, is it an insect on the window? The one thing most people are convinced of is that this video posted by Robert Larner is not evidence of extra-terrestrial life. Posted with the caption “This looks like a case for Mulder & Scully”, you suspect it was never really going to make it into the X Files. That did not stop the ten-second clip receiving an incredible number of views, however. The truth is out there.
Beardyman live at Underbelly
If you are not aware of the work of Beardyman, then you are clearly in the minority. An hour -long show by the human beatbox – real name Darren Foreman – has attracted a staggering number of views online. If you haven’t seen it, his performance in Edinburgh’s Underbelly during the festival in 2009 is well worth a view.
Kinetic Edinburgh II
Walid Salhab, lecturer in media practice at Queen Margaret University, knows a thing or two about creating a YouTube hit. His Kinetic Edinburgh films using time lapse/stop motion photography are simply stunning. The second instalment – featuring Edinburgh’s winter wonderland, Portobello promenade, and Newhaven among other locations, has attracted millions of hits.
Snow avalanche in Edinburgh
As Edinburgh froze in the winter of 2010, weather videos popped up everywhere.
None was more dramatic than this shot of melting snow sliding off the Scottish Widows building and crashing to the ground. Thankfully no-one was injured with a few pedestrians forced to run for cover – and one piece of unmissable internet video.
Edinburgh Airport EGPH Crosswinds
A compilation film of planes buffeted by wind and rain as they land at Edinburgh Airport in bad weather – worth a watch?
Well, more than 200,000 people certainly thought so since this video was posted in 2006. Thankfully all landings are successful, if a little nervy, though you suspect watching the video is far more comfortable than being a passenger on one of these flights.
The Paper Shop Boys - Go East
Who could forget the Edinburgh Evening News’ own foray into the world of viral video? Our song and accompanying video to celebrate Hearts and Hibs playing each other in the 2012 Scottish Cup Final was sent around the world and is still getting hits!