Las Vegas Sun

April 23, 2014

Currently: 66° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Joe Downtown: Former YouTube executive to speak about ‘community’

Hunter Walk

Hunter Walk

“Community” is word coming into vogue in downtown Las Vegas due to efforts of Downtown Project to create and strengthen community in an area where virtually none previously existed, along the eastern stretches of East Fremont Street.

Late Friday afternoon, a man who worked nine years at Google and its subsidiary, YouTube, will talk about how the world is not only smaller because of Internet video sharing, it’s creating more awareness and forcing a redefinition of “community.”

Hunter Walk, 39, who led YouTube’s consumer product management until recently (he’s working on a new project he declined to reveal) said people for the first time “are seeing the impact of what happens when you simultaneously create and discuss media” that isn’t a product of Hollywood or a commercial enterprise.

“We’re seeing local content, which makes the world feel a lot smaller,” he said. “Now a 17-year-old in Palo Alto, California, can see what a 17-year-old in Paris is doing at night. And where he might have assumed before that it was very different in Paris, now he can see they are actually very similar; they sing and dance to the same songs, they think about boys and girls, get stuck in traffic and so on.”

Such simple videos carry an enormous power to “create understanding and empathy.”

“Text is very expressive and so are photos, but video hits on an immersive, emotional level,” Walk said. “We’re not in a place where, even if you haven’t traveled somewhere or heard a language, you get to experience that through democratic platforms like YouTube.”

Walk will be speaking at 4 p.m., Friday at Downtown Project’s Construction Zone, 102 S. Seventh St. The event is free and open to the public.

Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy