December 11, 2013, 10:29 AM — YouTube has released its Top Videos of 2013 list, showing off what people are watching online when they should be working (for the most part).
If you thought the list of videos for 2012 was bizarre, wait until you see this year's list. Perhaps this is another sign of my advancing maturity, but I don't remember watching a lot of these top videos. I either have to start screwing off more or just resign myself to the fact that I've past the age of hipness long ago.
Here are the top 10 videos in the video site's "Trending" category, which lists the "top 10 videos that shook up 2013 and dominated the conversation" through views, shares and searches. What's obvious about the list is we've entered a phase where video production and preparation is much more important in order to score a viral hit - you won't make the top 10 list anymore for just filming your child in the backseat of your car after he's been to the dentist, or having that moment when you're seeing someone falling off their skateboard. These are slick videos aimed at reaching huge audiences, showing the maturity (word used loosely) of YouTube as a communication platform.
#10: Mozart vs Skirllex. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2
If you love rap battles, you likely were over the moon at this video between the classical musician and Skrillex, which old-guy-me still doesn't understand. Total views: 42,088,185.
#9: The NFL: A Bad Lip Reading
Take a bunch of video footage, take out the audio and then have someone try to lip read the silent video, with funny results. Total views: 44,190,697.
#8: Telekintetic Coffee Shop Surprise
This hidden camera experiment got more than 50 million views as unsuspecting customers at a New York City coffee shop thought they were witnessing a telekinetic event. Total views: 50,501,297.
#7: YOLO (feat Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar)
This collaboration between The Lonely Island, Adam Levine and Kentrick Lamar produced a parody/sarcastic twist on young people's favorite phrase, "You Only Live Once" (aka YOLO). Total views: 53,475,147.
#6: Volvo Trucks - The Epic Split feat. Van Damme (Live Test 6)
Jean-Claude Van Damme got a lot of people to watch this video, in which he re-enacts his famous split between two reversing trucks. This video spurred lots of parody videos, the mark of a true viral video hit. Total views: 59,225,043.
#5: baby&me / the new evian film
If you thought dancing babies were something hot 20 years ago (anyone else remember Ally McBeal's creepy baby?), this video reminded everyone how cute they were. I'm still not sure what this has to do with bottled water, but, yeah, dancing babies! Total views: 67,200,263.
#4: Miley Cyrus - Recking Ball (Chatroulette Version)
Miley Cyrus was all over YouTube this year, with two videos in the top 10 music video categories, and her famous twerking episode and Wrecking Ball video. But this video, in which the video is re-created for viewers of the Chatroulette site, struck a chord to the tune of 78,405,421 views. Like the telekinesis video, it's funny to watch people's reactions.
#3: How Animals Eat Their Food - MisterEpicMann
OK, old-man-guy again - I still don't understand this video, in which comedian Mister Epic Mann portrays a bunch of animals and shows how they eat (sort of). Feel free to explain this one to me, young people! Total views: 88,850,500.
#2: Harlem Shake (original army edition)
Was the Harlem Shake this year? This huge viral video trend spawned about a billion different parodies, but this version, in which army soldiers re-create the dance/video, generated 95,288,442 views.
#1: Ylvis - The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)
Another confession - I totally missed this video, in which a Norwegian comedy duo sings about "a furry forest creature" to create the year's catchiest electronic dance song. I think I need to get out more.
Bonus video: YouTube mashup of 2013 "stars"
To help celebrate 2013, YouTube also created this video, in which some of its more famous "creators" helped make a mashup song. Again, if you want to feel old, see how many (or few) of these people you can recognize:
What was your favorite video from 2013?
Keith Shaw rounds up the best in geek video in his ITworld.tv blog. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.