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Great Odin’s raven!

YouTube, the popular video-sharing site and cultural phenomenon, is down today. “We’re currently putting out some new features, sweeping out the cobwebs and zapping a few gremlins,” says a message on the site’s homepage. “We’ll be back later. In the meantime, please enjoy a layman’s explanation of our website…”

What follows is a cheeky, incomprehensible flow chart that includes clip-art illustrations for “video servers” and “documents” and “collaborative filtering” (this represented by a coffee-maker basket filter) and, inexplicably, a screenshot from The Blues Brothers showing Dan Aykroyd’s hands gripping a steering wheel, the letters E-L-L-W-O-O-D tatooed across his fingers.

Now, as something of a layman myself (I’m not bragging here), I find this, well, annoying. Also, unenjoyable, unhelpful and unfunny. But maybe I’m just irritable because I wasn’t able to watch my stories.

Still, if YouTube is the next stage in the evolution of TV, they need to get a better test pattern.