I’ve received numerous comments directed at a previous article entitled How YouTube is Destroying Parkour telling me how extremely wrong I am. While my opinions will not falter under those of others, I do recognize that I never gave any attention to the other side of YouTube’s relationship with parkour: how YouTube is benefiting parkour.

"There is no such thing as bad publicity"
Any form of publicity whether positive or negative is publicity none-the-less and will draw attention to whatever is being publicized. Regardless of how poorly compiled the majority of parkour videos are with regards to content, they still spark interest and cause people to turn their heads. The more ambitious of these people will delve further into the infinite database of the internet and more than likely learn about the true nature of parkour. With this increase in attention, parkour may be more widely accepted and more people may do it.

While many of those in the parkour community (including I) will say that the advertisement and publicity of parkour takes away from the spirit, self exploration and the exclusiveness of it, we should note that many prospective traceurs may not understand quite what parkour is, and this attention is bettering them and allowing them to better understand parkour.

The communities on such social media sharing sites as YouTube also may benefit newer traceurs or those who do not have access to fellow traceurs on a regular basis. If an aspiring traceur wants to analyze and improve upon their technique more, the have the ability to post a video and receive valuable critique from some traceurs (in between the common “flips are not parkour” “dude that was sick” and “you suck” comments).

While I had previously generalized with YouTube and other such sites’ content, branding it all as incompetent or unsafe, there are decent feeds and videos out there. Understandably no-one gains character traits by joining a community, and thus the video content remains their own and is not subject to generalizations or assimilation. There are good traceurs out there who are willing to share their knowledge and talents with the rest of the parkour community, and they need to be recognized so as to not become assimilated with the rest.

The following links are to user feeds, videos, and similar sites that I believe contain valuable and worthwhile information. No doubt the list will be elaborated upon, but for the time being, please look into these links:


3 comments and questions

  1. Evan // 8/9/08 19:00  

    Youtube has its ups and downs in terms of how everyone has presented videos. Does parkour need bad publicity though even to get the name out? Even if its used wrong, shown distorted or taken to turn a profit on? Bad publicity does exist, and it comes from interpreting parkour wrong and then trying to show someone else how to do it.
    Early this summer a fake Guiness commerical aired on youtube, afilliating the company and their beer with sexual intercourse and theift. Millions were spent to remove the video and its spawns from the internet and apoligize to their sponsors. Even though the video was targeted at the demographic that the company targets for their marketing projects, they saw it as "bad publicity" and wanted no affilation with it. Hitchhiking on bad publicity may seem like the easy way out but its not what gives you the respect in the end.

    The videos that show parkour poorly are not what we do and not what we want to be affiliated with. They may even destroy the position in the community parkour has moved-up to.

  2. Evan // 8/9/08 19:32  

    Yeah, I'm not trying to bump heads with you cause were on the same page. I follow you with the rest of the article. It was just that one sentence that I felt was misleading in the way that bad publicity may in fact be the downfall of parkour and its acceptance in society.

  3. Evan // 8/9/08 23:07  

    It was actually the line you quoted in sub-text =P, don't change it unless you don't agree with it.