Just a Few People Crowned Some of YouTube’s Earliest Hits

YouTube’s coolhunters were tastemakers, and they were among the first at the company to actually reach out to the delightful weirdos populating its site. Michele Flannery, a former local-radio director who curated YouTube’s music videos, told me she liked to prowl for unconventional artists, such as quirky ukulele players and indie rockers. “Make it really personal and intimate,” she advised musicians posting on YouTube who wanted to be featured on the homepage, “like you’re sitting in your bedroom.”

The coolhunters latched onto this aesthetic and experimented themselves.