You can learn a lot about a place from its people, and you can learn a lot of about its people from YouTube.
The township, from Tega Cay to Indian Land, is well-represented on the video-sharing Web site.
Josh Myers, 27, of Fort Mill, recently posted a video called "Fort Mill, Vice City," which takes a comical look at the rise in crime near his home.
"It's good to know that it'd take me 15 minutes to drive to the nearest hospital, but less than two minutes to get to the nearest murdered corpse, depending on the traffic," Myers says in his video, which has the flavor of a Michael Moore documentary.
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"I have no problem with finding a dead corpse. I have a problem with multiple corpses. Corpses in the plural," Myers narrates.
Myers said he began broadcasting videos on www.youtube. com and connecting them to his MySpace blog. He has several videos on YouTube, including some that have gained worldwide attention. "A Modest Proposal" is his tongue-in-cheek version of the Jonathan Swift essay of the same title. Myers suggests ways to solve the issues of high gas prices and illegal immigration.
A teacher in England required his students to compare and contrast Myers' video with the Swift essay as a class assignment.
While Myers uses the site primarily for entertainment, others in the township are using YouTube to showcase their businesses. A YouTube search for 'Tega Cay' turns up more than 15 real estate videos showing off specific properties.
Carmen Miller, with Century 21 First Choice, uses YouTube to appeal to "Generation Y," she said.
"We figured that over 80 percent of home buyers use the Internet and the big buyer pool coming in is 30 and under," Miller said. "So we tried to think the way they think."
It might not be surprising that the most popular video on YouTube under the search term "Indian Land, SC" is a video about one of the community's biggest news makers - the four concrete factories that operate beside Brookchase, a residential neighborhood. The video, called "Indian Land, SC, Welcome to the Madness!" claims to show the factories operating and the proximity to area homes. The video, which also takes potshots at the county government, was made anonymously.
Students from Fort Mill, Nation Ford and Indian Land High Schools also appear on YouTube. The videos showcase student productions at the school, including last year's productions of "High School Musical" and "Footloose." Other videos appear to be purely for entertainment, including a video of unidentified teenagers climbing into blue barrels and rolling through a site that appears to be near Indian Land High School.
Riley Hoverman, 14, of Tega Cay, has several productions posted, including a slapstick take on what guys that age do on a sleepover.
A search for "Fort Mill, SC" turns up more videos marketing local businesses. Baxter resident Melanie Tinkler, owner of Portrait Collections by Melanie, uses YouTube to boost her search-engine ranking.
"It's just part of you working to get name out there," she said.
Often, people think about YouTube as being for teens, Myers said, but it's a great tool for adults, too. Myers uses it to find tutorials on using his home computer. It's also revolutionized political campaigns, he added.