Author: laurenmcgeorge

University of Wollongong student, studying Media and Communications.

The good and the bad

So this is the week that we wrap up the blogging! Let me indulge in a little bit of reflection for a bit!
I have found this journey to be quite interesting; I think I have had ups and downs in regards to my blogging as well as my digital artefact.

After exploring the fandoms a couple of times over I figured it was time to get down and dirty with the formatting of my blog because I wasn’t really happy with the way it looked. After playing around with WordPress for what felt like forever, I’m much happier with how it looks! I’m also happy to announce I have some traffic! TWO whole views (That weren’t myself, before you ask) on one blog post, in one day! I have fortunately started using tags and have noticed a little more traffic heading to certain popular YouTubers posts.

I have learnt a lot about how critical I am when it comes to the YouTube videos I watch. When beginning this process I went crazy and subscribed to everyone that I thought would be interesting, useful and helpful to this assignment. Alongside my regular viewing I was subscribed to 200+ channels. Considering all of these are active enough to be releasing one video a week, with videos from two minutes to twenty minutes, I had my work cut out for me. Only last week I decided to cull that list down to 97 (that feels MUCH better). I have even kept a lot of the channels that I have discovered through doing my digital artefact. But to be real with you, I got rid of the ones that simply didn’t interest me. Mainly the gaming reviews and let’s play channels.

I continue to work on my digital artefact and build the content on there. I have been posting once a week but think I should start posting a little more often to try and up my content amount! I have definitely identified my weak point which is being consistent with my content! I have NO trouble watching the videos but writing about them seems to be a whole other ball game. I can also say that I have enjoyed the topic I picked, if at times it was challenging. Although it has been hard to try and find channels that have a enough content to comment on as well as being in English, this has definitely limited my research and posting.

Lauren

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Quality control

This week I also decided to look at the quality of the videos (The cutting the editing and the prime video quality available) and see if it was possible to see if good quality meant a better following. Of course that’s a rather ambitious to research as there is no concrete data, so I figure why not use a little bit of auto ethnography and consult a view articles that guarantee more viewers. For me, I LOVE good quality and well edited videos. I’ve tried to make videos in the past, for pleasure and for uni assignments and it’s a LONG process (particularly if you don’t really know what you’re doing). There is so much cutting and editing, I can really appreciate it. I don’t really like watching videos that are available in at least 480. Let me show you a difference in quality

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One is 240 and one is 1080, I’m sure you can pick the difference!

From my own observations I can only assume others feel similar to the way I do. I like to watch videos that are of good quality because they feel more professional and easy to watch. I scoured the ‘tube to try and find some bad quality videos that have gained loads of views but haven’t come up with anything concrete. I think it also differs in what content you offer. Some subcultures of YouTube expect different things. A certain way something should be cut, edited and presented. Some areas have intros and others spend more time discussing comments and other platforms. On a side note, I came across lots of articles that suggest “buying YouTube views”. Has anyone heard of this? As far as I’m aware, YouTube are pretty savvy and will delete your account if they notice something suspicious. Although this trusty wikihow provided some interesting tips into quality of videos! This guy is probably my favourite though http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-YouTube-Star

Bloggin’ about hindsight… in hindsight

From the beginning of this semester auto ethnography has been equally easy and difficult to understand. So with this paradox comes hard work to try and reflect and focus on exactly how to apply auto ethnography to the YouTube community. As Ellis, Adams and Bochner (2011) discuss, auto ethnography is not just describing but analyse your personal experience.

Applying this to my personal research has been an experiment as this topic is exactly new to me, but having to assess my reactions and feelings towards the YouTube community has provided new insights into my understanding of the culture of fans and ‘prosumers’.

Honestly, I spent so much time watching YouTube and being entertained that I forget about the auto ethnography, but that in itself is an interesting comment on how the YouTube community can affect you. The entertainment and belonging factor of these videos is so high I often forget why I’m there in the first place. Through this I’ve fallen into the community myself. My digital artefact has been a blog profiling different YouTubers, their comments and their fandoms. This has been a great experience, to focus on one and see wholly what their YouTube experience is like and how this affects others.

In the Ellis, Adams and Bochner (2011) article discusses how writers often note down their ‘epiphanies’, while I’m yet to have any I’m keen to try and write more as I go. I feel like perhaps this is where I am lacking in my auto ethnographical experience, there should be thoughts on a page to be later synthesised, as opposed to writing in hindsight. Definitely some things to work on! I may even revisits some older posts and write on how I think about them now! Maybe even to add more posts to get the most of of writing my first reaction to truly gauge how I feel? Thoughts?

References:

Ellis, C., Adams, T. E. and Bochner, A. P. 2011, ‘Autoethnography: an overview’, Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, vol. 12, no. 1, viewed online at http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095

vlogs, blogs and fandom fun

This week I have continued the blog and profile from different sections of YouTube fandoms. I honestly had no idea YouTube had separate fandoms, but you really start to notice a a trend on similar videos, the same people and similar language is used. Because of this little discovery I have decided to also look at the fandom surrounding the individuals. I have been looking on tumblr and other fan created sites and profiles (such as fan instagram accounts) and will be adding these into the profiles of the YouTubers.

I felt this was important to add, as it helps create a more whole insight into the YouTuber and their fans (who are obviously quite important). Not all YouTubers have such an obvious fan culture but using their comments as evidence can help too.

My experience with the task has been a really positive one. I have found myself enjoying a lot of videos I would never normally watch, such as Let’s Play videos, which *confession time* I had never actually watched before. The fan culture is interesting too, I found myself fangirling over some of these stars along with the rest of the community.

As I was writing some of my blog posts I felt that I needed something more formal to back up some of my personal theories (to see if I was simply making some of them up). I found some helpful articles which have further enhanced my understanding of the YouTube culture is Asia specifically.

Here and here.

 

References:

Brennan, D. (2007). YouTube and the Broadcasters. U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper, (220).

Krishnappa, D., Khemmarat, S. and Zink, M. (2011). Planet YouTube: Global, measurement-based performance analysis of viewer;’s experience watching user generated videos. pp.948–956.

 

YouTube Profile

I honestly wasn’t really sure on how to present my topic of YouTube and Diaspora, but have finally settled on doing a WordPress blog (simply a dedicated page on my personal blog) and presenting a new YouTuber each week. In their profile I will give information about them and their channel as well as discussing my experience in watching their videos. 

To make sure the posts are consistent I intend to look at the same criteria for each person/profile

  • Name, age, occupation and the usual introductory bits and pieces
  • What is the channel about (Beauty, music, gaming etc.)
  • Cultural content and Cultural experience perhaps looking at cultural representation
  • Evidence of audience exerpeince

I’m definitely open to more ideas on what I should be looking at in regards to YouTubers. I don’t necessarily want to look at YouTube ‘stars’ but feel it would be good to look at both ends of the spectrum. I also think I would like to look for users IN Asia as well as in other countries to see how and if their experience differs. 

At the end of every post, it would be important to make sure I comment on my personal experience of watching YouTubers I have never watched before as well as watching some old favourites under a new light. 

Here is a link to my personal blog if you would like to follow the experiences I have https://systemcards.wordpress.com/digc330-autoethnograpic/ 

Diaspora and YouTube

I am a YouTube fanatic, there I said it. I love videos, great editing and the community of those who make videos as well as their audience. There are many examples of Diaspora when it comes to those who post content on YouTube, some that were mentioned in the lecture are some of my favourites. Natalie Tran from Community Channel and Lilly Singh from IISuperWomanII are both excellent examples of the representation of their culture from another part of the world.

A quick google search for some other Asian YouTubers (Mostly those who are living in another country) brought up search results and so many I already knew and was already subscribed to. To name a few that you would find on my subscription feed, Michelle Phan, Lindy Tsang, Its Judys LifeHey Claire and LaurDIY.

This is such an interesting observation, the fact that I had never really connected their heritage and culture to their content and videos struck me as really interesting. Even though these YouTubers would even discuss their culture in some videos, I had never thought of them as a peripheral group. Often they make fun of their culture and play on stereotypes, the reason I can relate to this is it’s often based on family life. From the protective mother to the grandmother who can’t understand technology, this all resonates with me as I’m a 20 year old still living at home. Even if it didn’t resonate with me personally I think the way they present it is interesting and entertaining. In saying that though, I love being able to hear them make fun of themselves, I think that’s having a really great sense of humour.

There are many websites that discuss great Asian YouTubers to watch, so there is clearly a market out there for people who want to connect with a specific cultural group. After some more intense research (Google) There were SO many articles about Asians “taking over” YouTube, some were negative and some were really positive about many different cultures being represented online. You can read some of these articles (HereHere and Here).

My experience with YouTube is a long and winding road, one that will probably never end. The experience I have with diasporic groups on YouTube has been even great, considering I am able to see a PERSONAL view and experience of a specific person, perhaps it has a lot to do with their culture or perhaps its just about being a certain age or gender. Reflecting on my thoughts of stumbling across much of this information is that I shouldn’t really be surprised that there is a market for people seeking anything, really.

 

boom

Take a picture, it will last longer.

This week I chose to look at a few celebrities in particular and their use of online forums to post photographs. Mainly looking at Instagram and Twitter and how these are used to post, share and update followers and fans on the lives of the rich and famous.  

What better way to peer into the depths of the social media sites than using a #hashtag. Of course, finding the right tag is always difficult but lucky that the modern day celebrity is a hashtag expert. 

For this task I chose to look at Psy’s Instagram account (As chris mentioned in the lecture) and Lucy Liu’s twitter account. Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 12.43.57 pm Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 12.41.09 pm

Both are well known and have a reasonably active presence on the sites. 

My experience of looking through these photos was certainly interesting. It told a bigger story than 140 characters and gave an insight into their lives that you can’t achieve through text alone. I think that age old “a picture is worth 1000 words” certainly comes into play here. I found myself becoming more engaged in the photos as it was quick, easy and usually easy to understand the context.  

On the flip side it also opens up a world of opportunity in regard to advertisement and product placement. From the beauty blogger posting the perfect “flat lay” with the carefully placed coffee cup in the background or the xbox controller of the popular boy and lead singer. It often include connections to other celebrities. As Chris pointed out in the lecture with Psy and his many photos with  celebrities, perhaps  to legitimise and gain cultural capital. I found myself overly critical when I thought any type of advertisement was taking place. Critical of the company AS WELL as the celebrity. 

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 12.46.48 pm Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 12.48.55 pm

Photos are an interesting look into celebrity culture and appear to be a great way for celebrities to engage with their fans. A quick and unofficial bit of independent research highlighted that photos seemed to be more popular on Twitter (In regards to favourites and retweets) than tweets that just involved text. I, of course won’t provide any of my data as it’s rough and was a scribbled tally on the corner of my workbook, but I think it’s the beginning of an interesting idea developing.  

 

Sources:

Instagram.com, (2014). psy_oppaofficial on Instagram. [online] Available at: http://instagram.com/psy_oppaofficial [Accessed 19 Aug. 2014].

 

Twitter.com, (2014). Lucy Liu (LucyLiu) on Twitter. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/LucyLiu/media [Accessed 19 Aug. 2014].

Is this idea ‘the one’?

If you are the one is the most viewed Chinese dating game show in the Chinese speaking world with a huge 50 million views each episode. The concept of the show involves 24 single women who judge whether a single man is worthy to take them out. The show is broadcast in many other countries around the world, including on SBS in Australia. The shows format is similar to network 10’s 2008 flop “taken out”, which was axed after 4 weeks due to complaints of “vapid contestants and smug host”

It is interesting to note that even outside China, Chinese and Australian alike enjoy the show. An Australian-Chinese blog on the show notes that there is something about the show that means you can’t look away, even though it may reinforce stereotypes. 

A drawcard for the show seems to be the honesty of the contestants, that many men and women often leave without a date due to the honesty. Questions are posed such as salaries, spending habits and material assets.

While the show has been hugely popular, it has met some skepticism from Chinese officials saying the show was spreading the ‘wrong values’. To help the regulation of the show, 1 new hosts was added to help balance the views. it seems that if you are the one is now aiming to promote a higher moral decorum by focusing on “tales of civic service and promises of good relations with future mother-in-laws”

We aim to look at the difference in Australian and Chinese receivership, audience and reception to the show. Particularly focusing on why this show was originally has a large following in China and how this has changed since state administration of radio film and television have begun to strictly regulate the content. 

if1_t620423

Photo source: http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/if-you-are-one-youre-doing-it-right/2057576/

Courtney, Leah and Lauren 

How do you J-pop?

This week I decided to throw myself into the weird and wonderful world of J-POP, having no experience to draw on other than having two K-pop bands on my iPod about 5 years ago. Obviously the two aren’t even from the same country of origin so I clearly had a lot of learning to do. I decided to start by doing some simple googling on popular bands and the kind of music they created. I then decided I would need to take it further to really understand the culture. This is when I stumble across the subreddit, boy oh boy. There was some hard out fan-girling going on there. These people were passionate about the music, the culture and the people that made up their favourite J-Pop groups. I could only relate through my understanding of the Justin Bieber “belibers” and one Directions “directioners”

I stumbled across a website that reported news mostly on J-pop groups, there were dozens are articles that had only been released in the past 2 days about numerous groups. This alone shows that there is a celebrity culture and a following for the musica and the groups.The music could be considered to be your ‘typical’ pop music style, up beat with a hook in the chorus to make sure it sticks in your mind (yes, even if you you don’t understand the language). I found a playlist someone had created on YouTube and found myself browsing the internet all while listing to the songs, I was actually starting to enjoy them. Most were light hearted and fun. The j-pop groups go beyond just the music. It’s more about the culture and the belonging to the fan base. This was clearly seen in he case of the many subreddits I viewed on the topic.

I personally have never experienced that kind of passion and obsession for a music group, so it was such an interesting look into the lives of the audiences and the constant thirst for knowledge of these groups and their members. The more you know, the more loyal a fan you seem to be. It is interesting to note the rise of groups such as this in many parts of Asia and around the world. It is easy to follow their journey through social media and feel as though you are experiencing their lives with them. The fan base for groups such as these isn’t a new phenomenon, yet still seems to resonate with young consumers today

Another introduction

Hi there.

My name is Lauren, I’m a 20 year old student with too many jobs but still enough time on my hands to binge on TV, movies and media. My time is spent at work dreaming about my big Europe trip next year. When I’m not doing that I’m at uni trying to complete my last semester. I study BCM, majoring in International media and communication and minoring in Sociology.

This subject is taking me into a world I have never before seen and having to look at ideas and concepts I’ve never considered is slightly intimidating. Talking about manga, anime and gaming makes me feel like I’ve completely missed an episode of that really great show that everyone is talking about. As my brother would say, everyone is a gamer at heart and participates in gaming in some form, from RPGs to your average iPhone game app or even the occasional bit of solitaire. While gaming doesn’t exactly resonate with me, I’m fascinated by the effect and culture it creates.

In saying all this, I’ll probably be looking at cinema or aspects of emerging and developing social media in Asia (Who knows exactly where at this point, I’m leaving that door open). Perhaps I could even look into some hilarious Japanese game shows that we all know and love. These topics probably resonate with me way more. Who doesn’t love a good laugh at others misfortune?

I’m certainly looking forward to the subject and exactly where it may or may not take me. It’s refreshing to look at a subject so different, so bring it on.