DIGITAL ACTIVITIES AND PLAYBOUR: Vlogging on Youtube. WHO IS PARTICIPATING?. CHARLIEISSOCOOLLIKE. 1,904,796 subscribers 274,755,459 video views. CHARLIEISSOCOOLLIKE. Charlie McDonell is a 22 year old Youtuber who has been making videos since the age of 16.
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CHARLIEISSOCOOLLIKE 1,904,796 subscribers 274,755,459 video views
CHARLIEISSOCOOLLIKE • Charlie McDonell is a 22 year old Youtuber who has been making videos since the age of 16. • He was the first British Youtuber to reach 1,000,000 subscribers. • In his ‘About’ section, he says “So there was this time when I made a video about tea and now Youtube is my job or something.” • He makes videos about music, Doctor Who, fun science and “Challenge Charlie”.
EAT YOUR KIMCHI 292,631 subscribers 84,033,027 video views
EAT YOUR KIMCHI • Simon and Martina are a Canadian couple who trained for six years to become teachers and then moved in to teach English in South Korea. • They have been making videos since 2008 showcasing the funny, quirky things they come across there originally to show to family and friends. • They have now evolved to having Music Mondays in which they talk about K-pop and other videos about Korean food and culture.
ENGAGEMENTS • These vloggers, as most, started making videos for their own entertainment. In the case of Charlie McDonell, he started making videos to avoid revising for his GCSEs. The makers of Eat Your Kimchiwere teachers that moved to Korea to teach English and stared vlogging to keep their families up to date. • Within a few years, hundreds of thousands of viewers have subscribed to these prosumers and the likes, causing them to feel obliged to carry on creating. The hobby of video-making became a structured routine done to attract more and more viewers in an effort to display their likeability.
ENGAGEMENTS • Vlogging has evolved into an activity similar to Tayloristic ideas of sports in the way that it has rules and guidelines to have participants behaving in particular ways. Youtube restricts behaviors that are extremely racist, sexist or offensive towards other social groups, but promotes collaborations and regularity of videos. • Structures of this kind can be linked to the theory of original handmade chairs being more valuable than ‘cookie cutter’ products that are churned out en masse. As vloggers begin to make videos, their ideas are often original and attract a lot of popularity. But once the size of the audience pressures vloggers into making, for example, two videos a week, the themes and ideas commonly become strained and overdone.
ENGAGEMENTS • Some codes and conventions that are popular on Youtube are videos that are themed by the days of the week. Eat Your Kimchicreate themes like Music Monday, TL;DR and Wonderful Adventure Now Korea (WANK). • Charlieissocoollikepartakes in ‘Challenge Charlie’ and Fun Science.
SUBJECTIVITIES • The general outlook for new vloggers tends to be along the lines of: “I’m not expecting to get many views on this but it’s a bit of fun!” • However, Youtubers’ perspectives can change drastically if they become successful. Some may find it thoroughly rewarding to have a hobby like video making become their full time job. Although some may find it pressurising to transition from occasionally uploading a fun video to meeting the constant demand of subscribers. • An example of this is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UUmQXOAse-VnzuXHebX5I77g&feature=player_detailpage&v=0UvGwAQBom0#t=120s
SUBJECTIVITIES • When the beauty vloggerBubzbeautyreceived 1 million subscribers, Youtubesent her a plaque for her achievements. • This could be seen to be similar to ‘office play days’- the idea of being rewarded and compelled to have fun in an effort to persuade you to keep up with the work and possibly even work harder.
CONCEPTUALISING THEIR PRACTICE • In terms of Eat Your Kimchiand Charlie Is So Cool Like, one started off informing, and the other entertaining. However as their popularity grew, it can seem as if there is an obligation to branch out and, as a result, like many YouTubers inform, explain, and entertain. • Although, Simon and Martina from Eat Your Kimchimay not see it so much as their duty to inform people about Korea or science: 1) because they find it fun themselves and 2) because they want more people to know about it. However, it has put their real career ambitions on hold. • It has affected Charlie McDonell though: http://youtu.be/_56nx3eHK4c
SOCIO-CULTURAL CONTEXT • To look at the success and relevance of Charlie McDonell’s videos, they need to be looked at in their relation to society and culture for when they were released, which links to the points Bourdieu proposed about how taste is a social construction formed upon a variety of factors to do with the historical socio-cultural economic classifications.
SOCIO-CULTURAL CONTEXT • The ‘Statistics’ feature on Charlie’s videos have been disabled with only the number of views and ‘Likes’ features left visible to the public. This makes it more difficult to analyse the socio-cultural context of his video, and so other aspects of Charlie’s success then have to be considered such as who the audience is. • One of Charlie’s first vlogsto receive viral success was his “How To Be English” in which he dons a posh British accent and suit and demonstrates how to make a cup of tea. The video became a viral sensation, and led to Charlie being interviewed on BBC News in which it was revealed that American audiences were behind the viral success. • We can draw from this that part of his success comes from the representation of upper class British society, and that in some of his videos he portrays himself as the stereotypical Englishman so commonly portrayed in American media.
SOCIO-CULTURAL CONTEXT • Charlie’s videos have allowed him opportunities to collaborate and work with a number of celebrities and TV channels as well as be interviewed by a number of newspapers: • Stephen Fry voices an outro to all of Charlie’s videos • Phillip Schofieldwho, with his daughter, set Charlie a challenge to do on his channel • Derren Brown and Kat Akingbadeco-presented a series of videos conducting science experiments with Charlie • Piers Morgan co-presented with various X Factor contestants for First TV - a comic news show. • BBC3- Charlie and a handful of other Youtube sensations were part of a documentary that followed them in making a charity single for Children In Need.
SOCIO-CULTURAL CONTEXT • These collaboration reflect the taste of Charlie’s audiences as well as the content of his vlogs. The satirical and often relevant content of his videos seem to attract a wide audience of teenagers to the middle aged of mixed genders, and we can draw this assumption by looking at the celebrities who have been prepared to work with him and the audiences and demographics in which they would normally attract. • These appear to be arguably less superficial audiences, likely middle classand made up of males and females. His audience are arguably looking for videos that contain mental stimulation relevant to important political and social issues combined with satire and comic relief. • This is further supported by factors such as Charlie refusing to enter celebrity Big Brother in 2011, his numerous interviews with The Guardian newspaper, New York Times and TV news interviews.
ENACTED DISCOURSES • Many people that vlogon Youtubetalk about topics that interest themselves. It gives them an outlet to share their personal views and opinions with other people. It creates a global space where people with the same interests can communicate with one another. YouTube gives it users the power to produce texts and publish them on a global scale, whether they are negative or positive. • Foucault argues that “We must cease once and for all to describe the effects of power in negative terms: it ‘excludes’, it ‘represses’, it ‘censors’, it ‘abstracts’, it ‘masks’, it ‘conceals’. In fact power produces; it produces reality; it produces domains of objects and rituals of truth. The individual and the knowledge that may be gained of him belong to this production.” (Foucault 1991: 194) • It is significant that those blogging talk about current and relevant events as this is what people want to watch.
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