Tag Archives: Yogscast

Mass Amateurization – Popularizing mediocrity?

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Professional – defined as “A paid occupation – one that involves prolonged training and a formal qualification”. Gone are the days where people have to get degrees and graduate tertiary education to become a part of an industry, the internet and its many social media platforms allows for anyone to write or produce anything they want, and it being displayed for everyone else on the internet provides an audience for that content. The idea that to be a professional on the internet has become blurred and an unnecessary step for many people and has caused an era of “Mass Amateurization”, brought to our attention by Henry Jenkins in this reading.

mass amateurization

Mass amateurization can be simply put as the contribution from people on the internet who produce content such as blogs, videos, music and who have seen success out of this content, which would be seen as absurd from someone who went the traditional, educational route. Popular websites known for being a medium for mass amateurisation would be YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia and WordPress.

The amount of traffic websites produce by visitors and contributors, there is an overwhelming influence on popularizing the content that is produced on these websites. Using YouTube as an example – the training and dedication that is needed to get an education in editing and filming is restrained by time and cost, while getting basic experience by editing and filming your own content and uploading it to YouTube you are getting that experience on your own time and leisure. The restrictions that come from industries has been changed to a mere effortless approach where it is up to the individual to do what they want and post what they want when they want to.

The easy-going effort put into amateur content is allowing for people to get a better experience from being a part of these websites and learning a part of what it takes to be in an industry. People who become professionals from mass amateurization, from the amount of people that contribute and are a part of the audience allows for some people to get paid – much like the Yogscast on YouTube.

The Yogscast started out as a couple of guys filming (video and audio) the games they play and uploading it onto YouTube, by continuing the filming and uploading of the videos they create, they have managed to make money from what they do. The amount of money they make has always been a private matter but speculation has always arisen – from $2000 to $2500 for every 3 million views, though the amount of pulling power they have from their devoted fans is shown when they raised $500,000 for their Kickstarter for producing their own game, or when they raised over $120,000 in 2011, and over $200,000 for Oxfam by live-streaming through December last year.

What the Yogscast has achieved and continues to achieve is quite rare compared to the amount of people that are users of YouTube. Considering the medium and revenue that the Yogscast collects is based around getting hits on the content they produce, they need to maintain a flow of content that appeals to their audience.

Image Source:

“Ugh…” http://cultureandcommunication.org/tdm/nmrs/fa1/tag/mass-amateurization/

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YouTube: a game for business

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YouTube is one the most popular websites on the internet. It is the 2nd most used search engine, the first being Google.

YouTube is a video-sharing website which gives people the opportunity to popularise themselves or what they like, to a potential mass audience. It has provided an outlet for individual expression and creativity.

YouTube has created a new way to involve people in games. There are channels and videos dedicated to providing news, information, walk-through and strategies on games. An example is the “Let’s Play” videos which invite the viewer into sharing the adventure, of playing the game, the triumphs, the fails, the frustration and the relief of finishing a game.

I spoke to someone who was an “addicted fan” of YouTube. They tell me that Let’s Play videos are something that they enjoy watching, as it gives a “bond” over games. “To see someone have the same difficulties as you [in a game] is hilarious to watch… when they get mad and angry, when they get annoyed and frustrated… it is hilarious to watch”.

With the popularity of YouTube, successful channels that appeal to a wide audience and have hundreds-of-thousands of subscribers get the opportunity to earn revenue for their work through ads. This is seen as an incentive to continue making YouTube clips and growing a business foundation with partnering to YouTube.

YouTube only holds responsibility for its website not the business foundation in which a Channel would create for itself. This has caused a problem that the idea of “amateurs” or people with no or little business management running a successful business could be taken advantage of. In which either close friends or other businesses may corrupt or be unprofessional. This would hinder and publicly shame people who do not know what they are doing.

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The people who use YouTube are popular by being in a public eye. This causes the expectation, to always be public about problems, about every aspect of someone’s life, which causes the problem of Privacy.

The content on YouTube is user submitted so it is up to the individual for what they want public, however when there is popularity and an audience to adhere to then, it does become an expectation and a job and not just a hobby.

Interesting links:

The Yogscast (popular gaming channel):

http://www.youtube.com/user/BlueXephos/featured

Lewis’ (owner of the Yogscast) outlook on some unprofessional behaviour:

https://yogscast.com/showthread.php?55245-A-Response-to-Peva-and-Tinman

A fans opinion:

http://www.minecraftforum.net/topic/1117682-the-yogscast-discussion-peva-tinman-ridgedog-and-lewis/