Tag Archives: YouTube

It’s just another day with nude Kim K

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Social media plays an important role in identifying oneself for everyone else to see. The pictures we post, the comments we make and the information we provide on social media platforms create a basis for who we are as an individual. With all the information, we present on social media the ability to communicate back and forth presents a time where what we post can be judged by everyone else. When we post a Tweet on Twitter people can respond with in the means for which Twitter allows, when we post a video a YouTube people can comment, up-vote and down-vote to show how they feel as a response to the content posted. This ability for immediate feedback allows for a strong connection between content creators and having an audience. In turn creating a loop between content creation, responses about how effective the content is to the audience, by having them react and then the potential to create a bigger audience.

The Selfie for instance, defined simply by Oxford Dictionary “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media” is enough to warrant this back and forth of communication. An individual posts a selfie on their social media and then their followers react to it. Instagram being a photo sharing application caters to the selfie culture quite well. Anyone with a mobile phone can access this service and start posting away. Where the audience will present responses in the form of likes and comments of the selfie taken. For everyday people and celebrities this is a good way to show a glimpse into a life that they would not ever see and create a way in which people can communicate effectively with their fan base. While there are benefits with being a celebrity on social media there are negatives that can affect how the person is represented also. Celebrity Kim Kardashian for instance creates a persona of her [fabulous] lifestyle on Instagram for all her 94.7 million followers to see. With such a large following, what Kim does and how she presents herself is scrutinized publicly for everyone to see. For example, Kim’s nude Instagram selfie below:

Posted with the comment from Kim K “When you’re like I have nothing to wear LOL“, there are many aspects of this image that an audience can take. Shown in some of the comments presented with the picture people are saying Kim is a body positive role model as having the confidence to post a picture, let alone a nude picture showing off her curves gives people the personal empowerment for their own body confidence, though this confidence may not create anything else of its own except that personal uplifting feeling to the individual. Other audience members condemn the nudity justifying that Kim made her money from being nude, presenting that young girls should not have to get naked to be in the situation that Kim is in – that of a celebrity. For what people take away from the image being present is up to the interpretation of the individual viewing it. When there are no specifics as to the full intention of why something like this is being posted, it gives the audience the freedom to choose whatever they want and to ridicule or be empowered whichever way they want, though that is the freedom of social media and a result of using it. People will always have different interpretations because everyone sees things differently. So, post what you want, just be the things you enjoy.

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Equality for the individual?

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For or against trigger warnings and safe spaces there is a constant trend in fighting for the rights of individuals that are marginalized or seen as different in today’s society and those that do not have the voice or capability to fight for themselves. This behaviour of fighting for those that can not fight for themselves – like children or animals. Presents an interesting discourse on what it means to be in a marginalized or group minority and how the law and society are needed to change this. In accordance to trigger warnings and safe spaces the debate has stemmed from the ideology and agenda of intersectional feminism and the continuing fight for the LGBT community. Though I ask how small do groups have to be in order to justify an appropriate reaction and measure for equality?

The social movement from the LGBT community started in the 1940s. This was a charge for equality and acceptance that is still being fought for today. One measure for this equality is based on the amount of people that are, identify, or know of someone that is a part of the LGBT community. In 2011 it is estimated that 8 million Americans which is 3.5% of the entire adult population identify in the LGBT community. In 2013 Australia reported that 11% of the population have a diverse sexual orientation, gender or identity. Within this fight for LGBT rights there has been individual fights for equality and justice around social issues. Australia has had the fight for transgender specific toilets (much like America and the United Kingdom). Brought on by the innocence of a child at primary school winning the legal battle to be recognized as a girl (being born a boy) though having to use the disabled toilet.

Activists have argued that even as an adult there is a transphobic atmosphere still around that needs to be addressed and this is the next phase in equality for LGBT. To deal with this issue it was put forward that to start making transgender and transsexual people feel welcome in society. There is a need to create transgender bathrooms or modify current bathrooms to be unisex or gender neutral. That are as accessible as regular male and female bathrooms currently are – such as in clubs, malls, theatres and parks. The feasibility and economical use of these toilets is seen to be unreasonable as the population of transgender people in the Australian adult community is estimated to be about 0.3%. 0.3% of Australia’s adult population is estimated around 54,000 people. The amount of toilets that activists are fighting to be created in order to justify an acceptance of transgenderism is seen to be over reaching as the geographical spread for trans is in main LGBT friendly areas that promote greater influence, activism, and a higher engagement of LGBT community members. The amount of traffic that is intended for a public toilet does not correlate to the small group of society that identify as trans. While the creation of neutral gender toilets is perceived to cater to the needs of everyone. The majority are reluctant to cater to this minority as they do not want to share bathrooms with the opposing gender, do not like change or see it as a waste of taxpayers’ money (or a waste for whomever is going to pay for it).

While the battle for equality is fought there are instances where the combination of a marginalized individual and the legality of the law are not clear and the change for the law to be accepting for equality is put at a greater challenge. Example of this is the case of perceived mental health and the function of standard societal morality in regards to Stefonknee Wolscht. A 52-year-old man who now lives his life as a 6-year-old girl in Toronto.


Stefonknee who was once called Paul, married to a wife and has seven children but now has moved away from that life and lives with adoptive parents in Toronto, Canada. Has come under the limelight of the public. While the issue of being a trans person is acknowledged there are aspects of Stefonknee’s identity that would challenge current laws and peoples personal understandings. The freedom to live how ever one wants, is up to the individual, how they identify, what they do and how they do it. It is all on them. But when what that individual chooses to be challenges the perception of what is normal to the majority then issues arise. Stefonknee as someone who is trans gender and trans age presents an interesting understanding for what social justice and acceptance offers larger society. Gender dysphoria is accepted as a medical issue that has been researched and understood (as best as it can currently). There is a known difference between a male and female brain. Though for someone to be trans-age; the science behind a medical justification is still to be discovered.¬† (Even the internet has no leads for me and my Universities database of academic sources comes up with nothing that can justify this trans-age identity.)

With such a rare public case such as Stefonknee’s our perception of what it means to be accepting of marginalized people becomes skewed. With identifying as a 6-year-old yet gleefully mentioning that she makes out with bikers and has a full time job ploughing snow. Where does the law fit into this identity? On one side for a 6-year-old to have a full time job is against Child Labor Laws and for a 6-year-old to make out with bikers is Child Abuse. If we correlate the understanding that the difference of the brain makes people either a man and a women and Stefonknee further identifies as a 6-year-old girl where can people stand to make Stefonknee feel that she is not marginalized for the way she lives her life. When even science has no medical understanding for this identity. Science does claim that in order to develop your public-self you must become social about your private self. As self-representation is a reflection and also an aide with mental health. Which provides the understanding of why people would come out as “different” from the majority.

That little click of passion – State of Play autoethnography

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Starting out with a quote from Fredrich Schiller, “Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays” State of Play encompasses the traditional and non-traditional aspects of being a young man wanting to get into E-sports in Korea. The hopes and dreams of being a professional gamer out-weighing the grounded expectations from family values and traditions.

 

 

State of Play follows young men currently in and wanting to get into the popular business of playing Star Craft professionally – a command and conquer style game where an individual builds up an army to destroy their enemy before they get destroyed.

Star Craft nor the idea of a ‘Gamer house’ is new to me – having being a fan of games and watching gaming tournaments. I have encountered groups of people who are organized to live together to practice their skills and achieve victory. However I feel the expectation of wanting to live in one of these houses, to be a professional gamer, conflicts with the amusement and enjoyment of playing video games. Once money has become involved and the idea of hours played on a video game turns from fun to an expectation, because your lively hood and title of ‘Professional Gamer’ is at risk, the emotional experience amplifies depending on how you perform. If you do not perform to the best of your abilities then you risk losing it all and questioning if you had done enough to stay relevant. Successful teams get sponsored and so make money for the people who own the team, this constant success opens the doors for more sponsors and creates a scenario for a successful business. The players become a product to be used, their abilities become a tool and expectation, if not reached then they are simply replaced. Quite the cut-throat scenario, but it holds true with the dedication and work that goes into being successful and to be called a ‘Professional Gamer’ – many people want to have the job but so few can.

State of Play brings up the family expectation for one of the guys involved – Park Yo Han. The conflict being that professional gaming is very competitive, as it should be only the best get to play. Parks’ family worry for him as they question his dedication to his games over his study at school. They question his commitment to wanting to play games as a career, as he doesn’t seem to be all that capable about dedicating himself to his studies. Parks’ parents question if Park can make this transition. I find this is a perfectly reasonable thing to do on behalf of the parents – by looking at the capabilities and personality of their son they question his future and want the best thing for him. There is a short window where people can be professional competitive gamers. Star Craft is reliant on how quick you can be with inputs, the faster you are the more you can do, the more you can do over your opponent, the better you chance on winning. As the years go on, dexterity of the fingers weakens and less inputs can be done – meaning you are slower and less likely to win. Therefor placing strain on winning games and needing to be replaced by someone younger who can make all the necessary inputs.

It isn’t just Korea that gets invested in E-sports. Star Craft who is run by the company Blizzard Entertainment has made many games that populate E-sports in America – such as Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm. I was curious as to how someone would go about getting into the business side of E-sports. As one may enjoy playing games, they may not be all that good at any game to get involved. So why not create a team of your own and enjoy watching the success of your team enjoy the success of winning.

Popular YouTuber Jesse Cox did just that. He enjoyed the game Heroes of the Storm but didn’t have the expertise to play the game at a high level to he created, organized and ran an E-sports team called the Stellar Lotus. However this endeavor wasn’t as easy as it seems. Getting involved took a lot of time, money and effort to get started and to maintain. Finding players who were capable of playing to a high level, them having the time to play the game at a professional level, paying for those players to spend the time to play the game, organizing a house for the members to live in to practice the game and create a team dynamic, investing time into getting the team into tournaments, trying to get sponsors, and dealing with all the conflicts that would rise. As Jesse Cox is a YouTuber he made a few videos detailing his frustration with running an E-sports team through a reflective learning, questioning if it is worth it and allowing the audience a little glimpse into the frustration that can happen. Called “The Salt” (for a good reason) here is his first video:

 

The personal and professional experiences seen in State of Play and The Salt show me that to be a part of professional gaming – leave the beginners behind take only the dedicated and committed to the arena of e-sports.

 

My Simple Multitasking

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Watching television, eating some yogurt and browsing the internet while trying to get some University homework completed. This scenario has created an important issue around the value and efficiency for the completion of each task, however multitasking seems to be the way I want to do it. There is always the option to do each activity one at a time but I feel that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish as much as I would want to in the time-frame that I have available to me. I say this because I want to each activity but the time for which I get to do them overlaps into a multitasking situation.

I want to watch a specific television program at a specific time but I need to get something to eat that satisfies my hunger. I want to browse the internet such as Reddit and YouTube to keep up with viral videos and interesting content but I want to also finish writing this blog post and have relief from needing to get University work out of the way.

The dedication to each action is relevant to how important each action is for my persona and the focus I put on it. Not being able to watch a specific television show on television is no big deal because I can just do it later, ever on other devices. Browsing the internet is also no big deal because the content I want to view stays where it is and will always be accessible (in most cases). Eating is important as not eating will keep being a distraction for everything else I want to accomplish and will need to be taken care of so I can accomplish other tasks. University work is a major aspect in getting done as is has consequences that will impact my future.

Though each task I am doing can be ranked into importance and also whether or not it is a hobby, as to say something I want to do, opposed to something I have to do/ need to do with eating and getting University work done. I still choose to multitask every activity in order to get everything else done.

In my case I find it is the mix of interests balance each other out to allow to me to complete each task. Simply by looking up from my computer screen and just looking blankly at the television of a Futurama episode I have seen multiple times it allows me to get a laugh out every now and again and allow me to thing about what I want to keep writing about. The symmetry of having these tasks going from one to another, whether just briefly or for an extended period of time allows for each task to get accomplished – effectively though, is up for my University Tutor to decide.

Advertising and Me; it knows me sort-of

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The change of viewer attention from watching television to watching content online has made an impact on how marketing and advertising companies are aiming their products. From the time when it was just television, where information on who is watching is collected via a black box was really the only means for which companies could get ratings for what television shows are popular to what audience and then for marketers/advertisers to aim products for that audience. This method of advertising is quite general as it produces the result of one item targeted for everyone – there is no specific identity to who should be the target audience for the product, just throw the item out to the masses and see who bites.

Incoming the internet and the wonders of data collection from social media sites, has arisen a more specific change both for the advertising and marketing of products. There is the change that people are more internet savvy and using more screens than just the television. People are watching more online content on their computers, tablets and smartphones. Information provided by MarketingCharts.com provides that television consumption with people aged under 35 has dropped, more significant with people aged between 17-24 years old. This drop in television viewing is based on ‘traditional television’, the consumption of television is still there but in the background while another screen is being used.

The use of having a television on in the background is one of the many problems with the old style of gathering information about the audience. There is nothing to measure the little aspects of who was distracted for a bit and why they were distracted, who decided to look elsewhere at what moments throughout the program. Since these minor details are important there is the change for marketing and advertising agencies to look at why people are looking away and what are they looking for. High-lighted by the following video from IBM Big Data & Analytics:

The consumption and participation of being online allows for advertisements to be personally targeted to the individual. By exploring and using data collection websites there is the personal experience and element to what companies know about the user, the individual. For example the following picture displays the advertisements on my Facebook page:

My Facebook Advertisements

My Facebook Advertisements

While I’m not surprised by what is being shown I can see what aspects for what I have put on Facebook would lead to these advertisements. On my Facebook I have put that I am a student who has not graduated so the use of the word “student” with both the Adobe and Bankwest hit directly to that information. The mentioning of bargains and deals allures to my interest in good deals – though I always prefer free stuff. This personal approach of advertising can be used to a bigger agree with larger groups, by extrapolating information and finding common elements between what people do, when they do it, how they do it and the consistency for which they do it – the individual information becomes a much larger, valuable part of a bigger collection of information.

Reference:

Marketingcharts (2014) ‘Are Young People Watching Less TV?’, accessed 17 August 2014 >http://www.marketingcharts.com/television/are-young-people-watching-less-tv-24817/<

Viral Video – Definition

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What does it mean when a video becomes viral?

A “Viral Video” can be looked at as the widespread sharing of a video in a short-period of time. A viral video does not have to be a video that has been recently uploaded, it can be years old and have a low view count to begin with. The video just needs to be found and shared to a popular medium, much like the case of the “Double Rainbow” viral video, which had been posted months before it was picked up by popular television talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel and shared on his Twitter account. Which was then picked up by CNN and continued to share and grow.

What time frame and how many views makes a video “viral”?

Years ago when the amount of traffic YouTube received, a video would be considered viral if it had reached 1 million views. Dealing with the mass traffic YouTube gets today a video is seen to be viral if it can acquire around 5 million views in the span of 3 – 7 days. Though creators of videos that receive one million or five-hundred thousand views would still be happy and consider their video viral.

What else?

A video is considered viral by how many different websites and mediums it gets shared to to acquire views. When a video can be talked about by everyone even though they consume different mediums – to infiltrate an audience that wouldn’t look for the video, it can be seen as viral. When a video is talked about and has an impact on those that watch it, the video is seen as viral.

 

Viral Videos – The Thumbnail Appeal

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When dealing with videos before someone even watches it, the viewer looks at the thumbnail for the video. This is a first impression on viewers that can make a video stand out, whether the video is part of an already popular channel or a one-off upload. It all depends on the appeal of the thumbnail people use for the videos that can attract new/more views.

Looking at the following thumbnails for the YouTube channel Shep689 there is a significant increase in the amount of views for one video compared to the others:

viral videos shep689
Shep689 channel is a video-blogging (vlogging) channel; the videos are about the lives of the people involved. The thumbnails represent a part of what happened in the video. So why has one video seen a massive increase compared to the others? Looking at other channels like the sex appeal FailArmy and other fail/win compilations have as their thumbnails, or FreddieW with his action-packed, “what is happening” video thumbnails.

viral videos compilation

viral videos freddie

The thumbnail – acting as an insight into the video appeals to individuals. From expressing a part of a story there is this idea that viewers are more likely to watch something that shows something – sex appeal, violence, danger, an emotion or even the potential event of something happening. Going from a “that looks interesting” so I will watch it, to a “I wonder what will happen” the thumbnail of a video has a significant impact on selling the video.

Viral Videos – Actionable

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There are videos on YouTube that go viral for a different reason compared to cute animals or funny sketches, these videos go viral because they have a message that promotes the viewer to do something – to take action. The action can be as small as sharing the video and promoting a change, clicking on a website to support something, or bring global attention to something that had been overlooked, much like the impact and effect KONY 2012 had on a global scale.

Videos portray action as a way to get things noticed and a way to enlighten people about issues, using the following viral video “PhoneBloks” I will explain some key points about why it went viral.

1. Relevance – [nearly] everyone has a smartphone and has similar complaints about the components of the smartphone.

2. The problem – people have stockpiles of out-dated technology that is no longer being used or has broken down. What can be done?

3. Questioning big business – the idea of “design technology that does not last” is a cash flow for big business, though has this always been the case and what can people do to stop forking out all this money? They can’t unless they create something better.

4. Solution – finding a solution that could revolutionize the amount of electronic waste that is produced by throwing out technology, this video comes up with a solution that makes sense to a viewer. Shown by each component of the phone is a different (detachable) block, the blocks connect to a base which connects everything together, with electrical signals traveling through the pins to get everything to work. If a block causes problems a simple detachment and replacement is all that is needed, instead of throwing out the entire phone.

5. The overall capabilities of the PhoneBloks – “A phone worth keeping” – selling point.

6. Action – the video asks for “your voice” to get this idea running and encourages people to help in making this idea possible, by sharing “your voice”.

The video has a great selling point in what it is trying to accomplish though it is a basic idea that is just an idea trying to become reality. The video promotes subtle action by crowd-sourcing interest in the phone and getting people to show support for it to be made to show potential creators of the PhoneBloks that people want it.

Viral Videos – Identifiable and Relatable

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Looking at viral videos what is relatable and/or identifiable about the context of the video what makes it so appealing that people want to share it and talk about it? Let us have a look at a viral video and try and see what is relatable and identifiable about it. By relatable we mean something that can be connected to – usually through feelings, by identifiable we mean something that is worth our attention.

The following viral video was up loaded to YouTube on September 11, 2013, I am writing this blog post on September 16, 2013. Since the video got uploaded it has attained¬†8,082,477 views and is continuing to get more as I write this. The video is showing a surprise wedding proposal in a Home Depot with family and friends dancing to the tune of “Somebody loves you” by Betty Who.

There are a number of characteristics that work together to show why this video went viral:
1. Surprise – people like to see other people expressing emotions. Surprise is a basic human emotion, which I have explained in this past blog post.

2. The Wedding proposal – the ever loving moment between two people, it is a step nearly every loving couple will have, so why not get it recorded – so other people can compare or dream about how they want theirs.

3. Dancing – you’re either good at it or you’re not. A form of expression and interest to many that has been the main part in Hollywood films and has been a part of the most successful viral video, Psy’s “Gangnam Style”.

4. Music – is remarkable, music is all around us throughout life, people use it as a tool of comfort when feeling ups or downs, it is can be used to trigger memories of peoples past or set a scene for movies.

5. Raw emotion – the raw emotion on Spencer’s face appeals to how people would feel when watching, not knowing how things will turn out – living in the moment, type of deal. Feeling what someone else was feeling.

6. Gay marriage – a worldwide discussion that is identifiable and relatable to politics today. Marriage equality is a big issue in many countries and to have the display of love and affection that is shown in this video – this video may not change anyone’s mind, but shows dedication and interest in what same-sex couples would do to show their partner and the world that what they have is the same as what everyone else has.

Each aspect of this video works together to appeal to an audience, the high-energy dancing to the raw emotion, to the fact that it is a same-sex couple involved is relatable to people who watch it and would share it.

There are other aspects of this video that can also explain why it went viral – though are best mentioned in further posts.

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/