The You in YouTube:  The Emergence of Collective Identity Formation Through Online  Video Sharing Debora Lui With help fro...
C3 and YouTube  <ul><li>Looking at YouTube from an industry perspective </li></ul><ul><li>What are user activities on the ...
Press Rhetoric  surrounding YouTube <ul><li>Time called YouTube “the public video diary of a generation of teens and  twen...
Real People Reaching Out
<ul><li>YouTube is full of unique personalities, all of whom are expressing themselves authentically </li></ul><ul><li>You...
Arguments that YouTube is an “authentic” space <ul><li>Furor over seeming lack of authenticity of lonelygirl15 and others ...
<ul><li>Furor over seeming lack of authenticity of lonelygirl15 and others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content and/or persona is...
<ul><li>Users seem to treat the other individuals on the site as “real” people (through their comments and videos) </li></...
<ul><li>Trust that YouTube is a democratic platform where everyone can be heard in an unregulated space </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Online activity that doesn’t support this “authenticity” <ul><li>Theories about identity construction in cyberspace </li><...
Ysabellabrave: A Case Study <ul><li>Young woman who sings karaoke, usually old jazz standards and blues. </li></ul><ul><li...
Constructed Identity  on YouTube <ul><li>By the Individual </li></ul><ul><li>By the Collective </li></ul>
Constructed Identity  by the Individual <ul><li>Through production/style of the video itself </li></ul><ul><li>Through “pa...
Constructed Identity  by the Individual <ul><li>Through production/style of the video itself </li></ul>
Constructed Identity  by the Individual <ul><li>Through “paratexts” surrounding video </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Her youtube  p...
Constructed Identity  by the Individual <ul><li>Within the framework of different YouTube persona genres </li></ul><ul><ul...
Constructed Identity  by the Individual <ul><li>Within the framework of different YouTube persona genres </li></ul><ul><ul...
Constructed Identity  by the Individual <ul><li>Within the framework of different YouTube persona genres </li></ul><ul><ul...
Constructed Identity  by the Collective <ul><li>Through YouTube activities like subscribing, ‘favoriting,’ rating, etc. (m...
Constructed Identity  by the Collective <ul><li>Through YouTube direct feedback (user comments and video response) </li></...
Constructed Identity  by the Collective <ul><li>Through YouTube direct feedback (user comments and video response) </li></...
Constructed Identity  by the Collective <ul><li>Through rejection of behaviors that do not comply with the identity as con...
Constructed Identity  by the Collective <ul><li>Through rejection of behaviors that do not comply with the identity as con...
Constructed Identity  by the Collective <ul><li>The &quot;truthiness&quot; problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Truthiness is t...
Concluding Remarks <ul><li>YouTube is a testament to the participatory value of new media, folk cultures of digital age.  ...
Identities in Flux? <ul><li>Ysabellabrave/MaryAnne exists beyond YouTube </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contestant in the Ms. Horro...
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The You in YouTube, Collective Identity Formation in YouTube

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The You in YouTube, Collective Identity Formation in YouTube

  1. The You in YouTube: The Emergence of Collective Identity Formation Through Online Video Sharing Debora Lui With help from Huma Yusuf Media in Transition 5, MIT, 2007
  2. C3 and YouTube <ul><li>Looking at YouTube from an industry perspective </li></ul><ul><li>What are user activities on the site? What are the videos on the site? </li></ul><ul><li>Looked at 100 Most Discussed/Favorited/ Rated/Popular videos </li></ul><ul><li>Around 40% of the Most Discussed videos were video logs (vlogs) </li></ul>
  3. Press Rhetoric surrounding YouTube <ul><li>Time called YouTube “the public video diary of a generation of teens and twentysomethings.” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;You have people from all walks of life wanting to share a piece of their life with you,&quot; Leila (a video blogger) says. &quot;The feeling of togetherness is unbeatable. It's a beautiful thing.&quot; </li></ul>
  4. Real People Reaching Out
  5. <ul><li>YouTube is full of unique personalities, all of whom are expressing themselves authentically </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube is capable of establishing true connections between “real” people </li></ul><ul><li>HOWEVER, does the real life use of YouTube exemplify this ideal presented in surrounding rhetoric ? </li></ul>Real People Reaching Out?
  6. Arguments that YouTube is an “authentic” space <ul><li>Furor over seeming lack of authenticity of lonelygirl15 and others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Person or content not real; corporate marketing? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Users seem to treat the other individuals on the site as “real” people (through their comments and videos) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Giving advice, having a dialogue, supporting/detracting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trust that YouTube is a democratic platform where everyone can be heard in an unregulated space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unhindered by mass media protocols, freedom of expression </li></ul></ul>
  7. <ul><li>Furor over seeming lack of authenticity of lonelygirl15 and others </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content and/or persona is not real (lg15) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate marketing vs. being on your own (i.e. miarose vs. esmeedenters) </li></ul></ul>Arguments that YouTube is an “authentic” space
  8. <ul><li>Users seem to treat the other individuals on the site as “real” people (through their comments and videos) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ SOo.oO much FUN!!!!! I wish you could come to our house for a weekend!” (ysabellabrave) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ beautiful girl. use your loneliness and boredom as fuel to live an extraordinary life. visit 100 countries and learn to speak 5 languages before you turn 30. be exceptional - you have the power!” (lonelygirl15) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ oh you jersey folk are the funniest :P we need some more of you over here these days... brighten up our days hahahahah :P -take care man” (nalts) </li></ul></ul>Arguments that YouTube is an “authentic” space
  9. <ul><li>Trust that YouTube is a democratic platform where everyone can be heard in an unregulated space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unfiltered content, not confined by marketing/advertising needs, target demographics, broadcast protocols </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ More than ever, Internet video provided a platform for new voices and perspectives, giving even amateur filmmakers entree to mass audiences traditionally garnered by established media outlets. And in 2006 people took advantage of it, using Internet video to influence everything from opinion about the war to notions about what constitutes entertainment.” (from “Long Live the Net Video Revolution” Business Weekly) </li></ul></ul>Arguments that YouTube is an “authentic” space
  10. Online activity that doesn’t support this “authenticity” <ul><li>Theories about identity construction in cyberspace </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructing avatars in MMOGs and Second Life </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructing online profile with list of favorites as ‘shortcuts’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Constructing network of friends in social networking sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>But how does identity construction occur on YouTube? </li></ul>
  11. Ysabellabrave: A Case Study <ul><li>Young woman who sings karaoke, usually old jazz standards and blues. </li></ul><ul><li>#26 - Most Subscribed (All Time) </li></ul><ul><li>Her nomenclature exemplifies the tension between authenticity and construct </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MaryAnne/ysabellabrave </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Clip: Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered 00:34 </li></ul>
  12. Constructed Identity on YouTube <ul><li>By the Individual </li></ul><ul><li>By the Collective </li></ul>
  13. Constructed Identity by the Individual <ul><li>Through production/style of the video itself </li></ul><ul><li>Through “paratexts” surrounding video </li></ul><ul><li>Within the framework of YouTube genres </li></ul>
  14. Constructed Identity by the Individual <ul><li>Through production/style of the video itself </li></ul>
  15. Constructed Identity by the Individual <ul><li>Through “paratexts” surrounding video </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Her youtube profile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comments accompanying video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Very late at night, one more for my friends.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ For those who need some blues, from my heart to yours tonight.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Rate me 5 little stars! Hooray! This is for all my fellow David Lynch fans out there. Please enjoy! Love MaryAnne” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk vlog videos </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blah blah part II 03:46 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. Constructed Identity by the Individual <ul><li>Within the framework of different YouTube persona genres </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Karaoke singer; the undiscovered talent </li></ul></ul>
  17. Constructed Identity by the Individual <ul><li>Within the framework of different YouTube persona genres </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Karaoke singer; the undiscovered talent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The teenage girl confessional </li></ul></ul>
  18. Constructed Identity by the Individual <ul><li>Within the framework of different YouTube persona genres </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Karaoke singer; the undiscovered talent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The teenage girl confessional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The angry young man commentary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The living room comedian </li></ul></ul>
  19. Constructed Identity by the Collective <ul><li>Through YouTube activities like subscribing, ‘favoriting,’ rating, etc. (marketing and hype) </li></ul><ul><li>Through YouTube direct feedback (user comments and video response) </li></ul><ul><li>Through rejection of behaviors that do not comply with the identity as constructed by the collective </li></ul>
  20. Constructed Identity by the Collective <ul><li>Through YouTube direct feedback (user comments and video response) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ you’re such a classy lady, you’re bringing old hollywood glam back!” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I JUST LOVE YOUR VOICE! When you talk... it's like Ingrid Bergman and Audrey Hepburn and Faye Dunaway all mixed together! You have the intonation down and everything. And your choice of words is fabulous!!” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ i friggin' LOVE YOU! I see so much Marilyn Monroe in you....you have no idea. And the cabaret thing....oh deary lord, Sally Bowles! ha.” --- “Marilyn was a construct...this gal is the real thing...cannot compare the two...thank you maryann for being who you are!” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I wish you were my life coach....or my girlfriend.…” </li></ul></ul>
  21. Constructed Identity by the Collective <ul><li>Through YouTube direct feedback (user comments and video response) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>She started singing -> People start subscribing and commenting: response and expectations -> She reconstructs herself </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ysabellabrave - as character only existing in expectations of her viewers, the negotiation between the individual and the collective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clips: Blue Heaven , A Word or Two 02:36, Everyday Bravery </li></ul></ul>
  22. Constructed Identity by the Collective <ul><li>Through rejection of behaviors that do not comply with the identity as constructed by the collective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unusual Music/Song Choice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ I know you like modern music in your personal life, but you DO sing this old stuff so darn well.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Everything else you do is truly great but rock like this just does not sound right for your pretty jazzy voice.” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. Constructed Identity by the Collective <ul><li>Through rejection of behaviors that do not comply with the identity as constructed by the collective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Art videos - Videos provoked furious debate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ This is no good. I mean you should stick to just singing only. This is way out of there. bizzare to say the least.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ A picture tells a thousand words: Twenty-four(!) pictures of yourself was simply way over the top for me…I am truly a fan of yours and watch your videos everyday. Would you please explain - so that I will find this less disturbing?” </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. Constructed Identity by the Collective <ul><li>The &quot;truthiness&quot; problem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Truthiness is the very definition of truth, 2006-style: ‘the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.’” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(excerpted from “Commentary: The Year in Pop Culture: 2006” in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) </li></ul></ul>
  25. Concluding Remarks <ul><li>YouTube is a testament to the participatory value of new media, folk cultures of digital age. </li></ul><ul><li>Further inquries: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are implications of this fact that there is no authenticity? (peer-to-peer implies friendship and connectivity) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What do we lose when we acknowledge collectively constructed identities? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is celebrating democracy enough? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are other spaces more appropriate for interactions between individuals? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What happens when “truthiness” prevails over truth? </li></ul></ul>
  26. Identities in Flux? <ul><li>Ysabellabrave/MaryAnne exists beyond YouTube </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contestant in the Ms. Horrorfest Pageant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Christian livejournal - SisterMaryAnne, Church of the Holy Cross </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo employee - Fraud and Business Analyst </li></ul></ul>

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