361MC: 1 Minute Reflection Video

Here is the one minute video reflecting on my time in this degree and my outlook on my future as a media producer: 

https://vimeo.com/94658642

My name is Joshua Farmer. I am 20 years old from Hertfordshire and for the last three years, I have been at Coventry University studying a degree in Media Production. As my time studying here comes to an end, I am able to look back on all of the hard work that I have done to be where I am today.

I can see how much I have changed and developed as a media producer in the last three years, having never studied any form of media before coming to University; I have had a lot to prove to myself and others and I can honestly say I am extremely proud of how much I have achieved here in Coventry.

I now feel that I am even more creative, ambitious, determined, happy and positive than ever before and feel as though I am ready to head out into the world and grab everything that comes my way. I want to make the most out of my hopes and dreams for a career within the media industry.

I’ll never forget this journey, it has been a real learning curve for me, one that was full of enormous amounts of fun and magic.

Everything in my life is about to change and I feel as though it is the perfect time for it to do so.

 

361MC: TED Talk – Why Videos Go Viral: Kevin Allocca

Why Videos Go Viral: Kevin Allocca

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpxVIwCbBK0

For this project I am in need of knowing everything possible about how YouTube works and how it effects our societies and culture. It is imperative to be able to know more about how videos on the website work and how the popular ones go viral and what that means essentially for us and our futures using YouTube.

Having somewhere on the internet to house all of peoples various hours of video content is a brilliant way in which to allow people to live their dreams, express themselves and announce their aspirations, it’s a brilliant new way of living for our current culture. Kevin explains that there are a three key things that happen to make a YouTube video go viral, tastemakers, communities of participants and the unexpectedness of YouTube itself. There are only a very small percentage of youTube videos and YouTubers who have over a million views or subscribers. The numbers are growing, but it’s still such a small percentage out of the hundreds of hours that the video sharing website has to offer.

US TV presenter Jimmy Kimmel is outed by Kevin as a tastemaker. Expressing the idea that from someone else who is established and has a following, there can be videos that are discovered; hidden gems. The example used was that of a man filming a rainbow, seemingly under the influence of something who finds this rainbow delightful and hilarious. Through Jimmy Kimmel tweeting about it through his social media page, millions have been exposed to the video and a hit is made. The video has been watched millions of times, making the man who filmed the video an overnight sensation. He wasn’t looking for anything, he just wanted to share his happiness with the world.

Through the communities of participants of social media, is where the videos like the rainbow man finds its legs and takes off into becoming a hit. Another example of this viral influence is Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ song, which after being tweeted by another celebrity in the US, became such a huge overnight hit that nobody could have comprehend what would happen next. Rebecca was pushed into stardom (albeit not in a great light) and another YouTube star was born. This community of participants is where everything is followed, remixed and parodied. These kind of videos is where it can create creativity like no other. The Friday song, reached hundreds of millions of views within months, with over 10,000 parodies created in honour of it all, everyone wants to have a slice of the cake and become acknowledged through their own take on something that becomes so culturally significant.

Kevin also picked up on something which is what has to be taken when moving forwards with this FMP project. Only the unexpected videos can become a hit. Taking the idea of what has already been established for the FMP, to become something different and exciting is the projects main aims. Surprising people with the unexpected is the way in which to have a video go viral, but also to gain viewership of work that is going to become constant and in need of fresh eyes in order for the community of participants to dissever the potential.

All of the three things that have been explained are characteristics of a new media, a new culture where anyones has access and the audience is in total control of the popularity and how far a video can go. We as individuals are able to gain a sense of control through YouTube and it’s way of using videos to define culture, we are the process that can make or break a video, it is providing us a green light; a beacon of freedom to have the power to enrich others lives with a video that could be about anything and anyone.

361MC: Research & Development – Dissemination & Audience Communities

YouTube is developed for the idea that there is a audience out there which craves all kinds of specific videos to watch, share and enjoy. YouTube without an audience would not work, it simply would not be able to function without the internet access it demands. It also does not work effectively without the input of it’s billion of users who are watching content and uploading content constantly. YouTube has up to 100 hours of video footage uploaded every minute, with 4 trillion views on videos from people all over the globe.

When talking about audience theory and it’s sheer importance to YouTube and how it will effect my upcoming FMP, there it is key to understand the relevance of dissemination. “Dissemination is to broadcast a message to the public without direct feedback from the audience”. Dissemination is the traditional view on communications, which simply involves a sender and a receiver. This relates to YouTube and my project in the sense that there is no specific sender to the work that is being produced, but there is an intended audience goal with each video and there is a billion possible people to find the video and watch.

Through this idea, it is relevant to knowing about it in order to be able to understand how being on the creative side of YouTube is the part which can often not require direct feedback or any specific requirements, but it can mean more development can be reached through the channels when some audiences provide more information than required. Having requests made from viewers or comments on the videos enables myself and others to be able to gain a sense of who is watching and what they want to see out of the channel. Depending on the topic of the YouTube channel, there is various requests or comments that can be made that are all similar in tone and expectation.

Having feedback for work is important, especially when it is something that can often not gain feedback at the beginning; for instance at the beginning of developing a YouTube channel, it is vital in gaining feedback as much as possible. It can be difficult however when there is little viewership or followings of the videos. Having the interaction of the audience allows for a greater experience for the viewers and the creator. Through Dissemination it can be easily said that YouTube is often a broadcasting social network; a pillar of the online community and nothing else, but when taking a closer glance at the video sharing site it is much more. YouTube is home to the worldwide spread of culture, norms, values and independent ideas of the everyday individual.

The video blogging side of YouTube is generally an expression zone of complete and utter freedom, to a certain extent. The term Dissemination allows us to acknowledge the fact that YouTube can be identified as one of these examples for this specific term. YouTube is a form of sharing, video sharing in particular. Content from YouTube is shared constantly, throughout the entire population it is available, there is a circulation of the content that gets around the entire social media networking system. It is through this we are able to understand how through social networking and through YouTube in particular, we are experiencing a constant and free for all world wide spread of messages from people of all ages and backgrounds. Thanks to YouTube as well as other social sites, we are able to have a voice through the mass media and begin to spread the idea that self expression is something to be celebrated.

The two step flow of communication is something worthy of discussion. Through the mass media, there can be particular trends to follow which happens to occur a lot through specific genres of social media. The mass media generates topics and certain trends and then they are transmitted to those who either control the media or who have the influence for the media. YouTube has a tendency to follow certain trends and through it has had a number of popular videos as a result, since video blogging became more of a normal thing; there have been more and more videos that have become known for following trends and topics.

A good example of how the media plays a part in YouTube’s content can be seen mainly through response videos, or through personal accounts from individuals; as well as companies that use YouTube as a marketing opportunity. Videos that have been known for commenting on certain topics of pop culture, topics of the news and much more tend to become trending which ultimately sets the cycle off for the newest form of YouTube videos and trends.

Here is an example of a video that was shown on the news a few years back, which sparked a number of response videos from people from all over the world; cementing the idea that through YouTube the mass media is working and able to spread through an entire online community.

A challenge video which began them all, sparking a new YouTube craze.

Communicating and sharing through the media is ultimately something that is always going to be accessible to anyone and everyone. The power of the media is large and there is a demand for a following to be had on specific terms; norms and values and more, but through YouTube we are able to see that there is the chance to be able to project voices and messages out there to billions of people around the world. This is relatable to my FMP as there is a huge potential development element that would allow me to work freely in the project, by understanding that having your own voice means something and that sharing the content is vital to being able to function through a controlled environment that is the mass media industry. Being your own self and having an identity and being true to what you believe is primarily what YouTube is about when it enlists people to sure videos of any nature, it’s enticing us to become a part of the sharing community and participating in a new form of culture.

361MC: Research & Development – Online Identities & Fandom

To gain a sense of understanding in regards to developing a YouTube channel for this FMP, it is vital to understand the different and extreme ways in which individuals are able to create an identity of either themselves or a better version/vision through the internet. In this modern world where the ability to live a certain quality of life through the internet has become available, there is the chance that through these ways of living we are becoming more dependant on the virtual reality, when the true reality should become the main focus of self improvement and development. In a social networking perspective it is also imperative to look at the influence that the online identity has on our every day lives, the real possibility of gaining a following and also the grasp the online world has on us as individuals.

The online identity of one person can be completely different to who this person truly is. The internet provides the ability to not only do what you want on the internet, but also be able to establish yourself in the communities and websites that are featured on the internet. These identities are varied to each specific user. Through identifying your identity through the forms of pseudonyms, we are able to generate the ability to create any kind of identity that fits in with who we are as people, or who we would like to be linking into the terms identity exposure or disclosure is also key to understanding the reasons why someone is online. 

Generally speaking, there is no limit to the activity that one person may get up to on the internet. Every individuals intentions differ, especially regarding social media and the networking communities. The main focus of social media is to gain understanding of various elements and express yourself through the form of having yourself someone other than real life. Broadcasting yourself through the form of social media is key in understanding the idea of online identities and how they work.

Through the social media spectrum, there are specific communities that respond to content of various natures and ideas. Becoming more specific towards YouTube and it’s online following, there are a great number of video bloggers who have been able to simply put videos out onto the video sharing website and ultimately find themselves catapulted into online stardom with millions of people tuning in with every new video that they release. The idea is there and the simplicity seems real, but through constant updates of content and the general appeal of certain characteristics and traits finds people the following that they may have never expected.

Online regulations are to this day actually inexistent. We are currently able to simply go on and do anything that we want online, which poses as a threat in terms of the obvious crimes; but creatively it is an exposure and liberating chance to develop an identity through social media forms. The online disinhibition effect is the general lack of rules and regulations, inhibitions that would otherwise be in place if the person was face to face to someone instead. The freedom of the internet is a downfall too, with one of the biggest examples of how online identities gone wrong effect social media and it’s outlook on society is the film and TV show, CATFISH. The show focuses on the intimate relationships that people have on the internet and how they can turn out to be people that aren’t what they say they are, identity management at it’s best here. This is a good example when explaining how social media and the freedom of the internet aka the online disinhibition effect can ultimately provide someone with something completely unexpected and possibly dangerous; especially as the biggest issues with the internet is cyber bullying and it’s main occurrence being within social media.

CATFISH Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMA4x7aXJT0

‘Fandom’ is the term used for the subculture created characterised through common interests and aspirations. The fandom of YouTube is constantly growing, with every new YouTuber who finds their video that projects them into sight; there is the possibility that fans of other videos and other video bloggers will get the chance to see their video. Fandom generally finds it’s feet on social networks and has been able to develop itself through the use of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; respectively.

7 steps to building your online identity – www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UlcOX1fZW4

Fandoms by Tyler Oakley – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6lH_r4AsT4

YouTube is designed for social media, it is a form of social networking that works towards the aims of providing it’s users with the ability to express, share and divulge into the world of video sharing and video blogging. The links above are fun examples of how online identities and fandom traits. The number of users who have gained a following for their work is growing with every new app that offers a new way in which to interact with others through social networking. YouTube in particular raised the bar for ways in which to present yourself and your identity to the world. Video blogging is key here to understanding the nature of having an online identity through video blogging itself, or the various other ways to provide content to the website. Any person, business, corporation have the ability and permission to share content onto YouTube and have it available and viewable to anyone throughout the entire world.

These people that are partnered with YouTube ultimately are making money from creating content for YouTube. Facing the reality of becoming more than a simple video blogger means focusing on the outcomes of how people will view the work. Online identities vary to everyone who chooses to use YouTube and other forms of social media as a way in which to express and become a heightened version of themselves. It is here that we are also able to acknowledge the sheer velocity of how much impact a YouTuber can have on media culture and social networking, these are practically celebrities in their own way and have the power to rule social networks through their legions of fans.

Having explored the idea of how fandom and acknowledgment claims fame and pushes online identities into the stratosphere, it can be seen through the work that I have already begun to do in regards to this FMP, that it can get you noticed. Having people who I have never met and also those who I have come up to me regularly to talk about the YouTube videos and the work that I have already started, the most of the planned work has yet to be done and already there is a growing following that is talking and demanding content. The beginning has only just started, so to have that following already is very encouraging. Who knows where this will lead myself and the project as a whole, but from looking into how vital and viable social media is in todays modern world, there is certain promise in the horizon for the FMP as it progresses and develops further.

361MC: Research & Development – Fame & Social Media

Recognition through social media has become a prime example of the way in which our modern day technology has advanced our ways of communicating. Fame through social media is not something that could not have ever been anticipated, with enormous and poignant effect on our younger generations. It has become easier and less complicated to now feature an entire outlook of life on the internet, with so many people choosing to share their lives with the internet. Through this entire idea of fame through social media and a presence beyond, the questions raised regarding it’s true potential of effecting society are raised; are we in a new and advanced socially technological age where anyone is able to have a voice and intellectual opinion? Or are we in a generation of pure fakery, with anyone and everyone jumping at the chance of selling out through social media and it’s opportunities to those who find ‘fame’.

The opportunities through social media has not only grown with every new app that becomes available to the population, but it’s entire scope and messages they send out has become more dynamic and socially conscious of the everyday person. The beginnings of finding fame within the social media spectrum is all but appealing to anyone who belongs to various sites, due to the little effort required and it’s general audience of the entire globe; but with great ease and power comes an enormous challenges of online identities, truth and above all the ability to influence an entire audience. Can this be a good thing, or are we all oblivious to the fact that there are so many people online that are ‘famous’ for generally doing nothing, becoming a group of segregated people who not only use the internet as a scapegoat for their thoughts, beliefs and inner most desires; but also use it in hopes of becoming popular and recognised for doing exactly these things? What’s the reality?

The degenerate way of thinking that the social media lifestyle is the new frontier of living is something other than great, it’s delusional. The culture of celebrity has changed, as social media has grown. The social media way of living offers the chance to live life through virtual reality, you can be and do whatever you want, to gain good fortune of followers, likes and recognition. TV reality shows are also prime examples of heightened ways of using fame for good fortune, the likes of shows such as Keeping Up With The Kardashians or The Only Way Is Essex have all spawned celebrities and now with social media at a peak, now ordinary people can deem their own lives more than a reality and push it into the media sphere. Drawing a distinction between being talented and good at something and then simply being famous for no reason, because it’s the easiest way of living is simply foolish.

Despite all of the negative factors that come with the fame, those who achieve a notable presence have had their lives changed for the better; with most actually using it as their main career choice. Creating networks has never been so easy and for a selected few, it certainly pays off and pays the bills for that matter. In researching more specifically towards YouTube and it’s prime contributors to the social network, It can be seen that there are a growing number of video bloggers who have found their videos to be watched by thousands and some even achieve millions of views. The video sharing website has hundreds of popular video bloggers.

How YouTube works generally has become one of the main reasons that social media is producing fame and fortune. Through millions of viewers and subscribers to a channel, the website offers contributors the chance to become partnered with YouTube through the videos that they set up and create as well as effectively beginning to make money in doing so. Through sites that have 100,000 subscribers and more, YouTube offers money to any video that reaches a particular goal of views. The website basically uses it’s advertising partnerships to make money for themselves as well as their ‘partners’ who generally keep YouTube going. If you have a popular video, you basically get paid for each viewer.

In order to gain a sense of how fame and social media work together, here are some just a couple examples of how people from YouTube have gone on to find fame through their work:

Tyler Oakley – 4,357,350 subscribing viewers: Since becoming notable for his videos on YouTube, Tyler travels the world and speaks at teenage conferences regarding various subjects. He has a successful merchandise online store, has presented on MTV for the past few years and has been working with various charities fundraising for a number of projects. 

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvVuqRzGVqRlmZYlTf99M_w

Shane Dawson – 3,702,289 subscribing viewers: Since finding fame on YouTube, Shane has begun a radio podcast that also has millions of listeners. He has also got a merchandise store that has products that are sold worldwide. He has sold TV show scripts to TV networks and has also starred, written and directed various independent films. 

https://www.youtube.com/user/shane

Joey Graceffa – 3,323,606 subscribing viewers: Since YouTube fame, Joey has used it to further his career in film and television. He created a web series ‘storytellers’ that has proved a hit as well as setting up various merchandise opportunities. Joey also has appeared on various US reality shows, most notably The Amazing Race.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGCPAOQDZa_TTTXDr5byjww

Glozell –2,706,276 subscribing viewers: Since YouTube began, Glozell has been there. She has used this YouTube page as her platform for her comedic skills, bringing in new fans for her work. She has used the success as a platform for her fans too, by having annual market production stalls for her entire fan base. Merchandise is also available from her.

https://www.youtube.com/user/glozell1

Miranda Sings – 1,226,220 subscribng viewers: A growing fan base that has developed slowly through time, people are discovering who Miranda is and what she is about all the time. Miranda (aka Colleen) has travelled and toured the world with her one woman shows. Her sheer volume of character makes the channel. She also acts and has merchandise for sale.

https://www.youtube.com/user/mirandasings08

As it can be seen, there are a number of ways in which to turn a successful social media network and have it develop into every aspect of your life. These are just a simple few of the success stories that YouTube has to offer, with so many more still coming into fruition. So many of the success stories however are all from the same sort of background, film and TV. Not only are they all familiar with the YouTube style of living, but they also use it as a way in which to promote themselves in order to gain other job roles. This is something that can be seen as being an opportunist, but also as something that comes along with the role of choosing to be a video blogger. The links signify that there is the possibility of cashing out from fame through social media, but given the chance in this day and age; so many people would if there was no other alternative.

The fact that so many of these success’ also use their fame through social media as an opportunity to make more money is also showing how this business is taken seriously, in order to make money there has to be the platform. Certainly there is room for development in the eyes of those who are beginning, like me in how the YouTube and other social networks will be functioning in the near future. Things need to change and need to be fresh in order t be profitable and desired.

What I take from all of this important research is that there are so many easy ways out of gaining fame out of social media. Through the forms of fakery as well as through the natural and hard working way. I have seen a number of profiles that have had a huge amount of success, social media has the ability to change lives in this modern time. I have also come to the conclusion that through this project, it is important to keep a focus on the overall outcome of the project and what it means to do everything properly and officially. I want my project to be something fun and liberating for not only myself but the people who will choose to tune in and watch, through social media I plan on advertising my videos and the entire project; but in finding fame through this is no goal of choice. It is through persistence of hard work and good content that these success stories happen, but through different angles have these stories been achieved. This project has to stay in tune with the creator and the overall vision of having this channel and the entire social media applications as a platform for Joshua Farmer and my work as a media producer, with some fun being had along the way too.