Thumbs up for rock n roll!

What do you think? Will this kid replace Charlie and his brother as the cutest kid online? He was so proud of himself for riding his bike for the first time, such a universal feeling (admit it, you were pretty proud when you realised your Mum or Dad wasn’t holding on to you anymore). I just think this is gorgeous.

On an actual theoretical level, this is a potential Youtube star – will we see him on talk shows and enveloped in the mass media machine? It is also a self aware home video created for a larger audience. The person filming this, I assume the little boy’s dad asked him what he would say to other kids – not just for a home audience it seems. Like the ‘Hey’ video this video is cool ‘because it’s reality.’ It’s the shared experience that makes it cool, as well as the cute kid!’


serious youtube

Week 9.

Burgess and Green argue that: ordinary people who become celebrities through their own creative efforts “remain within the system of celebrity native to, and controlled by, the mass media” (Reader, page 269).

Youtube has spawned many “celebrities” since its inception in 2005, but how many of them do you actually remember? Do you remember their names, or what they did in the first place? The obvious answer is Justin Bieber, there is also OK Go (who I had forgotten about until it was mentioned in Burgess and Green), and on an Australian level – the Chk Chk Boom girl and the boy who took revenge on his bully are the ones I remember. That’s not a whole lot really, and I’m generally someone who keeps up on useless celebrity gossip. All of these examples definitely have found fame though the “system” of celebrity that is “controlled by, the mass media.” (Burgess and Green 2009:23).

What I have noticed though, is that these people are making cultural productions that are already valued by and covered in mass media. Music, acting and the weird and wacky are what the mainstream media cover. I just watched another Netcommer’s video answer to this question and she talked about people who are famous only within the Youtube community, and how their fans are annoyed if they “sell out” and cross over to mainstream media.

So this got me thinking about the millions of videos on Youtube and the millions of people uploading them. It reminded me of Sean Cubitt’s assertion that “the great thing about the internet is that it allows every minor interest, every academic specialism, every rare and refined hobby a place, so the numbers really don’t matter in the same way as the old media.” (Cubitt 2008:45) It’s all these specialisations and hobbies that are ignored by the mainstream media in the first place that thrive online and have online celebrity-status and a certain degree of power and influence within their communities.

So the example I’m going to talk about is a guy calling himself Day9. Here’s his video autobiography (I haven’t had the chance to watch it all yet, It’s 1 hour and 50 minutes!)

Over 2 million people have watched that video alone (It’s so long that really is true dedication!) and his total views are over 18 million. So what does he do that makes people care so much? He commentates his games of Starcraft 2 and uploads them in order to help others improve and entertain them as well. He is a Starcraft celebrity and contributes his cultural productions via Youtube and his website. He is outside the mainstream media, because gaming has really always been outside the mainstream media. His story demonstrates Burgess and Green’s idea that “Youtube has its own, internal system of celebrity based on and reflecting values that don’t necessarily match up neatly with those of the ‘dominant’ media.” (2009:24)

It shows that Burgess and Green are right – to a degree. Celebrity and power in areas that are already valued and controlled by the mass media is only powerful for Youtubers when they “pass through the gate-keeping mechanisms of old media” (Burgess and Green 2009:24) but for areas and interests that have always bypassed the mainstream, they will continue to do so and have their own celebrities without needing to be validated by anyone outside their communities.


Burgess, Jean and Joshua Green (2009), ‘YouTube and The Mainstream Media’, in YouTube: Online and Participatory Culture (pp. 15-37), Cambridge: Polity Press.

Cubitt, Sean (2009), ‘Codex and Capability’, in Lovink, Geert and Sabine Niederer (ed.) Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube (pp. 45-51),  Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures.

Tech Religions

You’ve had the argument. If you are remotely interested or involved with computers and have friends who are, you’ve had the argument. Depending on which side of the fence you, depends on who you think started it all. I’m talking about the PC-Mac divide. It can be worse than listening to your Young Liberal friend argue economic policy with your Greens friend. For the sake of disclosure – I use a PC. Always have, but can’t say I always will. My netbook was a gift and I appreciate it and love it and love the fact that I can buy cheap parts to upgrade it. It also has a 10″ screen so I don’t feel like I will ever need an iPad. I do feel like a traitor when I see my friends’ shiny MacBook Pros, with their prettiness and sleek interface and the amazing media projects they produce. Then I remind myself that they paid about $800 just for the Apple symbol on the back and that Apple employees in China are exploited. Although I’m still not totally convinced I’ll never buy one.

This article makes me laugh, mainly because I haven’t jumped the PC ship yet. What we learn in Net Communications is not just about how we communicate with other people online, but how we communicate with the technology itself and with the new and different mediums that have been created. Obviously, the Mac/PC argument isn’t  new, it’s been around since the 1980s. A sign of how far it is going is the MRI scan’s findings that “When images of Apple products were displayed in front of him, his brain reacted the same way a religious follower’s brain reacts when they are shown imagery associated with their religion.”

Is Mac the new religion? Will we be seeing peace talks between Mac and PC users in fifty years time? Is Steve Jobs the latest cult leader? He kind of is already, seeing as his health weighs so heavily on Apple stock prices.

Is this a normal way to react with technology? Personally I hope this doesn’t become the norm. I question everything, even things I absoloutely without question love, I question. We need to question our technology too, otherwise it might do stuff we don’t like – think about all those times you sigh and go and change your Facebok privacy settings again because Mark Zuckerberg decided your saturday night pictures needed to run free to your grandparents and bosses… If we don’t question it, what will it do without us?

And on the Mac/PC note I decided some Youtube would be fun

More Youtube funtimes

I’ve got a bit of a wedding theme going on with these videos, but it’s not my fault it’s what I’ve been linked to! The first one is a wedding proposal, it’s really cute:

and this one is a “Save the date” invitation in video form:

What strikes me about both these videos is that they are for family and friends but the makers of both are both very aware that there is a greater audience. Both have Youtube channels and blogs to explain what they are doing. The second one acknowledges the original composers of all the songs they use, and because it’s a parody and uses cliches it doesn’t seem to break copyright law. These videos make me think of people who are kind of trying to become Youtube stars. The proposal actually has a director who is credited and is website is listed in the caption.

I also found this website Viral Viral Videos that takes the effort out of finding these cute funny or weird videos. It all seems very self-aware, I think it would be hard to argue that there are many true merit-based only Youtube stars now.

The links to the blog is here, and the channels here and here

A question of quality

When we studied Youtube in class, we talked about whether it takes extra effort on the part of the user because they have to ignore quality issues. We forgive dodgy sound, pixellation and buffering sounds because we don’t expect it to be perfect. Youtube is the main way alot people access videos now, I wonder if Armin Medosch, who acknowledges that “[Creative Commons] does not pay any attention at all to the issue of an economic model for supporting cultural production” could see this happening with music. Making quality music with proper recording and production costs money. If people stop making money, but keep making music, will quality be the cost? People who download illegally sometimes say “yeah it’s not the best quality but it will do.” If musicians and other artists become only hobbyists and not professionals because there is no financial benefit to what they do, will we be consistently making that extra effort and forgiving short comings in quality? If Creative Commons and the Free Software movement do become the way of the future, then maybe quality may be what we lose. I’ve tried free software such as Open Office, Gimp and Audacity, but have always found the professional software, MS Word, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Soundbooth as much easier and better programs. If we want everything to be free and open, will we have to settle for less than perfect all the time?

Youtube funtimes!

I just thought I’d post this video because it makes me happy, the Youtube page is interesting with links to buy Chris Brown’s song there. I really think this is a home video, if it wasn’t such a new song I wonder if Sony would have monetised it in the same way?? Home videos and copyright is so confusing, if I posted home videos of me singing along to the Spice Girls am I really trying to make money off what they have done or just embarrass my sisters and cousins in the clip? What do you think? Was Sony right to monetise this clip or not?