Thursday, April 18, 2013

YouTube Culture is Difficult to Define

As I brought up in class user-generated content and the qualities they possess are being copied by traditional media in order to appeal to the same audiences that are entertained by videos like Gangnam Style and Nyan Cat. Even in this class we can see that the online world, and specifically blogging is affecting the way classwork is collected. We don’t write papers for our weekly assignments, we write blogs. This YouTube culture that Burgess and Green speak of is even more influential then they think.

Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a Vlog series that is user-generated, and it is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It is casted and developed by Hank Green and Bernie Su and has 100 episodes only found on YouTube and linked through Tumblr. The series follows Lizzie Bennet through a modern-day version of the original, 397-page novel published in 1813.
This video series is a great example of what I’m talking about. The videos are high resolution, but aside from that their production value is no different than that of Hannah Hart’s My Drunk Kitchen. The only difference is that the story is an adaptation of a fictional novel, whereas Hannah Heart is performing off-the-cuff in a somewhat altered-original persona.

Simply looking at the content on YouTube doesn’t give us the whole picture of course- YouTube videos circulate and are made sense of on other websites; they are embedded in blogs, discussed in living rooms, and they are produced in rich, everyday or professional contexts.
-Burgess and Green (p. 38)

Everything from cat videos and “Charlie bit my finger” to videos like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (which was produced by a major film and television producer/director Joss Whedon) fall into this never-ending pit we call YouTube, and for some reason the top 10 most viewed videos are all vastly different from one another. They do have a common thread of “you have to see this to believe it” quality. This is the quality that so many traditional media producers are trying to get at, and in my opinion, few of them are succeeding. 

1 comment:

  1. Hailee, I appreciated your comments about YouTube and how traditional media is copying them to attempt to appeal to the same audiences. I don't know that it will be possible because there is a sense of freedom to be yourself on YouTube that is not found in other media. You can be made to feel special just by sharing something that you think is important, funny, or amazing. Burgess and Green said that popular videos are not just a reflection of the tastes of the YouTube audiences, but also of what YouTube is and how it is used. I don't think that traditional media can replicate that.