Digital Ethnography- Study the Culture of Youtube
- Michael Welsh is an anthropologist that is attempting to explain how his viral video “The Machine is Us/ing Us” took over the internet “mediascape” from one post on Youtube through “User generated Content.” When examining what’s on Youtube he shows several examples how other videos that took over the Internet including “Charlie Bit my finger,” and the “Soulja Boys,” to show how the digital natives are taking over. He then uses his background in anthropology to see how to build a community through “Web cams, and screens.” I am guilty of watching the Kony Video and reposting it. I think that’s because now being an advocate for a cause is as simple as clicking on a link and sharing it. Reading the Huffington post article was disheartening, but I do think that Kony is still a bad guy who needs to be brought to justice. The Kony 2012 campaign is just a great example of how social media is changing the face of advocacy, awareness, and (since were talking about personal brand) us!
2/3 The clear three ideas that I got from Professors Wesch’s video, and his assignment for his students was number one Gary from New Jersey was probably the coolest guy ever. Starting a craze on the Internet perpetuated by Youtube where “Every bodies watching, but no bodies there.” This idea of a virtual community that we as the users create is unique and truly not mass media. As Wesch said “Gary is the First guy on the Digital Dance Floor.” The second main idea that I got from Wesch video is the idea of this Participant Observation, and is class assignment on Digital Ethnography, or “the study of culture on YouTube.” As Wesch said “Web is about linking people in ways that have never been linked before.” The third idea is the idea of connectedness that we experience from watching each other on vblogs, or Youtube, or any other site, “People have this really profound deep connection with other humans through Youtube, that they wouldn’t experience in real life, because they’re not allowed to stare.” The Invisible Children video “Kony 2012,” is attempting to connect people and get them involved through this digital community
4. The most difficult concept for me to understand is the issue with authenticity of persons identity on Youtube. I think part of the allure of having a vlog is to allow the individual to be who ever they want to be. Honestly most people are not 100% thrilled with their personal brand and their life. The beauty of the Internet is the ability is to create their own reality that suits them better. So who is to say they’re fake or liars?
5. When created Youtube was intended to be created by user generated content, is that still the case?
How can we use participant observation in Digital Media Class to gain a deeper understanding of the content were learning about?
What is the next step for sites like Youtube? Can they really continue to hold onto the sense of a digital community?
6. The next project is about digital storytelling. In my opinion that is exactly what Wesch is talking about. Youtube is a forum for individuals to share they’re story digitally. So it is inevitable that on the next project I will be using these concepts, I will be generating user content, I will be the producer, the director and the actor.