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Vlogging careers: everyday experise, collaboration and authenticity

Vlogging careers: everyday experise, collaboration and authenticity
Vlogging careers: everyday experise, collaboration and authenticity
The rise in ‘entrepreneurial vlogging’ has attracted widespread attention in the global media, with articles emerging about the superstar vloggers who are earning a lot of money for pursuing their professed passions. The phenomenon of vlogging is positioned as something that ‘anyone’ can do, with YouTube appearing to offer the opportunity to combine freedom of creative expression with the possibility of making a living. The idea that anyone can vlog and make a career out of it is pervasive, yet only a few manage to do so.

For those who are successful, there follows hostility from some critics (Bish, 2014) and stories of failure. Some of the most popular vloggers attract a great deal of criticism for attention-seeking when seemingly doing little more than sitting in front of the camera and talking. Critique that focuses on the celebrity however, tends to obscure the additional labour that is involved alongside the creation of video content. The effort in designing, creating, and sharing that goes into these videos is little acknowledged. These complementary activities and the specialist subject knowledge that is often in evidence highlight the expertise required by vloggers. To examine vlogging’s status as part of the ‘new normal’ of cultural work, we show how signalling expertise is a key aspect of vloggers’ online self-presentation as they build their cultural work career.

This chapter is organised into two main parts. In part one, we reference a range of media sources to examine the increasing public visibility of vlogging as a cultural work career. Of particular note is the curiosity around vlogging as a commercially viable undertaking and the how-to guidance materials that have emerged to steer would-be YouTube entrepreneurs onto a successful path. The notion of career paths is particularly relevant to our discussion of the ‘new normal’ and the ways in which vlogging can be understood both as a stepping stone towards established careers in media, journalism, fashion and so on, and as a distinctive occupation in its own right. In bringing together a mixture of ‘how-to’ materials and more general journalistic coverage, we consider how ‘starting up’ and ‘sustaining’ oneself as a vlogger are explored. Having considered some of the broader stories of the successes and failures of vlogging and questions of career-building, part two examines the importance of expertise for vlogging careers.
In part two, we specifically focus on how expertise is signalled by four prominent vloggers from around the world: UK, Ireland and Korea. The vloggers were involved in gaming, fashion, make-up and comedy. These areas were chosen because they require a degree of knowledge and skill on behalf of the vlogger, and we wanted to analyse how such forms of expertise were presented. We analysed the social media presence of each vlogger to address how signalling-expertise strategies may be tailored to suit multiple platforms and multiple audiences. Our discussion for this chapter focuses on two themes from our analysis. The first is the ways in which associations with other vloggers formed an important part of how they signalled their expertise and helped to attract more fans. The second is the ways in which expertise is signalled in the staging of authentic vlogging identities and locations. Beyond the more obvious work involved in creating and uploading a video, our analysis highlights the extensive range of other activities and undertakings that help to signal expertise as vloggers negotiate their ‘career’.
147-170
Palgrave Macmillan
Ashton, Daniel
b267eae4-7bdb-4fe3-9267-5ebad36e86f7
Patel, Karen
94dc1f03-7d6a-4539-a5d6-992c5ebeedd1
Taylor, S.
Luckman, S.
Ashton, Daniel
b267eae4-7bdb-4fe3-9267-5ebad36e86f7
Patel, Karen
94dc1f03-7d6a-4539-a5d6-992c5ebeedd1
Taylor, S.
Luckman, S.

Ashton, Daniel and Patel, Karen (2018) Vlogging careers: everyday experise, collaboration and authenticity. In, Taylor, S. and Luckman, S. (eds.) The New Normal of Working Lives. Cham. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 147-170. (Dynamics of Virtual Work, , (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66038-7)) , (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-66038-7).

Record type: Book Section

Abstract

The rise in ‘entrepreneurial vlogging’ has attracted widespread attention in the global media, with articles emerging about the superstar vloggers who are earning a lot of money for pursuing their professed passions. The phenomenon of vlogging is positioned as something that ‘anyone’ can do, with YouTube appearing to offer the opportunity to combine freedom of creative expression with the possibility of making a living. The idea that anyone can vlog and make a career out of it is pervasive, yet only a few manage to do so.

For those who are successful, there follows hostility from some critics (Bish, 2014) and stories of failure. Some of the most popular vloggers attract a great deal of criticism for attention-seeking when seemingly doing little more than sitting in front of the camera and talking. Critique that focuses on the celebrity however, tends to obscure the additional labour that is involved alongside the creation of video content. The effort in designing, creating, and sharing that goes into these videos is little acknowledged. These complementary activities and the specialist subject knowledge that is often in evidence highlight the expertise required by vloggers. To examine vlogging’s status as part of the ‘new normal’ of cultural work, we show how signalling expertise is a key aspect of vloggers’ online self-presentation as they build their cultural work career.

This chapter is organised into two main parts. In part one, we reference a range of media sources to examine the increasing public visibility of vlogging as a cultural work career. Of particular note is the curiosity around vlogging as a commercially viable undertaking and the how-to guidance materials that have emerged to steer would-be YouTube entrepreneurs onto a successful path. The notion of career paths is particularly relevant to our discussion of the ‘new normal’ and the ways in which vlogging can be understood both as a stepping stone towards established careers in media, journalism, fashion and so on, and as a distinctive occupation in its own right. In bringing together a mixture of ‘how-to’ materials and more general journalistic coverage, we consider how ‘starting up’ and ‘sustaining’ oneself as a vlogger are explored. Having considered some of the broader stories of the successes and failures of vlogging and questions of career-building, part two examines the importance of expertise for vlogging careers.
In part two, we specifically focus on how expertise is signalled by four prominent vloggers from around the world: UK, Ireland and Korea. The vloggers were involved in gaming, fashion, make-up and comedy. These areas were chosen because they require a degree of knowledge and skill on behalf of the vlogger, and we wanted to analyse how such forms of expertise were presented. We analysed the social media presence of each vlogger to address how signalling-expertise strategies may be tailored to suit multiple platforms and multiple audiences. Our discussion for this chapter focuses on two themes from our analysis. The first is the ways in which associations with other vloggers formed an important part of how they signalled their expertise and helped to attract more fans. The second is the ways in which expertise is signalled in the staging of authentic vlogging identities and locations. Beyond the more obvious work involved in creating and uploading a video, our analysis highlights the extensive range of other activities and undertakings that help to signal expertise as vloggers negotiate their ‘career’.

Text Ashton, D. and Patel, K. (2018) 'Vlogging careers', New Normal of Working Lives
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 9 May 2017
Published date: 2018
Additional Information: This chapter discusses vlogging as an increasingly visible and normalised form of cultural work. The authors criticise the all-too-common assumption that the new careers vlogging offers are open to anyone, arguing that how-to guidance and journalistic coverage understate the barriers to entry and obscure the various forms of expertise required, including the underlying strategies vloggers use to engage their audiences by interacting with fans and collaborators, and the skills they require to stage a relatable authenticity. The chapter analyses the social media presence of four prominent vloggers.

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 417512
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/417512
PURE UUID: 1c3d4e68-647d-400b-bb57-529a048efb61
ORCID for Daniel Ashton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3120-1783

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Date deposited: 01 Feb 2018 17:30
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:21

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Author: Daniel Ashton ORCID iD
Author: Karen Patel
Editor: S. Taylor
Editor: S. Luckman

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