Google+ YouTube = ?

With over 1 billion different people visiting YouTube each month, you could say its audience is pretty big. This means that any change that the site makes affects a lot of people; and we all know how people on the internet love change.

Last year, when YouTube announced its plan for Google+ integration into YouTube, it was met with positive media coverage. After all, it promised a cleaner comment section on the notoriously unpleasant site. However, once it began to implement the new system, Google was slammed with a sea of complaints.

There were some problems with the integration:
– It wasn’t really an ‘integration’ of G+; it was more of a forced signup. Not only was a G+ account a requirement in order to comment, both Gmail and YouTube repeatedly prompted for you to enter your full name. Once you eventually complied to do so, BAM! – You now had a (most likely unwanted) G+ account.
– The comment clean up didn’t work. “While the new system dealt with many spam issues that had plagued YouTube comments in the past, it also introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch, we saw some users taking advantage of them.”

YouTube does have its issues, but its audience can also be a very constructive and beneficial community. A recent study based on user engagement showed that YouTube viewers were the most active audience for advertising online. The community also has the potential (and uses it) to do awesome stuff globally. Initiatives like the Project for Awesome demonstrate the positivity that YouTube can bring to the internet.

Unfortunately, YouTube is blocked in many areas. Most recently, Turkey banned access to the site, as it did with Twitter. Turkey has done this in the past, and the Twitter ban has been lifted, leading to believe that YouTube access will be back soon. However there are still many countries that don’t allow this wonderful place of constructive community, endless content, and hateful, racist, homophobic, sexist rants of ‘free speech’.

Colbert

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Of Mice and Men

Today, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ was released. Filming began 11 months ago, and the movie is estimated to gross $80 million in its first weekend. YouTube’s ‘PewDiePie’ also released a video today: ‘Demon Simulator – DEMON GOAT’. His clip, posted 18 hours ago, has already gained 1.9 million views. These are two vastly different productions, yet they’re owned by the same mouse.

Yes, Disney, who acquired Marvel in 2009, also bought the YouTube multichannel network ‘Maker’. This deal (initially $500 million) “could end up being as much as $950 million if the company meets certain targets”. Several large production companies have been investing in these YouTube MCNs. Another big player in the field is DreamWorks, which owns ‘Awesomeness TV’, which (as of yesterday) owns ‘Big Frame’.

After Google took over the site for $1.65 billion, it launched its ‘Partner Program’ giving money to popular YouTubers for their content. The advertising revenue in 2013 was estimated at $5.6 billion. There are a lot of big numbers here, but the simple fact is that there’s lots of money to make out of YouTube; no matter who you are.

Time for a quick joke:
Knock Knock.
Who’s there?
Yahoo trying to challenge YouTube as a video platform.
*Everybody laughs hysterically*

Moving on… Clearly there’s quite a bit of fraternizing between major companies online. The test for YouTube will be how it holds on to its individuality. The site, its content creators, and their viewers all benefit from the huge amounts of money being pumped into the platform; however, it must avoid the dangers of over-commercialisation in order to maintain its popularity.

Ownership or Pirate Ship?

Ownership is an intricate concept with multiple pitfalls, exceptions, changes, traps and loopholes. Especially as society converges towards a vastly digital age, the definition and application of ‘ownership’ is important to grasp. Ownership is often used interchangeably with copyright; however, the two have very different implications.

Back in 1886, when the internet was still written on paper, a multilateral agreement was signed at the Berne Convention. Its purpose was to set the same guidelines for copyright globally, but America didn’t sign. This meant that the US made its own laws through bilateral agreements, making the standardisation less than successful.

When it comes to the infringement of copyright, the boundaries can be pretty obscure. A lot of the time, precedents set by past court cases are used to decide how to approach new breaches. This puts a lot of attention on the early defining cases to set the standards, and pressures future decisions to follow suit. Without the unified rules, countries differ in what they classify as legal. In Australia, the internet service provider iinet was ruled to be not responsible for its users’ infringement of copyright. Recently, the Netherlands, who had previously banned ISP’s from allowing access to ‘The Pirate Bay’, have ended the blockade. In the UK, similar bans are in place, with differing views on the effectiveness of the method. It’s easy to see that ownership is a highly contested issue.

Clearly, there is opposition to piracy and copyright infringement in every medium; but where does the responsibility lie? Depending on where you are, it could be the ISP, but it most often comes to not only the user of a website, but the owner as well. The creators of Pirate Bay were imprisoned in Sweden for internet piracy. The service is obviously criminal, but continues to operate by securing its servers in the cloud. Yet sites like YouTube have to operate above reproach if they want to avoid prosecution; using highly sophisticated systems, such as YouTube’s Content ID, to avoid copyright infringement.

The way we are consuming content has drastically evolved, and it will continue to change. ‘Ownership’ now has to keep up.

What’s a YouTube?

What is YouTube?

As a fond user of the World Wide Web, I naturally go straight to the best website ever created to find the answer:

What is YouTube

Since its creation in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, the site has become the second largest search engine, with 100 hours of content uploaded every minute and a billion people watching it. Despite its small beginnings as a place to watch children biting other children, YouTube has become a reputable destination to launch presidential campaigns and to make careers (“Thousands of channels are making six figures a year”). The variety and specificity of content on YouTube means that there is literally something for everyone.

It’s exciting to speculate how the site will develop into the future; however, it’s also interesting to see what changes were planned and how they were introduced. Since the introduction of channels and subscriptions, which made it easier to find and return to content you like, YouTube (at least for me) has become a sole replacement for television. You no longer have to flick through every station on the TV to find what you sort of want to watch; you can find exactly what you need directly, or have it brought to you.

The website is a real testament to the progression of convergence in technology and media. YouTube, however, is not in itself a great resource. Much like the growing majority of the internet, the product is created by the consumers. This means that the site’s greatest asset, above any advertising revenue, is its community of ‘YouTubers’ (which is how they make money, but let’s ignore that for the sentimental value). With the individually tailored homepage of recommendations and subscriptions, the site is a visible extension of your personality. So what does your use of YouTube say about you?

Women in Advertising

Is it possible to fight against your own cause, yet still win on all fronts? Apparently it is.

Advertising faces a lot of scrutiny when it comes to shaping the views of society, but that’s often just an easy scapegoat for critics to create a story out of. In his article ‘Ten things wrong with the ‘effects model’, David Gauntlett defines the model of media effects as the idea that “The mass media will commonly have direct and reasonably predictable effects upon the behaviour of their fellow human beings” (Gauntlett 1998). His first criticism is that “The effects model tackles social problems ‘backwards.’” Perhaps this is a better way to view the issue within critical analysis of commercial marketing; to understand that advertisers use specific strategies due to the demand of their audience.

As consumers in a vastly connected world, we have a powerful influence on what we’re shown. Advertising is no longer companies simply shoving their message at us; they now have to be aware of what good we want to see them doing (and how they can disguise the bad). Multinational giant ‘Unilever’ is a prime example of this. Through multiple campaigns spanning over several years, ‘Dove’ skin care (owned by Unilever) has developed itself as a brand of empowerment for women. This was a result of a shifting culture and the changing ideas of ‘real beauty’.  Could this be a company truly interested in establishing an impact for greater good; a pure example for all others to follow? – No.

As established by multiple commentators, Unilever isn’t the patron saint it wants to be viewed as. Unilever is also the parent company of ‘Lynx’, a brand notorious for its degrading depiction of women. “Accusing Lynx of peddling sexist advertisements is like informing Kyle Sandilands that his material is considered controversial. Well, duh” (Funnell, Miller 2012). Consumers are almost accustomed to the brand’s method of advertising, and the brand loves its publicity; good or bad. The issue that causes the most controversy is the connection between Dove and Lynx. Now, it could be said that this is an outrageous act of corporate hypocrisy; however, Gauntlett challenges people to reflect on things in an almost counter-intuitive way. To see how Unilever simply gives its target audiences what they want (or think they want).

Check out more in the links (not Lynx) below.

Photoshop Has Gone Too Far
If Women’s Roles In Ads Were Played By Men

Talk to me in the comments or on twitter @brendoncrossing

References:
Gauntlett, D 1998, ‘Ten things wrong with the ‘effects model’, theory.org.uk, Viewed 17 March 2014, http://www.theory.org.uk/effects.htm

Funnell N,Miller D 2012, Sexism dovetails with hypocrisy, Sydney Morning Herald, Viewed 17 March 2014, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/society-and-culture/sexism-dovetails-with-hypocrisy-20120620-20ocf.html

Greetings

I’ve always struggled with starting things, and as this is the beginning of something entirely new for me, I’m not completely sure how it’ll work. I know at the very least, it’ll be a place for me to talk about my Communication and Media Studies/Economics and Finance degree. The uncertainty lies in how I’ll incorporate my personal-ness into what I put here.

Will I talk about myself; about how I’m an 18 year-old Jesus-loving guitarist from Dapto, with an obsession for sport, a great interest in maths and science, and an unhealthy addiction to YouTube? – In some capacity, yes. Will it be a place for people to get lost and thoroughly confused by the labyrinth that is my strange (let’s call it poetic) interpretation of how I can use grammar and punctuation of the English language? – Almost certainly. Will it be an outlet for me to vent incessant rambling of petrifying fear, as I delve deep into my mind, discovering horrid, suppressed memories from my childhood? – I hope not.

Regardless, it will be a journey that I venture into, accompanied by (at least) my tutors, lecturers and whoever you are. So, as we press on together, I take pity on you, who by either choice or obligation are reading this incoherent gibberish from the mind of a crazy person named Brendon.

Image

Thoughts and discussion about the media.

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