As described in my pitch video, I will be conducting an autoethnographic research project in the media niche lifestyle vlogging, primarily on YouTube, as well as an accompanying Instagram account of related content. The full field site is mapped in my previous blog post.
Developing my online persona is framed through Moore, Barbour and Lee’s (2017) work in the five dimensions of online persona. The first dimension, the public self, essentially describes the eradication of anonymity in most online experiences, which while it sounds a bit dystopian, helps to relieve some of the anxiety around the idea that people will actually see what I make online. The mediatised, performative, collective and value dimensions of persona, as outlined in my pitch, describe my approach in forming a persona similar to those in vlogs that I enjoy and whose audience I’m already in. Specifically in the value dimension, this persona includes aspirational characteristics emphasised in online spaces to produce a particular type of reputation, which has support to suggest are eventually subsumed an incorporated into an offline persona. Basically, I am aiming to create vlogs in the style and persona like those that I watch (like Jenn Im, leahsfieldnotes, Michelle Choi), which I often choose to watch because I want to emulate certain aspects of their lifestyles, which in turn then influences the kind of content I would choose to create as well. These kinds of videos include things like cooking, healthy recipe ideas, fashion, books and movies, general life chores, casual conversations; all done in a conversational, relaxing, informal video style, as if you are catching up with a friend.
Understanding these concepts, as well as comparing and contrasting my experiences as a participant observer with existing research (linked below) allows for additional insights through my experience of creating similar content. Delineating my own experience in watching vlogs may affect the way I develop my online persona and produce content, and vice versa, and this information will be collected, analysed, and communicated under the frameworks and principles of autoethnographic research.
Links and resources:
Barbour, K, Lee, K & Moore, C 2017, ‘Online persona research: an Instagram case study‘, Persona Studies, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 1-11.
Biel, J & Gatica-Perez, D 2013, ‘The YouTube Lens: Crowdsourced Personality Impressions and Audiovisual Analysis of Vlogs’, IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 41-55.
Mamori, DR, Najib, M, Maulana, A 2020, ‘Determinants of interest in using travel vlogs on YouTube as a reference for travelling‘, Journal of Applied Management, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 622-631.
Sanchez-Cortes, D, Kumano, S, Otsuka, K, Gatica-Perez, D 2015, ‘In the Mood for Vlog: Multimodal Inference in Conversation Social Video‘, ACM Transactions on Interactive Intelligent Systems, vol. 5, no. 2.
Stein, J, Koban, K, Joos, S & Ohler, P 2020, ‘Worth the Effort? Comparing Different YouTube Vlog Production Styles in Terms of Viewers’ Identification, Parasocial Response, Immersion, and Enjoyment’, Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts.
Teijeiro-Mosquera, L, Biel, J, Alba-Castro, JL & Gatica-Perez, D 2015, ‘What Your Face Vlogs About: Expressions of Emotion and Big-Five Traits Impressions in YouTube‘, IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 193-205.