Extra Credit- Fred!

May 7, 2010

The first time I ever saw “Fred” was about a year ago.  My younger sister, then only 12, was sitting at my dad’s computer cracking up.  I went over to see what was so funny and my sister told me that she was watching Fred.  She proceeded to show me “Fred Gets Detention” which at first I didn’t like because Fred’s voice was so high pitched that it hurt my ears.  As I kept watching the video though I found myself laughing (especially when he prank called his teacher and then says “how’d she know it was me?!!”).   I think that for most adults, Fred’s videos wouldn’t be amusing but I can definitely see how they would be popular with my sister’s age group.  When my sister and her friends were watching the videos a year ago, all of them thought Fred’s voice was really that high.  Having that misconception probably makes the videos funnier to them.  Even today when I called up my sister to tell her that I was writing a blog entry about Fred, she still hadn’t come to the conclusion that his voice was just computer generated – she assumed but wasn’t sure.   When I told her that I thought it was funny that Fred’s YouTube page says he’s six, my sister (having not read the page before) finally put it all together and realized that Fred was all a joke.   Apparently she had missed the iCarly episode starring Fred where he comes clean about having enhanced his voice.

Speaking of iCarly, the fact that Fred was on Nickelodeon further proves the point that his videos are geared to younger kids.  (And as most people know, kids have a very odd sense of humor – at least my sister does).

Another reason why Fred might be so popular is he advertises for himself a lot.  He’s on twitter, myspace, Meez, iTunes, and he even has his own store.  The creator of Fred, Lucas Cruikshank, even advertises for his character on his own twitter and lets his friends know when he is uploading new videos.  After doing my own YouTube video, I know that simply advertising for yourself can bring in a lot of viewers.

Yelp!

April 27, 2010

This was really difficult for me.  I am currently taking “Journalism and Law” where we’ve spent part of the semester talking about how you can be sued for libel depending on how you write a restaurant review.  I wrote one semi-negative review for the Monkey Bar and I was trying to be very cautious about how I worded it so that it was clearly all my own opinion.

The other review that I wrote was for Panera Bread in Hadley.  Even though my review was positive, I still had trouble writing it because I felt like I had to address the negative review someone posted and defend my opinion.

As far as reading other reviews, I thought most of them were dead on.  I only looked at a small selection of restaurants in the Amherst area though.  Most of the reviews I saw were serious and seemed to be well-though out, however, I also found a few funny ones like this review for D.P. Dough:

Andrea C.

and iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii eeeee iiiiii will always love you

The only thing that surprised me was that McDonald’s had four stars.  It only had one review and the person’s reasoning for the high rating was because the drive-through is open 24/7.  I expected McDonald’s to have a low rating because the food is so bad for you.

The last thing that I want to mention about my Yelp experience is that I really liked the “useful,” “funny,” and “cool” buttons.  I just found it amusing that you could consider a review cool.

Using YouTube

April 27, 2010

Going in to this project, my strategy to get the most views/ comments on my YouTube video was to film an event.  My reasoning was that 1) I could advertise for my video at the event itself and 2) Most events have Facebook pages where I could post my video to draw attention to it.

I was originally going to film an event at southwest week because most students would be with their friends and would be apt to search for a video of themselves later on if I told them what to search for.  Unfortunately, I left my camera in my friend’s car the day before class and since I can’t take videos with my phone, I had to wait until a week later to make a video.  My video ended up being of the Boston Marathon.  I volunteered at the event and was in charge of a corral of runners, which was perfect because I had the attention of a about a hundred people.  Before the race started I made an announcement to everyone in my corral letting them know that I was going to be taking a video of all of them taking off.  I told them the title of the video so that they’d all know what to look for. I figured that people would want to show their families the video once they were finished the race.

The next part of my strategy was timeliness.  I knew that I had to get the video up fast because people would only be searching “Boston Marathon” for a few days after the event.  Also, I figured that the people who were in my corral would want to show their families the video once they were finished the race.  That said, the second I got back to my house I started working on the video and I managed to get it up on YouTube just as the elite runners were making it to the finish line.  That first night I got about 150 hits.  Other ways I advertised my video was I added it to the Boston Marathon Facebook fan page and I added it in a comment that I made to and ESPN article about the event.  I tried to add it as a comment on other sites that had articles about the marathon, but most of them denied my comment because it had a link in it.  One site specifically sent me a message saying that they didn’t allow viral videos.  The last thing I did, and probably the most effective, was I added my link to my Facebook profile and asked my friends to comment.  I got 355 views in total (the third most in the class) and I got 5 comments.  All of the comments were from my friends though.  I responded twice, simply thanking them for commenting.

One of the things that surprised me about this process was that Facebook was not the most effective way to advertise my video.  When clicking on the “views” button on YouTube, it had a breakdown of how people got to my link.  Facebook only brought in 36 views.  The most hits I got were listed as being from “other/viral.”  I’m not sure what that means but I’m thinking that maybe my announcement at the marathon itself was the most effective.

I Digg it.

April 27, 2010

My Digg experience started with an attempt to add friends.  When I first joined, it immediately gave me a choice of where to search for friends, and I chose to link Digg to my hotmail account.  Unfortunately, it never found anyone that I knew.  Still wanting to add friends, I decided to do a search.  I typed in a few of my friends names who I thought would be most likely to use a site like Digg but again, found no one.

Giving up on adding friends, I moved on to the main page.  I was shocked to find the types of articles that had made it to the top of Digg.  Going into this, I assumed that Digg would be somewhat like Fark.  The types of articles that I always hear about/ get sent via e-mail are usually either really big news stories or funny articles so that’s what I expected people to be digging.  Most of the stories I saw, however, were about technology (mainly Apple).

Another thing that I didn’t realize about Digg, was that it’s more than just news articles.  For instance, the article that showed up second from the top on the homepage the last time I logged on was just spam!  The headline was about healthcare but when you clicked on it, all that was there was an ad.  I was also not anticipating to see cartoons on their but sure enough I stumbled on an article called “America: We’re (Not) #1” that was a comic.  Later on in the week I noticed that people dug videos and pictures too.

Seeing the videos inspired me to add my own YouTube video to Digg. No one dug it except me, but at least I put it out there.  Other than my own video, the only other thing that I “dug” was an article about a potential cure for breast cancer.  The only thing that I buried was the “spam” article.  When I clicked buried, I got a message that said Buried! We’ll try to give you fewer ads like that one.”  This made me happy because if I keep burying things I don’t like maybe Digg will start giving me articles that are geared more to my interests so I won’t have to sort through a bunch of articles that bore me.

As far as commenting goes, I am not a fan.  I hate commenting on things because I rarely have anything to say, but for the sake of this assignment I did comment on one article.  The article was called “The REAL Difference between Europe and the USA” and it was a picture of a bunch of comparisons about the U.S. and Europe.  For example, there was the title “architecture” with two pictures of American architecture and two pictures of European architecture under it.  I honestly didn’t get which was supposed to be better, so that’s what I wrote.  It was difficult for me to figure out how to comment, because unlike on YouTube, not all the comments are listed along with the article itself – only 3 were shown.  Since I wanted to read what other people were saying before I wrote anything, I had to click on the small link that said “comments.”  Although I could see what other people were saying by clicking the link, I could no longer see the article which I thought was dumb.  Scrolling down I found the pink box that allowed me to add my comment.

Overall, Digg was a fun experience.  I enjoyed reading the various articles that other people digged.  Some of the articles that I read were from a paper in the U.K. which is something I never would have found on my own.  Although I doubt I will ever use Digg on a regular basis, I can definitely see myself browsing the site on nights when I’m procrastinating or when I’m bored at work and need something light to read.

My Video

April 19, 2010

It was so difficult to choose, but I’m going to have to go with these two as my favorites:

If you liked the Brookers video, you should also check out “the truth” and “phone calls” also done by her.

Part one: React to this quote:
YouTube proves that in practice the economic and cultural rearrangements that “participatory culture” stands for are as disruptive and uncomfortable as they might be potentially liberating. The debates and struggles around YouTube as a site of participatory culture…are less about technology and more about cultural and political questions: who gets to speak, and who gets the attention; what compensations or rewards there are for creativity and work; and the uncertainties around various forms of expertise and authority.

This quote is drawing on the idea that there is a thing called “YouTube-ness” that the site has created. The types of videos that become popular on YouTube aren’t like anything that could be seen in traditional media. I think the question of who gets to speak is quite simple: everyone. However, who gets the attention is much more difficult to answer. I think the one’s who get the attention are the ones who understands the “YouTube-ness,” meaning they know the types of people who watch YouTube videos and have a good idea of what they might find interesting. As far as compensation goes, I agree with Burgess and Green that most YouTube video creators are looking for attention and that is probably award enough for most of them.


Part two:
What do you make of the viral videos “Hey, Clip” and LonelyGirl15 and the stories and mythologies behind them?

I really liked the Hey, Clip. For one, I had never heard the song before and thought it was good. Secondly, it seemed well-planned out and the editing was impressive. I have tried matching up music to videos before and it’s not easy. (Especially when you have so many different shots in one video).
The LonelyGirl clip I had seen before. I was on YouTube one day a few years back and stumbled across it (I think because I was watching Brookers videos and she made mention of it). Anyway, I ended up reading an article not long after that said the whole thing was a hoax and that some guys had hired an actress to play the girl in order to take advantage of the YouTube craze that was going on. I never really looked at it again after that. It would have been interesting listening to the life of a teenage girl (because I was a teen at the time), but once I found out it was fake it lost its intrigue. If I wanted to watch some made-up series about a teen’s life, I could just watch T.V.

Part three: Comment on the design of YouTube. What are the merits and limitations of its design? How does its design make it different from other prominent social networking sites?

I hate YouTube’s new format!! Before I could type in a song title and I wouldn’t just find “the official video” but I’d find tons of re-makes. Now, the official videos come up first and it’s a lot harder (in my opinion) to find the quirky videos that everybody loves.
One good thing about YouTube is its home page helps you sort through all the videos that are posted. There are different sections: “Videos Being Watched Now,” “Featured Videos,” and “Most Popular.” This helps users keep up with what everyone else is looking at and also a way to help them discover other things they might like. The “tag” option when people post a video is also really helpful as a social networking device. This enables viewers who are interested in the subject of the video to find it (and others like it) more easily.
The downside of YouTube as a social networking site is that it’s not as intimate as sites such as Facebook, Myspace, or even Twitter. On YouTube, the information you get about people are limited unless the video makers make it appoint to share things on their pages. For instance, I was trying to find out more about “Tasha” the creator of the “hey clip.” And her YouTube site didn’t give as much information as say a Facebook page would.

While I was looking up things on google, I stumbled upon this video.  It’s really long but I think it’s funny/interesting.