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Turning to YouTube: Jim ODoherty, March 2008

When I interviewed him in March 2008, Jim stated that he had to reinvent himself after the strike. He clearly expressed the necessity of strengthening his entrepreneurial role, while at the same time conning his creative role to the Web 2.0 approach of amateur participation. Given that Jim had a considerable track record and reputation as an NBC showrunner, one might of course wonder why he would redene his role outside professional routines. In a seminal paper on the changing roles of above the line workers, for example, Wayne Baker and Robert Faulkner described how roles were used as resources when the blockbuster strategy disrupted Hollywood production in the 1970s and 1980s.26 In this tumultuous industrial context, claiming the role of a producer or writer-director allegedly provided the institutional and cultural In what sense, then, if any, was Jim using roles as resources? Having been an accomplished writer-producer, in what ways would YouTube make him strive to become a producer, and to what ends? From a Commonist perspective, one might argue that Jim simply realized his new entrepreneurial role in a market characterized by the adoption of novel ideas within social networks for production and consumption,28 while supporters of the Chicken version of youser agency might argue that he very obviously felt forced into his own, degrading reinvention as a YouTube volunteer. I am afraid, however, that things turn out to be a little more complicated. Lets have a closer look at Jims aims and plans and then explore the routes of agency in the construction of his then present future. 112 113 Usage

I am Oprah, of course! Oprahs Message To YouTube

The Oprah brands faltering steps into the world of participatory media are all the more interesting given that the Oprah show is ostensibly built around, or claims to try and harness, a conversational form and a democratic ethos that could have been eminently compatible with YouTube as a participatory media platform. As well as adopting a more conversational, improvisatory and intimate mode of address than the talk-show hosts who had come before her on American television, Oprah staged an immediate and embodied relationship with her audience by offering them tears and hugs. 20 She was an early innovator in the talk-show format, emphasizing the dialogic possibilities of television through her apparently unscripted performances and the placement of 102 103 Usage

Hot for Words Sarcasm in HD

With rapid-re delivery and acrid commentary, Michael Buckleys What the Buck?! program has similarly brought the vlogger to the attention of the media industry outside of YouTube. What the Buck?! which delivers regular celebrity news and pop-culture commentary with a decidedly camp affect is regularly among the top-subscribed channels of all time. Buckleys YouTube success has brought him to the attention of executives at HBO, who in 2008 signed the comedian to a development deal with the network, purportedly to work on a project unlike his YouTube show. Aping the style of a news update, and following in the tradition of long-running US cable program Talk Soup (now known as The Soup) and the footsteps of prominent blogger and pop-culture commentator Perez Hilton, who came to the attention of the mainstream press in 2005, Buckleys show provides celebrity news and decidedly bitchy commentary on popular culture. Like Orlova, Buckleys success on YouTube stems in part from his engagement with the YouTube community. His program regularly responds to reader comments in program descriptions, and he includes discussion of some of the controversies and disputes that take place across the YouTube community, blurring the divide between notoriety in the YouTube community and in the wider popular culture. Buckley rewards his viewers with regular celebrations of milestones in subscription; he celebrated 30,000 subscribers in August 2007 with a video reecting on the evolution of the style of his show, and on attaining 100,000 subscribers he produced a show editing together the good wishes of other YouTubers. Not just representative of innovation on YouTube, both Orlova and Buckley have been recognized as representatives for YouTube itself. Both were engaged as backstage correspondents during YouTube Live, with Buckley fullling some front-of-stage MC duties. The event, a varietyconcert-cum-awards-night in late November 2008, featured a combination of homegrown YouTube stars and what the company referred to as real world personalities performers and celebrities whose basis of fame lay in the traditional media or music industries, but who were also highly popular within YouTube itself. Drawing together all that YouTube has to offer including bedroom vloggers, budding creatives, underground athletes, world-famous musicians, gut-busting comedians and more, 15 the event was streamed live from San Francisco, in a stunt designed to promote the introduction of live-streaming functionality to 98 99 Usage

Really excited: Bree, the manufactured vlogger

The unveiling of Bree as a manufactured vlogger by the YouTube community and some members of the press14 brought mainstream media attention to what might be YouTubes emblematic form, as well as to the murkiness between professional and amateur production practices on YouTube. The possibilities of inauthentic authenticity are now a part of the cultural repertoire of YouTube; subsequent vloggers have built identities around a similar ambiguity about their authenticity and 94 95 Usage

Panda drinking tea in Im Not Dead

This video arguably lies in between her other work, as panda states an intention to post future videos, having not posted videos in a while. Intimacy of a close encounter is facilitated by the setting and camera work. She is seated and appears to be holding the camera in her left hand while she directly addresses it. The image is jittery as if the camera is not stationary, which is a common index of more spontaneous, personal, human interaction. The video breaks down into several parts that can be characterized as: telling a story about making sweet tea; promising to post future videos; taking issue with rumors circulating about her, and previewing an upcoming gathering. These parts are not well delineated, and interweave throughout the video. In the rst minute and a half, panda talks about how she was thirsty in the middle of the night. Eschewing water, she went to the kitchen to make sweet tea. As she says the words sweet tea, she brings the cup shes been holding closer to the camera. She looks into the cup several times as she tells her story. Making the tea did not go as she anticipated; she had to chop a block of frozen ice with a butcher knife. She puts down the cup and simulates the motion of wielding the knife. She drinks from the cup, says, mm and slightly tips the cup in the viewers direction. She says that the tea actually turned out really good, at which point she once again points the cup at the camera, almost long enough for the viewer to see inside. The vignette contains characteristics that one would expect in an encounter that tries to provide social afnity. Not only does it engage in informal conversation (by relating an ephemeral story about making sweet tea for the rst time), it does so in a way that enables her to have a cup of tea with the viewer. The lack of stationary camera, the motions of the cup toward the camera, and her consuming of the tea all provide a means to establish a personal, communicative effect. The title Im Not Dead indexes her live body and reassures her viewers that she is still alive and making videos even if she has not posted in several weeks. Evaluating content is culturally and aesthetically relative; people may enjoy her story about making sweet tea. Yet panda mentions her intent to make other videos several times, which gives the video a feeling of existing in the intercies of her other work with more dened content. Videos of afnity often provide a preview of something that is about to happen such as a promise to release a new video. Such previews index a present-focused perspective. Ive got a couple of videos coming up, she states in the middle of the video. And yes I know I still have to put up my gathering videos. Im going to do an LA to San Fran video, kill two birds with one stone. She acknowledges that she knows she has to put up gathering videos, which implies that a common practice in her social network of YouTube creators and viewers is sharing YouTube gathering videos. She also mentions that she is bored, which young people often cite as a motivator for making videos. Pandas explanation of being stuck and lazy index her current state at the moment, and socially account for her lack of recent videos. 78 79 Usage

No Pants Subway Ride - January 2009

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2013 MNI Board of Directors

Chairman Michael Jacobson, Paynesville Press Directors Kevin Anderson, Mille Lacs Messenger, Isle Rollin Bergman, Page 1 Publications, East Grand Forks Jason Brown, Long Prairie Leader Tony Carideo, The Carideo Group, Minneapolis Joni Harms, Daily Globe, Worthington Matt McMillan, Aitkin Independent Age Pete Mohs, Lake Country Echo, Pequot Lakes Jim Pumarlo, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Scott Schmeltzer, Albert Lea Tribune Chris Schultz, Herald Journal Publishing, Howard Lake Page 23

15 p.m. Bloomington


15 p.m. Edina