Reviews, Views and Adventures in Content Creation

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I'm Going to Vidcon

[The Vlog on this subject:]

Right now, I know that some of my vlogging mentors are slapping their palms to their foreheads!  Vidcon?  Are you kidding?

Many argue, with some validation, that YouTube gatherings should be organic affairs, and that there certainly shouldn't be hefty admission fees associated attendance at these events.  While I agree that most gatherings of YouTubers and YouTube enthusiasts should be as open as possible, I look at this specific as an opportunity to gain a sense of both the YT community, and the approach the entertainment industry at large is taking with the YT phenomena.

This is a world that is being defined by independent creators from young children to the elderly; it's a form that is being invented every day.  It's also a form, I believe, that offers great opportunity.   What does opportunity mean on YT and in social media at large?   For most, social media and YouTube is simply and purely a means for self expression.   To some seeking more tangible "success" on YouTube, the prospect of a YouTube partnership (a profit sharing arrangement offered to successful YouTubers) looms large; to others, it's a means to drive other ventures: selling or promoting music or a musician (so many have already heard the instant legend:  Justin Bieber came out of YouTube).  To the media at large, it's seen as a way to drive traditional media - everything from trailers to exclusive video content.  The "Fred" YT phenomena of a couple of years ago led to a movie deal for the teen creator.  For most, social media and YouTube is simply and purely a means for self expression.

My belief, however, is the greatest opportunities for social media lay just over the horizon.  If social media is a platform of self-expression distinct form television and movies, then I believe it will evolve and become something that individuals will produce for in its on right - not as a means to another end.  The kids today that create YouTube videos as a means to develop a career in movies will create tomorrow to build a career in social media.  

I'm going to Vidcon to better understand the direction of the social media community (while clearly recognizing of course, that many others can't be there).

Where do you think social media is going?


  1. Sorry to spew more of my negativity, but to me, Vidcon seems to be more of trying to fit new media into an old media shell.

    Your question of what "approach the entertainment industry at large is taking with the YT phenomena" is interesting, and I get the importance of it to you professionally, but it has very little significance to me.

    For social media to truly continue its growth into something new and different, the over-powering influence of old media on YouTube, simply as a means to promote movies/TV, threatens to drown out those who are using YouTube to develop something entirely new.

    Yes, social media (YouTube, twitter, etc.) *can* be used to promote other traditional media, but they become mediums that are nothing but promotional vehicles, they will die quickly.

    I think there's so much more potential to new media yet to be discovered that I - personally - have no time to care about how Hollywood will use it.

    Damn. I think I better post this on my own blog...

  2. I completely agree on your comments regarding social media's growth - and the danger of these outlets being overtaken as platforms strictly for promotional purposes. I'm not interested in that aspect - it can only become a successful platform if seen as a means for self-expression. I also believe, however, that if the YT environment is overtaken as a tool of the mainstream entertainment industry, other social media platforms will develop to provide social media outlets.

    In that respect, we might think of YT as simply the first widespread social media environment of its type - not the be-all-and-end-all.

    My personal/professional interest began with a perception of social media as a potential promotional tool for myself and my work, but my interests have evolved to seeing it more strongly as a platform for self-expression and social interaction. My professional interest demands that I understand the landscape at large - even the culture that attends a Vidcon type event. Having said that, I am in complete agreement with you about the fate of YT should it simply become a promotional vehicle. My position is that should YT develop in that direction, i believe the effectiveness of the social media concept will create or strengthen other alternatives that continue to allow for more direct social media.

    I don't perceive your comments as negativity - these are challenging questions that really need to be addressed as social media technology moves forward.