The Inescapable: Q&A

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Connor Franta doing an Q&A. (youtube.com/ConnorFranta)

YouTuber’s had a tendency to use Q&As (Question and Answer) whenever they had a ‘writer’s block’ and needed to churn out a video on time. However, over the years this has changed, with the growth of social media, YouTubers have used Q&As as a way to effectively interact with their audience.

The way the audience have submitted their question has also varied throughout the years, before Twitter was the norm, the YouTube comments section was used.  However, simple text questions are no more, many questions are submitted audio-visually through Snapchat.

The significance? YouTube has always proven popular with teenagers mainly due to being so relatable and the ‘stars’ are within ‘touching distance’. Now with the addition of snapchat, they can connect with their favourite YouTuber on a platform which can be considered quite intimate and on an audiovisual level.

 

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Does user participation always work?

There is absolutely no doubt that audience participation has increased year by year. As technology develops blazingly fast, a new product on the market will try to improve the user’s participation.

One of the first products to make users’ integration its’ main feature was the Nintendo Wii. Released over ten years ago in 2005, the product was enormously successful. Even if the games on this platform were extremely inferior to other consoles, this was the first time you could actually be part of the game 100%. To be fair, Sony’s PlayStation did it before with the “EyeToy” in 2003, but it was very limited.

Yet, in recent history Audience Participation was not always successful. I’m referring to Google Glass: the product, very futuristic, offered the ability to be part of the net while just wearing eyeglasses. The lens would display information from Google while walking for instance, telling you which street you were in. You would receive notifications from social media as well, without having to use a smartphone: basically a hands free, fully integrated internet always at disposal.

Sounds amazing right? Yet Google Glass was a flop. A big one. After millions were invested, the product was too expansive ( around 1500 dollars) and its’ technology not good enough. According to Investopedia, “the technology required lengthy battery life, improved image-recognition capabilities and a lot of data”.  As the MIT Technology Review points out, “no one could understand why you’d want to have that thing on your face, in the way of normal social interaction.”

On the other hand, other reality augmentation products are being developed, and investments are being made continuously, which would make us think that Audience Participation is absolutely important to tech companies and that they’re making efforts to improve it.

An example is Oculus Rift, a “Head Mounted Display” which projects images straight into the eyes, giving you the feel of being inside what you’re watching, usually a game. Oculus VR created it with just a 2 million dollars crowd founding campaign on Kick-starter and then the virtual reality gadget was acquired by Facebook for the astonishing sum of 2 billion.

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References:

How & Why Google Glass Failed http://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/052115/how-why-google-glass-failed.asp#ixzz416e66rCI

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/22/facebook-oculus-rift-acquisition-virtual-reality

 

 

Wikipedia

Think back when you had an essay due in couple weeks and you want a quick summarize of the topic in hand, where do we usually go to retrieve an explanation on the subject. Any ideas? Am sure many of you would vocalize it or secretly would have thought of it. If you thought of or said Wikipedia, you’re right on point.

The majority of us have or still use Wikipedia to look up and research on topics as its easier to access and  use. According to Wikipedia, the site it has published over 38 million articles in over 250 different languages and ranked as the fifth most popular site globally by New York Times.

Wikipedia is a website that can be easily classified as a site that is for the people and by the people. The information and data on the series of topics found on this site are all formed by the audience’s knowledge and expertise on the subject in hand. Wikipedia’s users or also known as the Wikipedians, and this includes anyone and everybody, have the ability to edit and add on information on any article they find or create one. Every single article has been shaped and influence by the Wikipedian’s knowledge. Now it not to say every information found in Wikipedia is valid or accurate. We should always research anything we  read on the site in order to examine its accuracy.

 

Just for Laughs: Gags

just-for-laughs-gags-16Just for Laughs: Gags is a Canadian silent comedy television show. The series uses a hidden camera, playing pranks on random subjects while hidden cameras capture the subjects’ responses. It is still audience participation, even if it’s unsuspected, right?

What is more, the show has now its own online channel for hidden camera pranks. As with most YouTube channels, people there can to a certain extent shape the content they have just seen by giving a thumb up (or down). Leaving a comment is also an option.

Will it be a praise that the granny who is acting pregnant is really funny or a brief criticism like “bad prank”, producers must be following what the mass says in order to make their gags more and more watchable. The audience can also share their ideas on what they would like to see in future: “more videos featuring dogs, please”.

With its silent format and no translation required, Just for Laughs: Gags has been purchased for use in over 100 countries throughout the world as well as in airports and by airlines. Reactions to the gags range from “inane” to cross-culturally funny.

The addiction to a Flippy Flappy Bird.

The success and fall of Flappy Bird was completely shaped by the audience, but to a whole new extent, that it was no longer healthy! The amount of arguments this game cause between me and my brother in the short time it was popular was ridiculous.

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I hate this bird.

Flappy bird was brought to screens across the world in 2013, however, received high amounts of popularity in early 2014. The game wasn’t even very complicated, all it entailed was controlling an annoying little bird between the rows of green pipes, without hitting the sides….I may still hold some resentment towards this game.

There was huge controversy around this game, as it became hugely addictive for individuals playing, and it was never even marketed or advertised. The inventor of the game, a Vietnamese based developer, named Dong Nguyen, put it down to ‘luck’.

The amazing thing about Flappy birds, flapping its way to the top of the apps chart was the sudden and huge escalation. Everybody wanted to play the game, and have the highest score. Pretty sure I only got to something like 15!

 

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At the end of January 2014, whilst still growing, Flappy bird was the most downloaded free game in the iOS app store; on top of this the owner admitted the app was earning $50,000 a day from in app advertisements! However, like all phases, the ear of that irritating little bird that would just not go through the green pipes came to and end. When in February 2014, the creator removed it from the Google play and Apple Store. As he felt guilty over the extreme addiction and overuse it had caused. Then many phones with the game already downloaded then became very valuable, and were on Ebay being sold for way more, proving once again, how much people needed that strange little bird.

Plymouth Argyle Supporters On The Internet

Having held a season ticket at Sky Bet League 2 side Plymouth Argyle between 2012 and 2015 (exciting i know), I liked to keep up to date with all the goings on within the football club.

Brought up as a Spurs fan, it has never been difficult to find news and opinion on them. As one of the biggest clubs in the country, the chances are that, flicking through the sports supplements or listening to sports radio, Spurs would come up. The same could not be said of my local side Plymouth Argyle, languishing in the fourth tier.

To combat this lack of media coverage, I looked around online and found a website called PASOTI (Plymouth Argyle Supporters On The Internet). PASOTI is an online forum run by Plymouth Argyle supporters, for Plymouth Argyle supporters, that enables fans to chat about the goings on at the club. With sections such as Argyle DiscussionRumours and Conjecture and The Football Forum, PASOTI allowed me to get my fix of news and opinion from fans of the club.

The site is moderated to make sure that threads are on topic and to veto any abuse, but it is still fan-lead initiative that promotes debate between fans.

Story time!

Audience participation I feel has increased over the years especially with today’s technology, more people can take part in how things are shaped and made; after all products and programmes/videos are made for their audiences so it is good more people can get involved.

An example about how audiences have shaped how something is done is story time videos that YouTuber’s create, these videos are basically a way YouTuber’s can connect with their audiences by telling story’s about events that have happened during their lives and their experiences; personally these kinds of videos are the videos I tend to watch the most because I find it interesting finding out things that have happened to people. I can see that audiences are very involved most of the time about the content; YouTubers ask their audiences on various social media platforms which story time videos they would like to see more of and what videos in general would interest them.

It is a good way of engaging with the audience because it is essentially pleasing them by giving them what they want to keep and gain subscribers but it can also lead to negative attention from the audience, an example of this would be the reaction from one of Tana Mongeau’s videos called “Nail lady robbed me of $1000: Story time” the video title is quite self explanatory but the nail salon that was involved (even though they have had many other bad reviews prior to this incident) got a lot of negative hate from Tana’s fans.

Tn this instance Tana did not give away the name of the salon fans located that themselves; but YouTubers or anyone in the public eye need to be careful of this because it can cause a lot of trouble.