Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box (Boxes 1, 2, and 11 to Be Precise.)

Hello everyone! There should be, by my calculations, two possible groups of readers looking at this blog. My usual readers and my classmates/teacher in my English class: Writing About Culture. Some of you know me, some of you don't, so I'll introduce myself all over again.

My name is PJ, I'm twenty years old, and I'm an undecided sophomore at Ohio University. My interests include pizza, videoblogging, pizza, art, pizza, writing, pizza, video games, pizza and nutrition. I'm a little aimless when it comes to my personal goals for the future considering I have so many interests, as you can see above, but I consider myself to be, first-and-foremost, a storyteller so I was very excited to see the subtitle for this class to be "Storytelling."

I've only been in this class two days and already I'm starting to realize that one could make a case for almost anything being a culture or a subculture. Thank goodness, too, because today's assignment requires answering box 1; in which we list some of the subcultures we attribute to ourselves. Here's one of mine:

Blogging. The highest form of narcissism, in which I list everything about myself in some form or fashion and expect you to acknowledge it.
The amazing thing about blogging is that you can basically do it anywhere: it is a subculture of the writing culture and it, in itself, has so many different subcultures within it just based on how one chooses to do it. You can write personal blogs, you can tweet in 130 characters or less, you can even video blog if you're especially brave, and but your talking face out there for the world to see. And, for anyone who's interested, you can find my various blogging accounts here, here, and here.
Personally, I treat blogging as an escape but that doesn't mean I take it lightly. I personally intend on making people stop and think about what's going on and I do that by being brutally honest. You'll find everything in my work to insure this from funny stick figure comics relaying childhood anecdotes to my entire coming-out story video. I'm not always sure of the reaction I'll get, but I don't seem to mind so long as people are honest and they learn from it.
Insider Phrases
The internet itself has many different phrases and slang terms. Depending on the site, you have jargon that pertains to actions you can do. "Like" meaning to click a thumbs-up icon and approve of something, subscribe to add your youtube channel's name to a list to insure that account gets someone's videos when they're uploaded, at reply, retweet, hashtag, trending topics are all based on twitter. The list goes on, and on.
Rules or Rituals
Rules are typically self-moderated. In some cases obviously you can't break someone else's copyright or just plain take what's not your's, but from there on out you can be as open or closed as you like. What you might do also depends on the medium. For example, I'm obnoxious and random on twitter with hashtags/atreplies and make it my duty to make mobile tweeters pay for their impetuousness. Youtube is where I can be creative and serious, happy and sad, angry and joyous. But, that's just me!

So, box 2 says to look at a routine of mine from an outsider's perspective. Let's pretend I am not me, in this moment I am someone else: someone without dashing good looks and technically know-how...okay, fine, I'll keep the good looks.

I watch this person take their small box. Adjust the lighting, fix their hair, and on occasion change outfits then think pensively for a moment...a flick of the switch, a button snap and then a beep. The ritual of video blogging has started, and the speaker is talking a mile a minute, occasionally messing up and repeating themselves. They've stopped, now they're clicking away, angrily cursing at something called "Adobe Premiere" then flailing fists, before happy sigh and uploading has finished.

The idea of someone talking to a computer is odd, I'm pretending I've never experienced a computer before: an odd box with tubes and wires that glows and does amazing things. Virtually the world is at your fingers so, seeing someone take the world and put it into their lap, and then talk to it. The amazing...and scary thing is that sometimes, the world talks back.

So, then, it shouldn't be a surprise that I choose to study videoblogging as my subculture. I have my reasons for talking to the camera, and I know it's such an intimate act that you have to wonder how married I am to the subculture and if I can study it subjectively. The thing is: everyones' reasons are different, everyones' videos are different, the subject is ever-changing and evolving; and mixed with how the world views this content creation I think it'd be hard to be married to one view of it.

Not to mention, I would like to understand the way others view things in order to be a better producer but also in order to understand people better which is ALWAYS a plus.

So, class, Lydia, and my faithful readers-I just hit box 11 harder than a cow's indigestion hits the ozone. I look forward to this study, and can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with. See you in class! don't go to my...class. Whatev's.