These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things: MAY 2017

The end of this month pretty much signals the end of my semester at uni. With the submission of one more assignment due this Friday 2nd June, I’m out for Summer!!! Yes I know it’s actually winter here in Australia but nuh ahhhh – I’m off to a Mexican Summer next month and I cannot freakin wait. But before I get too ahead of myself and get all caught up with the month that will be, let’s look back on the month that came and went all too quickly.

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🏠 Home

I spontaneously decided to go home for a weekend and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I may not have made it back home until late on the Friday night, but when welcomed by my two beautiful and excited dogs and a piping hot bath, it was easy to see why. I loved spending quality time with my Mum, brother and grandparents, all whilst taking a deep breath and trying to reset some of the stresses that were getting to me in life.

☮️ Volunteering

This month, I was quite involved with some awesome organisations and I’m trying to commit more of my time and energy into these. I was a mentor at AIME (Aboriginal and Indigenous Mentoring Experience) where I worked with several awesome year 12 students. We talked about school, goal setting, aboriginality, hopes, inequality and practical tips and tricks for job applications and interviews. In all honesty, I think the girls inspired me more than I inspired them.

I’ve also completed and induction and basic training for some volunteering I’m hoping to do in the very near future with SCARF (Strategic Community Assistance to Refugee Families). From what I can already tell – they are an incredible organisation who makes a real difference to community members from refugee backgrounds and I can’t wait to get involved.

📚 Uni Final Project (DIGC335)

It’s not often that you get to say you’re super proud of a uni assignment, but this semester I am! I just uploaded my mini talk show, chat, investigation (thing – whatever we want to call it) onto YouTube. I’ve just about finished my website as well. It’s titled The Secret Life of Travel Vloggers and I uncover some of the misconceptions about what it means to be a travel vlogger and some of the behind the scenes stuff that goes on. So I’d really appreciate it if you checked it out and let me know what you think.

You can find my website here

💪 Rock Climbing

So I thought I’d try something new this month, and I’ve tried out rock climbing with my awesome friend Dylan (you may remember him from last months post). So I’m definitely not at the stage where I’ve taken photos yet – in fact, I’ve only been several times and I consider getting to the top the biggest achievement of my week, but it’s sooooo awesome and I already feel stronger! It’s such a great activity and it’s something I want to do more frequently once I’m back from Mexico. So until I get a picture of me doing it, here’s some rock climbing inspo.

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📚 Books

The Martian, by Andy Weir. Ok so I haven’t actually finished it yet (uh I know… LAME!). But I had to include it in my favourite things because this is SUCH A GOOD BOOK! My little brother recommended it to me and I’m so glad he’s a book worm. It’s funny, entertaining and gets you thinking about the ultimate question of what it means to exist in this world. You know – real chill stuff.

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🎥 Flicks

Dear White People. This is an absolute must for all of us privileged white folk out here. Some call it controversial, others call it reality, but one things for certain, we need to educate ourselves about the injustices that affect people of colour every single day and show solidarity, speak up and make change.

🎶 Tunes

Lauv. AHHHHHHHH YES! So I low key fell in love with this band last year when I discovered their song ‘The Other.’ And they’ve finally released an EP (hopefully with an album to come).

Gang of Youths. Let’s be honest, there’s no reason why these guys shouldn’t be on this list. I’ve had this on repeat, plus been addicted to their old stuff as well. I just honestly can’t get enough of them.

Despacito. And thanks to Justin Beiber, I discovered this sexy as song and it makes me so excited to be in a latin country in a few weeks salsa dancing (hopefully with sexy men like this).

📷 Bloggers & Vloggers

Danielle Carolan. This girl is positivity galore! She’s so bright, bubbly, motivated and go getting I love it. She’s just finished school and I can’t believe someone so young is already making such a mark in the YouTube world. She’s recently started daily uploading (not exactly daily vlogging) but damn am I happy I finally have someone I can watch and follow every day!

ME. This month I wrote one of my favourite articles I’ve ever written. I wrote it for Twenty Something Humans and you can see the original here. Y’all know that I’m passionate about being a red head. And it was so much fun to put into words so many thoughts, feelings and experiences I’ve had over the past 22 years of my life.

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📝 Quote

When I saw this quote I smacked my friend on the shoulder and said… this is me! A wise guy once told me that I’m a Queen, and that Queen’s deserve to be treated with respect and kindness. However, Queen’s too treat others with the upmost respect, understanding and kindness. And I realise that it may sound a bit self centred… but I’m a freakin Queen! Oh yea – and plus the bit of savagery… you know, necessary.

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So holy shit guys – next month is JUNE!!! And I’m finally off to Mexico! I cannot freakin wait! Make sure to subscribe to all of my socials, especially my YouTube channel for regular updates for all my stories from Central America! Woo

Daily Travel Vloggers and YouTube. Passion or Poison?

Daily Travel Vloggers. If you subscribe to them on YouTube, the odds are you assume they have a perfect life. Travelling the world, working with prestigious brands, staying in luxurious destinations and rubbing shoulders with some of the YouTube and celebrity elite. As a subscriber, you are drawn into their world. Every. Day. Of. Their. Life. You become their friend, you turn on your notifications, you follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat so you don’t miss a thing, and you feel a part of their life…. until they quit.

Travel and daily vlog revolutionary, Casey Neistat, accumulated nearly 7million subscribers on his YouTube channel, known for his unique editing, risk taking and general not giving a f*ck attitude. When Casey quit, the internet lost its mind and I lost a friend. This was the loss and spark that ignited my curiosity about the reality of vlogging and YouTube. To question, challenge and rethink the perceived perfection of this world, and shatter it with the untold, unedited, unscripted and unpaid story.

Success is predicated on the intensely personal. You still have to pump out a video every day, and it has to feel intimate. You could afford to hire a crew to come document your life, sure, but fans expect you to be holding the camera, sharing your secrets, and opening up every facet of your life. (Popper, 2016)

My goal is to create an educational and informative website along with a mini documentary. A ‘go to’ for all things vlog, travel and YouTube related. A critical eye on the industry and to provoke people to question, challenge and consume with intention and thought. My goal is to create a new research piece every other week, focusing on various aspects of the daily travel vlogging world…

  1. Vlogging, capturing daily life and our sense of self
  2. Technology, cameras & gear (including 360 video)
  3. Sponsored content
  4. YouTube, traditional media and online content
  5. Travel & Tourism
  6. Quitting YouTube – the future of vlogging

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Obviously in this early stage, much more research and critical thinking needs to go into how I’m going to approach these areas and then present them. Given the lack of research in this field, it may be difficult but it just means I may need to undertake some of my own research and content analysis. But to get us started, let me present Louis Cole aka. Fun For Louis.

In August 2016, Louis travelled to North Korea where he was escorted around the country side with his tour group. This vlog series received extremely critical feedback, including news networks accusing him of being paid by the North Korean government to create positive propaganda (Butterly, 2016).

“I am not an investigative journalist. I don’t really do political commentary and there are other places on the internet you can go to find those kinds of things.” Louis Cole

Whilst watching his vlogs you can appreciate his enthusiasm to showcase a bright and positive side to North Korea – one that is not often the narrative. However as Adam Liptak states ‘travel is inherently a political exercise’ (Liptak, 2016). How much doest this travel influencer, influence, shape or potentially manipulate our ideas of other nations, their people and international relations?

There’s also many questions to address about the platform itself. YouTube, and YouTubers are feared among the traditional media industry as they are a direct threat to their survival in this highly competitive environment. ‘Free online video, especially YouTube, is a vital channel for millennials; nearly half of them (46%) use YouTube every day versus 12% of non-millennial’ (L.E.K Consulting, 2016). The viewing habits of consumers (or should I say their valued audience or family) tell us that people want to be able to access content in an instant, easily and freely. And as explored in the Journal of Marketing and Competitiveness, users are engaging in this content because it’s entertaining and authentic.

“User generated content producers, bloggers and other amateur journalists are creating news content, and people who have been made subjects of news articles are responding online, posting supplementary information to provide comments, context, and counterpoints. Increasingly, the public is turning to online sources for information and consumption matters, such as bloggers, user reviews, and tweeters, reflecting the growing trust in alternative media; and, to user generated content produced by the mass media for entertainment purposes” (Mohr, 2014)

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A snapshot of Fun For Louis’ ‘perfect’ Instagram Page

This topic embodies the dilemmas and challenges we face when examining cybercultures. ‘Tensions between representations and reality.’ I’m excited to explore our sense of self, physical location, virtual reality, technology, tourism, sponsored content and ultimately answer if any of this really matters?

References

Butterly, A 2016, ‘Vlogger Louis Cole denies North Korea paid for his trip’, BBC, 18 August, viewed 18 March 2017, http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/37114758/vlogger-louis-cole-denies-north-korea-paid-for-videos-of-his-trip

L.E.K Consulting, 2016 ‘Life-Stage Analysis of Millennials highlights major threat to traditional TV’,  L.E.K Consulting,  13 January, viewed 18 March 2017, http://www.lek.com/press-releases/life-stage-analysis-millennials-highlights-major-threat-traditional-tv

Liptak, A 2016, ‘You can’t vlog in North Korea and call it apolitical’, The Verge, 19 August 2016, viewed 18 March 2017, http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/19/12543958/louis-cole-north-korea-vlogger-youtube

Mohr, I 2014, ‘Going Viral: An Analysis of YouTube Videos’, Journal Of Marketing Development & Competitiveness, Vol. 8, No.3, pp. 43-48, Business Source Complete, viewed 20 March 2017

Popper, B 2016, ‘Why YouTube’s biggest stars keep quitting’, The Verge, 29 November, viewed 18 March 2017, http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/29/13776894/pewdiepie-quit-casey-neistat-vlog-youtube-vloggers