Digital Ethnography

Popularity on YouTube

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Popularity is a very interesting thing. Some people want it very badly, and others could care less about what others think of them. My project was to analyze various aspects of popularity on You Tube. I first looked at how people become popular on You Tube, then I explored some of the reasons why they sought after this phenomenon, and ended with some general cautions about what popularity can make people do. After sifting through a variety of popular profiles, video bloggs, and the like I came up with this video to visually represent what I had learned.
There are various ways that people can become popular, some of which are more acceptable than others. Some people like Renetto figured out the system and used it to his advantage. He realized that responding to a popular video would put him in the lime light, so that is what he did. Other people took this a step further and would put unrelated tags on their video to increase their popularity. The people who did this actually brought negative attention to themselves, and were called out by You Tubers who felt a sense of responsibility to keep their community honest.
There are many reasons that people want to become popular. I found that some people just wanted to boost their self-esteem, others were out there to truly make friends, and some people were just plain bored.
Something I found was that for a person to gain true popularity, it was best if they were genuine in what they were doing.
After going around in circles trying to find the secrets to popularity, it dawned on me that popularity wasn’t that important in the whole grand scheme of things. Although it does have its advantages, the amount of energy involved in trying to achieve something like popularity really isn’t worth it. If a person knows himself and what they like, they will naturally do good at whatever it is they are involved in. If you are doing a good job, then people will see that and appreciate you for it. It can take a while to truly find a passion, but once it strikes everything seems to fall into place.
Some people say that it is all in who you know and not what you know. I would say that this partially correct, but I also think that if a person is properly educated in their particular field of expertise, and tries their best at what they do, then it would seem like they would be fine no matter what they did.


  1. mrj-glo

    October 31, 2007

    YT popularity in youth is so huge than in future ppl wont watch tv programs in forms as we knowed them to be at all.

  2. Hans

    December 20, 2007

    The relative importance of popularity might change depending on who owns an account.

    So if I’m just a person who wants to be popular to help my self esteem that is one case.

    On the other hand if I am a for profit company, a non profit agency or a small business then the relative importance of popularity becomes quite a different matter.

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    December 9, 2013

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About Digital Ethnography

Our work explores how humans use media, how media uses us, and how we can use new media to reveal our insights in new ways.

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