The rise of popularity for online video content and increasingly more accessible and affordable technology has seen a new genre come to prosperity. The Vlog, a portmanteau of video and blog, is the prevailing format on the online video platform Youtube and has created a generation of so-called vloggers. Youtube stars like Zoella, Casey Neistat or PewdiePie have vlogged their way to internet fame and wealth using a simple formula.
All it takes to get started in the business is a camera and yourself. The vast majority of creators on Youtube simply film themselves sitting down and chatting to their (at this point imaginative) audience as if they were talking to a friend in the same room. Of course, there are countless variations and more or less elaborate incarnations of this type of video. More ambitious vloggers strive for a narrative structure and create vlogs that are more akin to short films, while others record themselves playing their favourite video games.
But no matter what type of video it is, if it can garner a big enough audience, it can become a source of income for the creator. Thus, if you record yourself playing video games for an online audience, that could literally be your job description. How did we get here? That is the objective of this research project. The goal is to illuminate how Youtube grew to be the online platform that fostered a generation with a career path that simply did not and could not have existed 15 years ago.