Online Vlogs: User Generated Content and Advertisements

The digitization of magazines have removed the barrier of entry for non-professionals as fashion bloggers, style gurus and DIY user generated content begin gaining traction online. These spaces are created with greater input from viewers/consumers who can request content and interact with content producers. With the trend on the rise, these sites of interaction become great sources of revenue for companies to advertise their products. Additionally, it becomes increasingly easy to trace the rise in professionalism of these places as they rise to provide similar content found on magazine websites online, changing how we look for certain content.

Tumblr, WordPress and YouTube provide user interfaces that are perfect for both viewing and commenting on videos. The ease of access enables users to create online repositories filled with digital content covering a variety of subjects ranging from cooking to fashion to beauty. These subjects are easily found and on certain websites, such as YouTube, they can link to other channels, websites and even magazines themselves. The damage that can be done to certain online magazines is that these sites offer up similar information that the user can look to that provides a certain level of intimacy that may not be found in certain websites. For example, when looking for DIY fashion, consumers may finds other websites to be more user friendly and seem created by consumers for consumers.

The importance of creating a brand image is to increase the chance of creating and maintaining a sense of brand loyalty. Certain vlogs and blogs offer up the same type of brand imaging, often tailored and maintained once it is created by a process of blending the creator’s vision alongside with comments from consumers. This process of facilitating an intimate relationship between the audience and creator can challenge the dominance of online magazines if users are finding their needs met in spaces primarily found elsewhere. The real harm is that content found online replicates the way it is found offline, in that is goes side by side with advertisement. However it goes one step further by providing a space in which interactivity becomes possible between users, content and advertisements.

When these vlogs and blogs become professional their context changes and they then becomes places where advertisements and magazines can find exploit intimate relationships between content creators and audiences. When this happens these vlogs/blogs are given entry into an elite world that invites them to join in on advertising. With the rise of blogs/vlogs and certain success stories for some creators it only seems fitting that some users replicate the level of professionalism found on online magazines. Take for example this Colgate commercial that uses the online celebrity status of Blair Fowler to sell their product. The importance to note here is that this business relationship is that it replicates the relationship between online magazines and consumer goods. In this case online magazines can be cut out of the equation and the industry can experience even further challenges to production and distribution. With the initial rise in online magazines and digitization, certain roles are being pushed together requiring the professional to be all encompassing. This proves to be hard when the rise in digitization coincides with a generation that is younger, more adept at using digital technology and has a greater hand at defining pop culture.

Duffy, Brooke Erin. Remake, Remodel: Women’s Magazines in the Digital Age. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2013. Print.

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