The Introductory Vlog

The assertion of selfhood, and one's existence is central to any introduction video. The first frame of the introductory vlog is of special interest because of the transition period that it represents. Many times this first frame is blurred from motion as the person settles into their video persona, and the facial expression is often not as becoming as those in which the person is more aware. During the first few moments of the video, there is often a brief period of self-adjustment as the vlogger prepares to perform before the webcam. In almost all videos a point of realization can be found in wich the camera is acknowledged. The more adept, or perhaps more image conscious vloggers, may edit out this transition period, but many inexplicably remain. In all of its profundity and mediocrity, this initial transition from being oneself to being oneself performing, echoes the transmission of private/personal life from the real space that the vlogger's body occupies into an imagined space in the anonymous sphere of the internet.

These specific yet unrehearsed moments are available for close examination through the YouTube video format. The unintended awkward moments in otherwise poised performances provide a somewhat refreshing spontaneity totally opposite of the finite control exercised in the uploading of pictures on social networking sites. The exclusive control of the uploader over media is subverted in some ways on YouTube, as the video may be paused in at any point by the viewer, or downloaded and remixed.

The performance captured by video for YouTube is used, in part, to construct one’s public identity. The video blog, much like the ‘profile picture’ that came before, can be understood as a step toward an increasingly photographic way of understanding ourselves. In this concept of self, in anticipation of online scrutiny, the self is “constantly and narcissistically performed, auto-objectified for an imagined audience” (Creeber and Martin, 2009).

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