Ubiquity of the Vlog

The vlog genre is an exceedingly common mode of user participation, and includes numerous subcategories. Vlogs might include product or media reviews, or demonstrate special talents. Others are made in response to other videos to engage in a discussion, parody the video, or win a prize. More negative vlogs, in which the user complains about 'random' things ranging from television shows, to the use of hyphenation, are called 'rants'. An interesting trend in the YouTube vlogger world, recently covered on Slate.com, is the 'haul' video in which the vlogger shows off recent acquisitions from a shopping trip. There are also a huge range of vlogs that essentially constitute support groups in which users document personal struggles with things like weight-loss, depression, and living abroad. There are vlogs in which the user describes his or her day in a diaristic fashion, and tend to include 'random', or stream-of-consciousness stories. It is this type of vlog that defines YouTube to many outsiders, including the mainstream media and draws accusations of narcissism (Keen, 2007). Each of these variations within the vlog genre offers a glimpse into the function that online communication through YouTube serves in a user's life.

Though the possibility of achieving fame, or even generating mild interest in videos with rather quotidian content and generic form may seem far-fetched, the vlog is fully capable of doing this on YouTube. The various genres of vlog, such as rants, hauls, are numbered in the hundreds or thousands on YouTube, and many of these videos have incredibly amounts numbers of views and comments.

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