Podcast with The Human Show: Influencers and Youth Online.

Hi folks!

I was invited to be on a podcast with the good people over at The Human Show, shedding light on what it is anthropologists actually do. Here is 35:32 of me dishing some brain foods on Influencers, youth cultures online, the place of platforms and traditional media in the age of internet celebrity, and the value of anthropology.

Highlights include:
–04:39 on how we can practice participant observation on the internet
–06:17 on the value of Influencers beyond commerce
–10:30 on how Influencers and platforms impact each other
–18:36 on the relationship between Influencers and traditional media
–26:46 on whether young internet celebrities are just being exploited online
–28:23 on truth bombs about whether you should sign up for a PhD or work as a practitioner anthropologist

Includes gold nugget streams-of-consciousness such as:
“if you do decide to pursue academia, by doing a higher postgrad study, always keep your doors open. Don’t be the type of person who’s really confident that you’ll finish your PhD and be a professor and retire and then die, because those things do not exist anymore. At the same time, don’t be too despaired by all the quit lit that academia is a crazy space, because there are people who have found communities, who have found like-minded people who enjoy the work you do. And we do find ways to call out insecurities and inequalities as we see it to make this environment better for all of us who are living in it.”

I hope you enjoy it (and not hate my voice as much as I do).

/C

Not Just Another Gangnam Style: Framing politics and internet celebrity in East Asia

Last week, a popular commentary article covering my work on East Asian internet celebrity was published on The American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology News as part of the Digital Anthropologies in East Asia series. Read it here. Continue reading Not Just Another Gangnam Style: Framing politics and internet celebrity in East Asia

How social media videos turn children into viral sensations

Moshimoshi folks!

I’m thrilled to share this radio interview featuring my colleague Tama Leaver and I speaking with ABC RN Life Matters on young children in viral social media videos.

In this segment, we discuss the rise of viral videos starring very young children, how they are being co-opted into TV talk shows (i.e. The Ellen DeGeneres Show), and how parents (unwittingly or deliberately) play a part in such sensational celebrity.

You can listen to the interview here.

Tama and I will be co-presenting our full paper on this phenomenon, “From YouTube to TV, and Back Again: Viral Video Child Stars and Media Flows in the Era of Social Media” at the Digitising Early Childhood International Conference in Perth happening this week. Read some conference spotlights here and follow along on Twitter at #digikids17.

See also my 5min Snapchat lecture on young children in viral social media videos here.

If you are interested, here is some further reading on my work on young children in the age of internet celebrity:

Abidin, Crystal. 2017. “#familygoals: Family Influencers, Calibrated Amateurism, and Justifying Young Digital Labour.” Social Media + Society 3(2): 1-15. DOI: 10.1177/2056305117707191 <Link | PDF>

Abidin, Crystal. 2015. “Micromicrocelebrity: Branding babies on the Internet.” M/C Journal 18(5)<Link | PDF>

“When exploiting kids for cash goes wrong on YouTube: the lessons of DaddyOFive.” The Conversation, 2 May 2017. <Link>

“Micro-microcelebrity: famous babies and business on the internet.” Parenting for a Digital Future, LSE Blogs, 20 January 2017. <Link>

“New’s kid on the blog.” The New Paper, 9 January 2011. <Link>

If you work in similar areas or would like to chat about these works, please feel free to get in touch!

Business Briefing: the ‘get rich quick scheme’ influencing what you buy

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking to Josh Nicholas for The Conversation to provide expert commentary on the Influencer industry. Specifically, we chatted about how Influencers differ from mainstream media celebrities who are prolific on social media, the ecology of Influencers and micro-Influencers, and Influencers who are crossing over to mainstream media industries.

Here is the podcast and the accompanying article. Continue reading Business Briefing: the ‘get rich quick scheme’ influencing what you buy

Recent developments in the global Influencer industry.

While updating my personal archive of news relating to the Influencer industry, I decided to highlight a few significant developments in Q1-Q2 of 2017 in this short round-up.

With its historical beginnings rooted in bedroom camming culture in the North American late-1990s and the online selling culture in the South East Asian early-2000s, the Influencer industry is its vernacular and institutionalised formats is more than a decade old today.

Yet, for all their progress and advancements across several industry verticals and areas of society, present-day news reports seem to be stuck in a backdated timeloop as they continually express surprise at the fact that Influencers can command sizable earning and brands want to work with them, assert that the Influencer industry is somehow mysterious and a secret weapon, and reiterate that the Influencer industry is simultaneously on the rise and on the decline. That’s quite the obsession over the financial aspect of Influencers. But is there much else?

Yes! In the first half of 2017 alone, the Influencer ecology worldwide has registered several controversial blows and innovative debuts in relation to legality, economics, culture, and social issues.  Continue reading Recent developments in the global Influencer industry.