In “User-Penetrated Content: Fan Video in the Age of Convergence,” Julie Levin Russo argues that the emergence of video platforms like YouTube and editing software such as Window Movie Maker has caused an “eruption of user-generated media.” Russo claims that corporate media brands are taking advantage of the proliferation of videos by incentivizing fans to create videos that promote their shows.
For example, Russo points to the SciFi network TV show Battlestar Galactica. They asked their fans to make four-minute tribute clips. The best clips would be picked to run during the actual show.
Russo argues that the developing relationship between the fans and the products blurs the lines between the two. Russo says that it’s become “increasingly difficult to hold in place the distinctions between owners and consumers.” She contends that fans might expect to be paid for the work they’re doing on behalf of the given show or piece of content.
In “Catching a Viral Video,” the four authors argue that dissecting a viral video is not such a simple process. They contend that not every video with a high share count will possesses a large amount of views. They divide videos into “popular videos” and “viral videos,” and note that the latter tends to have a lack of staying power.
As with the first two articles, Lori Kendall’s argument centers on user-generated videos. Kendall is not focused on the relationship between individual users and corporate content, nor is she concerned about the qualities of viral videos. Kendall contends that user-made videos are a form of communication. Through antimutation and the “Numa Numa” phenomenon, Kendall shows how user videos can create and sustain a certain type of discourse on their own.