Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Observatorio (OBS*)]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/rss.php?pid=1646-595420180005&lang=pt vol. 12 num. SPE1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.mec.pt <![CDATA[<b>The co-option of audiences in the attention economy</b>: <b>Introduction</b>]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1646-59542018000500001&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt <![CDATA[<b>Commodifying the followers or challenging the mainstream?</b>: <b>The two-sided potential of curvy fashion bloggers</b>]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1646-59542018000500002&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Digital influencers and fashion blogging are the subject of a growing interest as a pattern of both production and consumption of digital culture. This essay examines the process of co-evolution of digital influencers and audiences by taking into consideration the work of female curvy fashion bloggers. It is argued that, although plus-size social media influencers may play a counter-hegemonic role by conveying alternative narratives regarding body and beauty, many curvy blogs are not significantly different to ”standard” female outfit blogs, in which an audience is commodified as a source of material income and symbolic capital. Digital influencers, therefore, work as examples of co-opted audiences able to enhance further processes of co-option. The article also studies the social media influencers’ relationships with their audiences, focusing attention on the manner through which the blogger produces, develops and maintains this relationship. Cultural studies and political economy perspectives on public are discussed to contextualize the analysis of curvy blogs, as fashion studies have so far shown a limited interest in audience as an issue. The qualitative empirical material of the essay, made of 15 semi-structured interviews with female curvy bloggers and the content analysis of 40 curvy blogs, is analysed according to a grounded theory framework. Three main theoretical dimensions are discussed: the blogger’s career, success and professionalization, their faceted role in the process of audience shaping and the (reframed) narratives of beauty and body they spread. Drawing on a typology of curvy bloggers, the antinomy between “commodifying the audience” and “challenging the mainstream” is presented as a misleading way of interpreting the phenomenon, as the commercialisation of attention and the engagement of followers work as powerful and connected poles of a continuum. <![CDATA[<b>What makes a fashion blogger on Instagram?</b>: <b>The Romanian case study</b>]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1646-59542018000500003&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Fashion bloggers on Instagram can be considered as opinion leaders and trendsetters, ‘authentic’ content creators and collaborative personas. The article focuses on the Romanian fashion sphere case study to explore the ways in which fashion bloggers build their online personas. We conducted a content analysis of seven of the top Romanian fashion bloggers’ accounts (by number of followers) focusing on their activity on posts and Stories over a period of two months (March-April 2017). The results present a classification of main posting categories for Instagram Feed posts, as well as trends and recurrences across Romanian fashion bloggers. The analysis reveals an intense collaboration and establishment of fashion partnerships through a continuous process of tagging one another, as well as attention to creating genuine, ‘authentic’ content that fosters intimacy with their followers. <![CDATA[<b>The food chain of YouTubers</b>: <b>engaging audiences with formats and genres</b>]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1646-59542018000500004&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Traditional news media are not engaging young audiences and there has been a decline in the number of consumers of traditional media. The main news sources for teenagers in Europe and North-America are social media and friends. Our research project outlines YouTubers’ content production strategies in order to apply them in conventional news content production to attract young audiences. In this study we profiled the top YouTubers in the world, in Europe and in Estonia based on their profiles, networks, topics, genres and formats. We developed a model of analysis based on the uses and gratifications approach by Katz et al. (1974), and McQuail (2000). This framework was used in the standardised content analysis of YouTube videos. The results present the “food chain” of different levels of YouTubers; the “food chain” refers to the copying of innovative ideas from less experienced peers, while promoting their content. The food chain also shows how most popular YouTubers generate new production practices and discursive genres. There are noticeable variations in the diversity of genres and formats between different levels of YouTubers. Diversity of content is important for sustaining and increasing audiences. YouTubers utilise specific combinations of genres and formats for certain topics across levels of the food chain. This makes it possible to develop a typology of techniques that YouTubers use to engage audiences. <![CDATA[<b>‘I am not being sponsored to say this’</b>: <b>a teen youtuber and her audience negotiate branded content</b>]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1646-59542018000500005&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt The field of microcelebrity is increasingly monetised, professionalised, and institutionalised, with the growing recognition of content creators as social media influencers. This article looks at the integration of branded content within youth digital culture, where participatory possibilities for self-expression are more and more entwined with consumer culture. It seeks to discuss how digital producers understand brand culture and how audiences negotiate the meanings of the commercialism inserted in their content. We look at the case of SofiaBBeauty, a successful young Portuguese youtuber, who has been vlogging since she was 12. The article analyses her association with brands in 12 videos in 2017 (vlog, haul, giveaway, Q&A, first impression, etc.), and the comments by the users showing acceptance and appraisal of, negotiation, or criticism towards, the brand and/or the youtuber. We explore the way Sofia connects her self-presentation with products/brands to appear close to her young audiences, and brands her persona as she is growing up to adulthood; how she presents her commercial recommendations as genuine and pregnant with affect, and whether the audience accepts it or not; as well as how she positions herself in the global YouTube community of practice, where connection with brands aggrandizes her persona in the eyes of the audience. Sofia’s videos create a post-feminist subject where consumption is articulated with independence, capability, and empowerment (Banet-Weiser, 2011), while engaging her audiences in a commodification process (Berryman & Kavka, 2017). <![CDATA[<b>Channels produced by LGBT+ YouTubers</b>: <b>gender discourse analysis</b>]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1646-59542018000500006&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt YouTubers are idols, and influence millions of people who follow their channels every day. These new media stars, born in transmedia, create their own content outside the major corporations. Across the millions of YouTube channels, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Intersexual and Queer (LGBTIQ or LGBT+) YouTubers are gaining more young followers who identify with their content and, also, are able to have direct contact with these YouTube “stars”. The objective of this research is to explore and analyse the content of the YouTube channels of the most popular LGBT+ YouTubers among Spanish young people and to assess whether there are gender biases in their content. The results show that content created by these YouTubers is more diverse than mainstream channels, with content ranging from personal stories to bullying. In spite of this, these channels continue to reproduce some gender stereotypes. <![CDATA[<b>New Broadcasting Ecosystem and the Second Screen Phenomenon in Turkey</b>: <b>Case Study on the Serial Insider</b>]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1646-59542018000500007&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Traditional television broadcasting has shown a significant change with the convergence to the new media environment. This convergence has changed the traditional ways of television content production and consumption. The audience has become the most important actor in the broadcasting industry, and new mediums and platforms, such as second screen applications and social TV, have gained importance in television broadcasting. This article discusses the transformation of television broadcasting from the second screen phenomenon and the new broadcasting ecosystem through the case of the Turkish serial Insider. The participation of the audience as a producer and consumer, the changing industry strategy, and the new ways of brand integration in this new broadcasting environment were examined through content analysis. The analysis results reveal the audience management strategies of the Turkish broadcasting industry and the audience’s position as producer and consumer in this new ecosystem. <![CDATA[<b>Book review of Van der Graaf, S. (2018). <i>ComMODify: User creativity at the intersection of commerce and community</i>. London: Palgrave Macmillan</b>]]> http://www.scielo.mec.pt/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1646-59542018000500008&lng=pt&nrm=iso&tlng=pt Traditional television broadcasting has shown a significant change with the convergence to the new media environment. This convergence has changed the traditional ways of television content production and consumption. The audience has become the most important actor in the broadcasting industry, and new mediums and platforms, such as second screen applications and social TV, have gained importance in television broadcasting. This article discusses the transformation of television broadcasting from the second screen phenomenon and the new broadcasting ecosystem through the case of the Turkish serial Insider. The participation of the audience as a producer and consumer, the changing industry strategy, and the new ways of brand integration in this new broadcasting environment were examined through content analysis. The analysis results reveal the audience management strategies of the Turkish broadcasting industry and the audience’s position as producer and consumer in this new ecosystem.