Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Web 2.0 Part 3

Posted by Kimberlea Ferrell on February 15, 2017

Tonight’s readings have given me two thoughts to expand on.

The first is about how gift economy and commodity culture are interwoven. My sister begged me to buy her a sweatshirt from one of the YouTubers we watch for her birthday. That in itself can be an example, but I thought of a bigger one. I was reminded of Markiplier and his channel. He makes money from his videos, but he is not only in it for profit. He says over and over again that he wants to create for his own as well as others’ enjoyment, and he loves the community that has been built around him. Yet he needs the money he makes to live and produce the videos he creates. There becomes a meshing of profit and social sharing that can’t be totally separated, as these videos are not exactly gifts.

My second is about the section “Nothing Is Ever Free.” I was a very sheltered child, apparently. When I was around thirteen, I barely knew what Netflix was. Either I didn’t think to ask, or was too embarrassed, because I never had a friend explain it to me. So I thought it was free. Innocent little me figured, “Why would you have to pay to watch a video online? YouTube is free, right?” Apparently, though book smart as I was, I didn’t understand anything, and was very disappointed to find that it was definitely not free.


One Response to “Web 2.0 Part 3”

  1. tristendenney14 said

    I agree with you Kimberlea, and I have found myself thinking something is free and then realizing that it isn’t. I feel like society today places way too much emphasis on money and wealth. If companies found a way to reward fans and consumers without ultimately using them, I feel like the world would be a better place.

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