HOW TO BE YOUTUBE FAMOUS: An Analysis of Online Celebrity Culture
TITLE: HOW TO BE YOUTUBE FAMOUS: An Analysis of Online Celebrity Culture
CITATION: Capiral, D. L. C. (2019). HOW TO BE YOUTUBE FAMOUS: An Analysis of Online Celebrity Culture, Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis, University of the Philippines, College of Mass Communication.
ABSTRACT: YouTube has emerged as another medium to establish popularity among the Filipinos. It transforms ordinary people into instant celebrities by going viral in just a couple of hours. The lucky people who became famous by posting videos in YouTube are known as vloggers or YouTubers. Vloggers post different types of vlogs or video blogs – a type of blogging or self-representation through the form of a video. Despite the influx of vlogs posted online, some vloggers consistently stand out. Their names are shown first in the search results and they get more and more views each day.
Coming from this perspective, this study seeks to answer the theoretical inquiry: How does YouTube celebrity culture makes YouTubers famous? To answer this, the study focused on the top five YouTubers in the Philippines based on subscriber count namely: Lloyd Cadena, Cong TV, Wil Dasovich, Michelle Dy and Pamela Swing.
Through semiotic and textual analysis guided by the concepts of Jenkin’s participatory culture and Couldry’s celebrification process as framework, it was found that YouTube celebrity culture works through the process of taking a familiar image, utilizing a trend in vlogging practices and transforming the ordinary to extraordinary through introducing varieties in vlogging practices. YouTube celebrity culture’s dimensions – persona, trends and varieties – play an important role in making these YouTubers famous.
KEYWORDS: vlogs, YouTube, celebrity culture, participatory culture, celebrification