Blog post 1: Travel vlogs as a media niche

Ever since I was a young teenager, one of my favourite pastimes has been watching travel vlogs on YouTube. A travel vlog is where someone films themselves while travelling and the viewer gets to second-hand experience their experiences. As someone who has not yet done much travel, I love these vlogs as they allow me to transport somewhere else. My favourite travel Vloggers are Eamon and Bec who travel the world in a van. They will be my key example in this blog.

Ethnography can be described as “the study of social interactions, perceptions and behaviours that occur in all different group settings which influences the culture” . Ethnographic researchers look at:

Eamon and Bec’s travel vlogs have sparked responses from viewers which has created a community. But how?

First of all, Eamon and Bec receive a large response from their audience in the form of written, verbal and insight-driven responses. The written responses are the comments they receive on their videos, where viewers get to express their response to the video. Verbal response is by word-of-mouth. It’s when people talk to their friends about the videos. Verbal responses have the power to either expand their fanbase or destroy their reputation. Written and verbal responses are qualitative factors and can be helpful to get an understanding of what people think of the video, what content they do and don’t like, and how to keep fans happy. On the other hand, a response measured by insights is quantitative research. It explores how many views, likes and subscribers they have. However, it disregards many factors, such as; will they come back to watch? How did they find the content? Why did they watch?

This community Eamon and Bec have created on YouTube has dribbled down to other social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. This broadens their exposure and fanbase, as their content be discovered via more platforms.

Screenshot from Eamon and Bec’s Tik Tok.

Screenshot from Eamon and Bec’s Instagram.

Eamon and Bec have very prominent personas- as can be seen through their social media. Us viewers invest in them and know all about their lives, however, they only invest in a mass audience. Yet, they somehow manage to make viewers feel like we’re friends on a personal level.

So why are people so dedicated to watching and supporting these people they don’t actually know personally?  Journalist Sarah Manavis says ,“The YouTube ecosystem creates sub communities based around certain YouTubers’ channels, and being a part of that fanbase becomes a part of the fans’ identity. This means that, when a vlog comes from a popular YouTuber, that YouTuber’s fan community will continue to consume their content regardless of how interesting that content is”.

Personally, as young person, I watch Eamon and Bec mostly for entertainment, but also because I have a passion for travel. I’m interested in researching who Eamon and Bec’s target market is. Why do people watch their content? How do they find the content? What is their experience? Who is the target market- young people? Families? Even older people?

Eamon and Bec accomplished creating such a supportive community that their travels are now supported by viewers merely supporting and watching their videos. They feel loyal to us, so they keep creating content. We feel loyal to them, so we continue watching their videos.

EDITS:

Monday 10th of August, 10:30am

Wednesday 2nd of September, 11:45am

Author: Amy Halpin

19 // Wollongong

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