Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Digital Ethnography

http://mediatedcultures.net/ksudigg/?p=179 Watch the video of the two little boys - it's the beginning of a video about digital ethnography.
I love youtube. Mostly I've used it to check out music. If I'm reading a blog and it refers to a song or a form of dance that I am unfamiliar with, I do a search of youtube. When I was asked to do a lip sync performance of an entertainer, I decided to do Bette Midler singing "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" and I studied the moves in every youtube video of Bette and her imitators performing. And of course, when I'm following blogs, I watch embedded videos. Before my son's wedding, I hunted for videos of mother/son wedding dances and listened over and over again to the song my daughter-in-law had chosen "A Song for Mama" by Boyz II Men. When I was taking line dancing and wanted to learn some new moves, I discovered the prisoner line dancers. In my google notebook, I have links to youtube videos of choirs and prayers that have inspired me during times when I am having a quiet time with God.

Until I found the blog on Digital Ethnography, I didn't think about there being a youtube community creating interesting videos for a wide range of reasons. I certainly didn't know that studying youtube fell under anthropology. I've never checked out any of the videos just because they rates high on a youtube rating scale. I hadn't even considered how a video achieved its ratings. Even now, I can't see myself actually producing a video as it's the kind of thing I think I'd need a human being to help me get started. However, I am thinking about having fun pretending that I'm one of young people having a good time dancing and singing in front of their camrecorders. Looks like a great way to get a bit of exercise while online. And maybe I'll write a word, an important word on my hand and maybe I'll say a prayer for people using their camrecorders as a way to heal life's hurts - a way to continue being in the world - a way to bring joy back into their lives.

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