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视频博客—— 少年的网红博主梦

作者:佚名    文章来源:本站原创    更新时间:2018/8/9

  My friend’s ten-year-old daughter has a new hobby. Like many of her school pals, she hopes to become a video blogger—a“vlogger”. She has started to record clips2 of herself for others to watch, share and “like”. She showed me a few, then gave me a list of famous vloggers to watch: JoJoSiwa, iJustine, Noodlerella, Zoella. Their names sounded so bizarre3. But they are totally familiar to tweenage4 girls.
  Like an earnest-marketing executive, my friend’s daughter then explained to me that it was all a matter of numbers. If her videos are viewed 40,000 times on YouTube, she can have adverts placed on them; 100,000, and companies would start sending her products to promote. One million and she’d be a bona fide5 YouTube star. Her most recent video, about a doll she had been given for Christmas, had 11 views. There was still a way to go.
  This seemed a peculiar phenomenon but my friend’s daughter is not alone. In fact, her dream is perfectly normal for her generation: one in three children between the ages of 11 and 16 have uploaded a video to YouTube. In a survey last year, 75 per cent of the children asked said they wanted to be YouTube stars. The research also revealed that many of the children would rather learn video-editing than history or maths.
  Who can blame them? Vlogging can now be a well-paid career. Unlike the more traditional dream jobs—pop star, doctor, footballer, astronaut—it doesn’t take much effort. All it requires is a smartphone and gallons6 of youthful self-confidence.
  There are plenty of people with that. The 27-year-old British vlogger Zoella and her boyfriend Alfie Deyes have both made millions from their respective channels. Ryan, the six-year-old American host of the YouTube channel RyanToysReview, made £8.5 million last year from reviewing toys and sweets. At the pocketmoney end of the scale is Erin Rose, an eight-year-old British girl who reviews stationery7 on YouTube, and made £200 last year. JoJoSiwa, a hyperactive 14-year-old from Nebraska, has made more of a fortune flogging her colourful “JoJo bows”.8 They are more than “just a hair accessory”, she explains to her millions of viewers. They are “a symbol of power, confidence, believing-ness.” They have also caused havoc9 in playgrounds, and a number of British schools have banned them.

 Flogging overpriced tat10 to children is hardly a new phenomenon but the internet has made the process much easier. Now, kids sell stuff directly to other kids, from bedroom to bedroom. The videos have a curious mixture of entrepreneurial spirit, youthful narcissism, and materialism.11 Most are relentlessly positive and hopeful. The colours are bright and the music is catchy12. Fans chat in the comments section. It is as much a social activity as a commercial one.
  Popular genres on YouTube are the “haul video”—where a vlogger reviews recently received items—and the “unboxing video”, in which products are opened and then discussed.13 The message, same as it ever was, is: “I’ve got this, and you haven’t.” And then comes, “here’s where to buy it”. What the vloggers seem to have worked out is that, more than anything, the internet is just a giant sales opportunity.
  Not every girl can be Zoella, so the real winners, as usual, are the tech companies, who are constantly tweaking their systems to extract the maximum revenue from their audiences while sucking up consumer data.14 The tech companies know parents and children are entering uncharted territory.15 They are keen to show they want to help protect children from the darker recesses16 of the internet. “YouTube Kids” is an app which is meant to filter out inappropriate videos, but that is easier said than done. Algorithms17 haven’t yet developed the moral sense to know what is good for children.
  Last year, Amazon launched its Parent Dashboard, to help “parents connect with their kids in the world outside the tablet”.18 It creates a digital profile of your child based on the sites they have visited, as well as “discussion cards” for topics you might want to talk to them about, based on their search history. Young minds, big data. But while these protections might help shelter vulnerable children from older, paedophilic predators, there’s little they can do to protect them from bratty children—and their pushy parents—who are determined to trample their way to the top of the YouTube chart.19
  My friend said she was concerned about her daughter’s vlogging but that it was difficult to intervene, given that most of her year-group at school were obsessed with it. One pupil has staked out20 her position as the “arts and crafts” girl; another is doing “the tech stuff”. The girls all hope they might earn millions, travel the world and become famous.
  In reality, the most they’ll end up with is an embarrassing collection of videos they’ll want to delete later in life. But I suspect these vloggers offer us a glimpse of the near future. A cynical, cut-throat world in which many traditional jobs and skills are replaced by robots21—and real people, young and old, are instead forced to compete with each other to sell, sell, sell. If so, these young vloggers are probably well prepared for what’s coming. My friend’s daughter was right: it’s a numbers game.
  1. vlog: video blog的简称,即视频形式的博客,指在互联网上发布的视频形式的网络日志;bewitch: 使着迷,蛊惑。
  2. clip: 视频片段。
  3. bizarre: 古怪的。
  4. tweenage: 10—12岁之间的。
  5. bona fide: 真正的,真实的。
  6. gallon: 加仑,液体计量单位,复数形式也指“大量的”。
  7. stationery: 文具。
  8. hyperactive: 异常活跃的; Nebraska:内布拉斯加,美国中西部的一个州;flog: 出售,卖;bow: 蝴蝶结。
  9. havoc: 混乱,浩劫。
  10. tat: 不值钱的东西,质量低劣的东西。
  11. entrepreneurial: 创业者的,企业家的;narcissism: // 自恋,自我陶醉;materialism: 实利主义,物质主义。
  12. catchy:(曲调或口号)悦耳易記的。
  13. YouTube上大受欢迎的视频博客类型主要有两种:“好物测评”和“开箱分享”。前者指博主分享新入手物品的使用心得,后者则是分享物品拆开包装的过程,并对其进行探讨。haul: 捕获物。
  14. 并非每个女孩都如佐拉那样,因此,一如既往,真正的赢家是那些科技公司,它们不断地优化系统,在获取消费者数据的同时从观众那里榨取最大收益。tweak: 对(机器、汽车或系统)作小小的改进。
  15. uncharted: 无人涉足的,未经探测的;territory: 领地,领域。
  16. recess: 凹处。
  17. algorithm: 算法,计算程序。
  18. dashboard: 仪表板;tablet: 平板电脑。
  19. 但尽管这些措施似乎保护了脆弱的儿童,使其免受图谋不轨的成年人的侵害,却无法保护其不受那些可恶的同龄人,以及他们利益熏心的家长所带来的负面影响,这些人铁了心要一步步踏上YouTube热门视频的榜首。paedophilic: // 恋童癖的;bratty: 无耻的,讨厌的;pushy: 急于求成的,执意强求的;trample: 践踏,踩。
  20. stake out: 立桩标出。
  21. cynical: 愤世嫉俗的;cut-throat: 残酷的,竞争激烈的。
视频博客—— 少年的网红博主梦
作者:By Lara Prendergast


视频博客—— 少年的网红博主梦

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