The Online Audience: Individuals or Communities? | The Wednesday Article

Naturally, British culture expands and grows every year. Within that, we create our own subcultures, groups and communities. Whilst we may not like being labelled, we can’t complain when we enjoy the benefits that come with belonging to a specific, restricted subculture. But when an audience is grouped together, do we value group privileges over our own individuality?

In terms of this debate, the answer lies in two of the most popular social media platforms. On YouTube, numerous ‘YouTubers’ or vloggers have often spoken out about the dangers of fandoms on the video-sharing site. In particular, some have talked about the risk of an aggressive fandom if an audience is grouped together. Another example is this video by Thomas ‘TomSka’ Ridgewell, entitled No Fandom.

However, micro-blogging site Tumblr presents the other side of the equation. For users of the site, the fandom aspect is one thing which makes Tumblr what it is. It is the site for sharing in-jokes, references and reactions to TV shows, films and books. But when everyone has the same thoughts on the show, is it possible for a member of the community to express an individual opinion and feel involved in the subculture at the same time?

So whilst users in YouTube comments may turn nasty if grouped into a community, fandoms on Tumblr thrive for an individual connection with the show, book etc. they love.

With that in mind, is there any way to satisfy an online audience?

What do you think? If you’re a blogger, do you refer to your audience as an individual, or a collective? Vote in the poll above and comment below!



Review: ‘Art is Dead’ by TomSka

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen that this week, I met the YouTuber Thomas ‘TomSka’ Ridgewell at the University of Lincoln. He did a talk about creativity before signing copies of his new book Art is Dead along with illustrator Matt Ley.

Admittedly, I never really liked comic books. But after coming across asdfmovie online a few years ago, I became a huge fan of the franchise and TomSka’s work. So, when it was announced that a book to do with the asdfmovie series was to be published, I knew I had to buy a copy.

Without giving too much away, the book encapsulates the style of asdf, with both well-known sketches and new content included in the comic. There is also a section for you to write your own asdf sketch, which I thought was particularly cool.

If you are a fan of the YouTube series, then this is a must-have book for you. It is the perfect companion to the viral and hugely successful online franchise.

Have you seen the asdfmovie sketches? Comment below!


The University Atmosphere: Encouraging Detailed Thinking

One of the many things I love about studying at university is how it encourages debate and discussion on important issues from those with expertise or a big interest in the topic itself.

Over the next few weeks, I will be attending a lot of guest lectures and debates at the University of Lincoln – including talks by professional journalists, YouTubers (in particular Thomas ‘TomSka’ Ridgewell) and discussions about digital rights and the criminal justice system.

I love analysing and thinking about current affairs and issues. As regular readers of this blog will know, I wrote a three-page essay all about the rise of artificial intelligence to coincide with the TV show Humans. I also recently wrote an article about surveillance to tie in with ‘the snooper’s charter’ and Hunted on Channel 4.

I love this style of writing and something I want to do more of on this blog.

I first set up The Life of a Thinker as a place to practice my journalism. It has since evolved into a lifestyle blog, but I hope to have more of a balance in the future.

Mondays will continue to be Musical Discovery posts, Fridays will always be journalistic articles and Sundays will either be writing or life updates. As for Wednesdays, they will probably be journalistic articles too to get a greater balance.

What do you think? Would you like to see more journalistic and analytical articles on the blog? Comment below and let me know!