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The Vulnerable Video Blogger: Promoting Social Change through Intimacy


Many people cannot understand why it would be important or interesting to watch intimate, spontaneous events in the lives of bloggers. People who are unfamiliar with the diary form of video blogging are often critical of this genre, seeing it as self-centered and obsessed with filming micro-events with no particular point or relevance beyond the videomaker's own life. Yet, many video bloggers argue that it is precisely by putting these intimate moments on the Internet for all to see that a space is created to expose and discuss difficult issues and thereby achieve greater understanding of oneself and others. Public access to intimate moments and the discourse surrounding the video artifacts on the Web allow social boundaries and pre-existing assumptions to be questioned and refashioned. In this paper I explore some of the themes that women have raised on video blogging sites by exploring their intimate moments. In particular, I wish to discuss videos made by women video bloggers who explore ideas about self-image, diversity, and helping Internet strangers.

Video blogging is an umbrella term that covers a wide number of genres, including everything from short video footage of spontaneous, real-life, personal moments, to scripted and preplanned "shows" with characters, narratives, and professional acting. A blog is a Web journal with entries that may include text comments or other media (such as photographs). The entries are placed in reverse chronological order so that the site's visitors encounter the most up-to-date entry first.[1] A video blog or "vlog" usually contains text and often photographs, but it also features video as a central mode of communication. Many video blogs are for the general public, although some are restricted to a small circle of friends. Video blogs may be diary-based, artistic, journalistic, entertainment-based, or they may take any number of other forms. What unites members of the video blogging community is a commitment to video as a crucial means of expressing and understanding issues that the video blogger wishes to share.

on The Scholar and Feminist Online Published by The Barnard Center for Research on Women www.barnard.edu/sfonline

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