Monthly Archives: July 2009

Response to comment, more on YouTube socialising.

This is partly a response to a comment made on the previous article, and partly that it was time to comment again on YouTube socialising.
Something that has been highlighted to me on quite a few occasions when I’ve been trying to tell others (mainly university students) about the active social side that goes on under the surface of YouTube is something along the lines of… ‘why should I bother with trying to socialise through something like YouTube when I already have a perfectly adequate circle of friends already around me.’ I personally see no need whatsoever, but what about those who don’t have an adequate circle of friends close at hand. We are an inherently social creature and desire friendship and company. (I’m writing this in a Starbucks – people around me, not at home – the only person there.) So for those of such a character that strangers and unknown crowds can be a bit stressful, then what better than developing contacts than in your own time and ‘from the safety of your own home’. Also these contacts can be from all corners of the world, bringing you access to people from different cultures and creeds that almost no amount of physical travel would allow you to achieve. What’s more, there are no time zone boundaries on the internet, it is a 24 hours a day medium.
So I do think many here have a lot in common with each other. A need to develop friendships by this relatively remote method. An acceptance of using technology, and a level of knowledge and intelligence that allows them to do it. Also an understanding of some of the problems of life (which had lead them to be developing friendships this way) which makes them more understanding and sympathetic to others who also have their own problems.
Looking at things from a slightly different angle, there was a while ago a period when people were putting up videos saying how YouTube has changed them. One common theme across almost all the responses was the boost in personal self-confidence that came through developing their communication skills. First perhaps by putting up a comment or two against other people’s videos, maybe joining in the chat onBlogTV , then making and uploading their own videos. This boost with their self-confidence then reflecting through to the rest of their lives, making them better people, more able to cope with and then enjoy life.
So there is a lot to be said for YouTube and the other social networking sites. However as well as pleasure they have in their own way cause me considerable heartache and pain, but more on that another time perhaps.

Nerdfighter Gathering

Attended the Nerdfighter Gathering last week-end. (27th June.) Including this one, I’ve now been to 10 gatherings that have required long distance travel. Sat down and worked out an overall approximate cost – and nearly required a change of underwear!!! Travel costs plus accommodation plus general spending; it all came to a rather scarily large amount. All I can say is that it has been worth it.

However this last gathering I did find a little different, and I must confess, not really my style. The previous ones have been dominated not just by YouTube users, but by YouTube video ‘producers’ or makers. People who find (need?) the method of communicating and expressing themselves through things like YouTube to be important to them. A specific type of character who might not find directly talking to strangers and those they are not familiar with particularly comfortable. Far easier to initially talk to others from the safety of the camera (and so of remoteness and distance). Make your own video, in your own time, no one pressuring you, and if you don’t like what you’ve said, then re-record it. No one else will be any the wiser. Likewise people can respond in their own time, safely from a distance. So on any first eventual encounter, you are not total strangers.

On the other hand this gathering had a large number of purely ‘user types’ there. A different character of person. Many principally there to see Maureen Johnson, an American author of novels and short stories aimed at young adults. This certainly gave the gathering a different atmosphere. A large group which was not one of active two-way communication, but of ‘principle participant’ with a relatively passive audience, and a second group of more interactive people. Overall, as a middle-aged adult, I did not find things totally comfortable, and for a first time ever at a gathering, found myself with feelings of stress.

I guess the day generally was an okay day. Re-established contact with one or two familiar faces. Met one or two new ones. Ended up going to a Julia Nunes gig; but I’ve got to ask myself was it worth the cost of the train fare, the travel time involved, and then the cost of overnight accommodation for two nights in London. Ummm…. need to think on this. If it had not been for two, no, three people, then definitely NO. On the other hand can I really expect *every* gathering I ever go to to be brilliantly wonderful? To be muttering about only one out of ten is not bad going. Also it itself was not ‘bad’, just ‘okay but…’.

Anyway, another time, another place, and another gathering will happen. Already thinking on my next one.

Be There!