ZIP #2

What is a specific source of information that you’ve found valuable in answering your inquiry question? How has it proved valuable? Explain.

 

Before I begin, I wanted to inform those interested that I’ve yet again refocused my inquiry question. Instead of inquiring into the effectiveness of ALL YouTube niches, I have chosen to specifically research beauty gurus and vloggers. These niches are closely connected and the research I’ve done so far relates to both in different ways.

Recently, I discovered an article titled “YouTubers are not your friends” that explained the basis of parasocial relationships. Essentially, viewers of media personalities get emotionally connected to them without ever actually meeting them. This drives things like the popularity of a channel or a viewer’s perception of a YouTuber’s content. The article then lead me to a study featured in a journal about parasocial relationships in social media, specifically in relation to beauty gurus on YouTube. Reading it has helped me understand some of the psychology behind my question, and has given me concrete results (from the study) to refer to in my research. The concept of parasocial relationships is directly related to the popularity and effectiveness of beauty gurus/vloggers on YouTube and is also a very interesting read.

 

YouTubers are not Your Friends

Parasocial Interaction Study

ZIP #1

Reflect on your inquiry question, and how your understanding is changing, becoming more focused, or is perhaps being reaffirmed by your research. What do you now know that you didn’t know when you started this inquiry?

My current inquiry question is: how do youtube niches effectively target demographics? When I initially chose this question, I was thinking of what would sound the most impressive or eloquent and not what I truly aspired to learn during ZIP. The manner in which youtube niches target demographics is an interesting topic, but I would rather explore youtube niches themselves: what makes an effective channel within youtube niches, and why audiences favour certain niches over others. This shift in perspective when it comes to research should allow me to view niches from the audience’s perspective, rather than vice versa. Currently, research is very slow and I don’t think continuing on this path will be beneficial, so I’m changing my question to what makes certain youtube niches more popular than others? I’ll analyze pretty much what I was going to analyze in the first place, but focusing on what certain channels in niches do specifically to draw in viewers.

Below is a picture of my notes over the past few days:

 

screen-shot-2019-01-09-at-9-46-32-pm

ZIP #1

Reflect on your inquiry question, and how your understanding is changing, becoming more focused, or is perhaps being reaffirmed by your research. What do you now know that you didn’t know when you started this inquiry?

My current inquiry question is: how do youtube niches effectively target demographics? When I initially chose this question, I was thinking of what would sound the most impressive or eloquent and not what I truly aspired to learn during ZIP. The manner in which youtube niches target demographics is an interesting topic, but I would rather explore youtube niches themselves: what makes an effective channel within youtube niches, and why audiences favour certain niches over others. This shift in perspective when it comes to research should allow me to view niches from the audience’s perspective, rather than vice versa. Currently, research is very slow and I don’t think continuing on this path will be beneficial, so I’m changing my question to what makes certain youtube niches more popular than others? I’ll analyze pretty much what I was going to analyze in the first place, but focusing on what certain channels in niches do specifically to draw in viewers.

Below is a picture of my notes over the past few days:

 

screen-shot-2019-01-09-at-9-46-32-pm

ZIP Proposal

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How do YouTube niches effectively target demographics?

This year for ZIP, I would like to explore the social media platform YouTube, specifically the niches popular content creators I enjoy belong to. These niches all have specific audiences they cater to, and I want to learn how niches effectively target demographics. YouTube is a very popular social media platform, and I admit to spending hours on end perusing videos that have little to no use in my daily life. Understanding why certain content is favoured more by audiences may help me, a viewer, better select videos that cater to my own demographic.

The term “niche” in correlation with YouTube refers to the grouping of YouTubers by the kind of content they create. Vloggers, beauty gurus, gamers, foodies, and more make up the niches of YouTube. Having vast knowledge of popular YouTubers, the niches they utilize, and the feedback of their videos will definitely be an asset in ZIP this year. This is one of the only times it pays off to procrastinate on YouTube, and I plan on taking advantage of it!

My ZIP this year is more an inquiry into a topic than a skill. By the end of the project, I’d hope to have a greater understanding of YouTube niches, what makes them effective (or not), and the audiences they cater to. The knowledge I’ll gain could help me become a more effective YouTuber if that was a career I’d want to pursue.

The great thing about YouTube is that it’s available to people all over the world, and most people I know are also well versed in its content. I’m not familiar with a wide variety of niches, but finding someone who watches a lot of gaming or vlogging videos won’t be a challenge. Such people have already spent time watching numerous videos in specific niches and can relay the impression they walked away with.

As youtubing (not positive if that’s a word) is becoming more prevalent as not only a hobby but a career path, more resources are becoming available for those looking to jump on the bandwagon. YouTube itself has “lessons” of sorts to teach prospective YouTubers how to target audiences and find their own niches. In addition, I think analyzing views, comments, and overall audience feedback of videos will help me understand which demographics respond positively or negatively to certain niches.

What better way to show my understanding of YouTube niches than to create a YouTube video on the topic? My target audience will be my fellow Talons learners, and I’ll use the methods I learn during my inquiry to make an effective video.

 

My timeline is the following:

Jan 4-13: Research

  • Watching YouTube videos
  • YouTube Creators Academy and other helpful resources
  • Analyzing views, comments, and likes on niche videos

 

Jan 14-18: Planning and Compilation

  • Compile information in a centralized document
  • Plan video (shots, dialogue, concepts, etc.)

 

Jan 19-27: Filming and Editing

  • Getting the necessary content
  • Learning how to edit YouTube videos
  • Editing the video, finishing final touches

 

Wizard of Earthsea – Style Analysis

What stood out the most about Le Guin’s overall writing style in Chapter 1 of the novel?

In chapter one of the Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin, she utilizes literary devices like expanded moment, imagery and foreshadowing while giving readers the information they need and simultaneously avoiding what may distract from the moments in time she chooses to present. When we’re first introduced to Duny, Ursula describes him as “the greatest voyager […] called Sparrowhawk, who in his day became both dragonlord and Archmage,” alluding to his promising future (1). This gives us high expectations for the main character and piques our interest as to how he gets from a simple bronze-smith’s son to one of the most powerful mages in the land. The sense of wonder and fantasy continues in Ursula’s description of Duny’s life. Following his awry spell with the goats, his aunt takes him in and explains the power within him. When his aunt “[sits] cross-legged throwing handfuls of leaves into the firepit, so that smoke spread[s] and fill[s] the darkness of the hut” and “she [begins] to sing[,] her voice [changing] sometimes to low or high as if another voice [sings] through her” Ursula lengthens the moment to show the significance of Duny’s first real spell. By describing the aunt’s singing, actions, and the smoke, she transports you into a crucial moment in Duny’s life. This juxtaposes “he went from word to word and from spell to spell with the witch till he was twelve years old”, as it’s a big jump in time as opposed to the lengthened one aforementioned, and in relation to when “the boy was seven years old, untaught and knowing nothing of the arts and powers […] in the world” yet they are only a few pages apart (7,2). Ursula manages to span five years in five pages and also delve into the scenes that make up the essence of Duny and who he grows to become. In conclusion, Ursula Le Guin’s use of literary devices expanded moment and foreshadowing as well as her ability to manipulate time in her novel stood out the most in chapter one of her novel the Wizard of Earthsea.

Wizard of Earthsea Anticipation

“It is possible to hide from the consequences of bad decisions.”

I strongly disagree with this statement. When you make a decision you know is wrong and will result in negative repercussions, to avoid those consequences would be, in themselves, bad decisions. There are many ways to avoid consequences. Lying, covering up, and other traditionally immoral methods can be utilized to avoid repercussions of any sort. To use them, however, would only result in more consequences that would eventually lead to a vicious cycle of deceit and manipulation of those around you. It would only be so long before one of the many consequences comes back to bite you. B. F. Skinner once said “the consequences of an act affect the probability of its occurring again,” so naturally, if one were to avoid consequences altogether the choices that resulted in them would repeat themselves. In conclusion, yes it is possible to hide from the consequences of bad decisions in the short-term, but you’ll never truly be free of repercussions. They will follow you and haunt you until you’re finally forced to face them. If you shirk consequences once, you’ll be stuck in a cycle of immoral actions to continue avoiding them.

How to be a 360° Leader

Lead yourself exceptionally well

As a frequent procrastinator, I know that having good management over oneself is the first step in making yourself a more effective leader overall. Once you regain charge over yourself and your actions, you’ll be able to better lead others. I want to be able to lead myself exceptionally well because I think it would aid me in the course of my life by making me more proactive, organized, and put-together. In Talons, you don’t always get put in a major leadership position where you’re responsible for a group or even any other people. When you’re given smaller but just as important roles, leading yourself ensures that you’re a well-oiled component of the machine that is your collective group.

Become a go-to player

Go-to players work hard under pressure and try to deliver even when circumstances aren’t in their favour. I want to become a go-to player because such a person would be invaluable to whatever team they’re a part of. As of now, I adapt to the mood of the group, meaning that when morale is low, I feel discouraged and idle. To be a go-to leader would mean working that much harder regardless of the situation to produce the best results for my group. In Talons, there are certainly moments when you have a lot on your plate and may feel low but being a go-to player would mean looking on the bright side and powering through, and I think that is an amazing asset for any Talons learner.

Put completing fellow leaders ahead of competing with them

As a person who’s accustomed to leading and being in charge, it can be difficult for me to hand the reigns over to someone else and allow them to make executive decisions I may not agree with. I can often become antagonistic or competitive, so I think this leadership rule could really benefit me. Working with fellow leaders instead of against them could lead to better overall results for all people involved. Talons is full of leaders who are used to being placed in charge. In such an environment, it’s important that we contribute to one another’s leadership to help make everyone the best leaders we can be.

Avoid office politics

A lot of unnecessary drama can occur in groups, and I’m guilty of getting caught up in these minor details rather than keeping the focus of the group in mind. I think staying focused and on task could really help keep me efficient and undistracted. In Talons, tangents and minor conflicts are frequent, and I think we all struggle a bit with staying on task. Avoiding “office politics” could help us all maximize productivity and minimize disruptions.

See everyone as a ”10”

When I’ve been in a fast-paced gifted program for most of my life, being in groups with mainstream students can be frustrating. Not only am I acclimated to people who think similarly to me, but it can be difficult for me to connect with people outside my social circle. In Talons, everyone supports one another. Respect is an essential part of any beneficial relationship, and viewing a fellow Talons learner as beneath you would make the various group activities we do difficult to manage.

Model the behaviour you desire

I consider myself a person who tries to positively impact those around me, but in stressful situations, I may not act as I wish I would. The composure a good leader should be able to uphold isn’t always achievable, but I hope to eventually become the kind of person that incites others to want to be a part of my group. In Talons, we’re constantly learning and adapting to one another. They say a team is only as good as its least adept member, which is why we should all constantly strive to be good models of behaviour.

LACE Interview

In LACE, I’ve chosen to research the psychiatric career path. As the job requires a ton of schooling and specialized training, rather than interview a trained psychiatrist (which I was unable to do) I decided to find someone who had undergone similar training. Thus, I found Mr. Tony Chae through my mother, who is currently in his second of four years of medical school. After my interview with him I created these three thematic statements:

 

Questioning established procedures can lead to the creation or discovery of new and more innovative ways of doing things.

When in stressful situations, controlling your emotions so you can think logically can be beneficial.

Having plans in place for difficult situations can contribute to the resolution of problems that may arise.

 

Below are the notes I took for my interview (which was completed via phone):

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ue-378Umm0CrZ_jICxx527KuAgPUw1jIUMuO6a1Sb0s/edit?usp=sharing

Harrison Bergeron

Democracy is corrupted not only when the spirit of equality is corrupted, but likewise when they fall into a spirit of extreme equality.”  – Baron de Montesquieu

 

Could you imagine a reality where your uniqueness and everything that makes you special is stripped away for the superficial benefits of those who society labels lesser than you? When watching Chandler Tuttle’s 2018I can visualize the dystopian world as a reality, and that is what makes it the better medium compared to Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron”. While the short story is successful in simultaneously unnerving you and provoking further thought, the movie allows the story to be perceived in a more rational manner. More context and backstory is given in the movie. When Harrison stands on the stage in the movie, announces that he’s escaped from prison, and reveals what he’s been through in the six years he’s been in custody, it makes him a more well-rounded character. Through his past struggles, we can infer his current wants and fears and how they influence his actions. In addition, the movie emphasizes Harrison’s impact. In the book, from the moment “Clanking, clownish, and huge, Harrison stood – in the centre of the studio” to the demise of him and the ballerina at the hands of Diana Glampers, Harrison appears to the audience for a fleeting moment. The movie expands the time he spends in the spotlight to better convey his importance to the plot. When looking at the other characters, George’s flashbacks of Harrison’s capture by the Handicapper General soldiers makes it apparent that regardless of his own feelings towards the new world order, his body and mind are still fighting against his handicaps. This further explores the bond and similarities between Harrison and his father. After Harrison turns on the device that interrupts the government’s television block, he and his father seem to share a moment together despite them being nowhere near one another. In the story, the only time George really acknowledges or engages with Harrison is when he “correctly identified the earthquake, and well he might have – for many was the time his own home had danced to the same crashing tune”. The movie conveys the emotional connection Harrison shares with his father more effectively than the short story. 2081provided viewers with sensory information that allows them to interpret the message as they will, while the short story is quite blunt and to the point at times. The whimsical nature of the film draws in your senses and opens your mind to the parallels of your world and the fictional one. It’s for these reasons that I believe 2081is the most effective medium to experience the story of Harrison Bergeron.

 

(Side Note: I misplaced my copy of the short story but found an online version which unfortunately didn’t include page numbers, so I apologize for any mistakes in quote integration)

Harriet Tubman: A Timeless Heroine

“I had reasoned this out in my mind; there was on of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me alive.”

 

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source: https://media.nbcwashington.com/images/734*367/20170331+Harriet+Tubman.jpg

 

My chosen eminent person this year is Harriet Tubman. She was an escaped slave and abolitionist who led other slaves to freedom through the Underground Railroad before the American Civil War. During the war, she was a nurse and Union spy; she collected information for the Union to help take down the Confederates. She was a woman who embodied the revolutionary spirit that became prevalent as slavery became less and less accepted in society. As a woman of colour, Harriet Tubman is someone I wish to emulate because despite the racism and prejudice people of colour had to face in the 1800s, she, a person who faced many social disadvantages being both black and a woman, found liberation for herself and the other slaves she was able to aid.

The time periods we lived in contributed to a divergence in similarities between Harriet and myself, but there are still universal traits that I believe we share today. She had a passion for leadership and helping others, and through my experiences (not only within TALONS but in other areas of life) I’ve learned how leadership can influence the outcome of events and the effectiveness of a team working together. We both see the injustices of the world and hope to rectify them so the world can be a better place. Even if our views may differ from the societal norm, I think we’d both stand firm for what we believe in.

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source: http://static1.squarespace.com/static/5525382de4b02b9e39c1402b/571d06cf7da24ff057b770ca/571d24bc746fb91673c0815c/1532459404318/?format=1000w

Similarities:

  • African-American
  • Purely African ancestry
  • Female
  • Determined
  • Stubborn
  • Intelligent

Harriet Tubman was an incredibly brave woman who helped others even at risk to her own person. She was valiant and courageous, shown when she stepped in the path of a two-pound weight meant for another slave that broke her skull, leaving her with lifelong somnolence and hallucinations. I could only hope to be as brave as she had been. She exemplifies my goals of selflessness, resourcefulness, teamwork, and unwavering vigilance in TALONS. The biggest difference between Harriet and I is that I’m of the middle class while Harriet wasn’t even considered a complete person to some in her day. The privilege I was born with will be the biggest barrier between the two of us, but I have yet to figure out how I’m going to incorporate it into my speech.

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source: http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2016/04/20/tubman%2020%20bill.jpg

Harriet Tubman helped over 300 slaves make their way to freedom in the Northern United States. In addition, she was the head of an espionage unit in the Union army that helped inform about the Confederate’s supply routes and troops, and liberate more slaves to create black Union regiments. When settled after the war, she worked with notables like Susan B. Anthony on the women’s suffrage movement. In 1896 she opened the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged and Indigent Coloured People, one of her many philanthropic efforts.
It’s been 105 years since Harriet Tubman died, yet she remains a symbol of hope and change to people all over the world. Her courage led to the liberation of some of her people and contributed to the outcome of the Civil War and the eventual abolishment of slavery in North America. It’s because of her actions that she was planned to replace Pres. Andrew Jackson on the front of the American $20 bill (an act that was put on the backburner by President Trump’s Treasury Department when he came into office) and be memorialized in American history.

From brain injury to slave owners and $40,000 bounties on her head, Harriet has had to overcome numerous impediments to liberate herself and her people. She overcame them by being resilient, even in the face of opposition from her own people. She would carry a shotgun with her on the Underground Railroad to keep skittish slaves from returning to their masters and revealing the existence of the Railroad. She wanted freedom and safety for her people, and though she feared being caught she kept pushing forward. I believe it was this tenacity that allowed her to overcome obstacles.

 

source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Harriet_Tubman_late_in_life3.jpg
source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/Harriet_Tubman_late_in_life3.jpg

 

Harriet Tubman is one of the most notable figures in not only Black history but American history as well. The impact she made bettered the lives of those around her, and things may have been very different if she hadn’t performed the perilous acts that she had. In the many abolitionists I’ve researched, Harriet has been the one that I’ve personally connected to the most. Whether that’s due to our ancestry or her amazing story I’m not sure, but what I do know is that Harriet Tubman teaches us that standing up for ourselves and others and defying social norms for what we know is right can lead to positive change in the world around us.