I've Started a YouTube Channel! What?!
For real everyone, I really have started a YouTube channel. But let me back it up a minute and explain some things and let you know how I got here....
So, I have seriously neglected this blog, and that's sad, because I like writing and posting on here. Quick update:
My last posts were from the UK, the rest of the summer went great. Oxford was amazing, I fell in love with that city even more than I had the previous summer. The Ed Sheeran concert was incredible. Best night ever! The summer just flew by. I got home in mid-August and immediately got sucked into school. Third year of my PhD is done and I honestly don't know where it went. Seriously, where has the last 9 months gone. Fastest academic year ever. I taught a few classes, presented at a couple conferences, had a chapter published in a book on James Bond and Bond Girls (OMG!), turned 35, and a bunch of other cool and crazy things.
A good portion of the year was spent working on my research on YouTube, specifically beauty vloggers (or beauty "gurus" but I personally don't like that term lol). I presented a paper at the Feminist and Rhetorics conference that was held in Tempe back in October and got great feedback. I continued to develop that paper and presented a follow up in February at the Southwest English Symposium, and also got good feedback. As I continued to study and observe YouTube and Fleur de Force (my main subject) as well as other beauty vloggers I was discovering it got me wondering even more about what it would be like to have a channel of my own.
Part of my research is examining the ways of making these women (and a growing number of men) in the beauty community engage in throughout their channels. What is it like to film, edit, and upload a video? What about the supporting aspects like creating dynamic video thumbnails or promoting and marketing your channel via social media? How is community constructed within the channel through engagement with subscribers? I had been watching Fleur do this for a couple years now, but what would it be like to do it myself? I think one hazard of academic research is that it is very easy to get sucked into your research and go from being a lurker or an observer to being a casual participant (commenting on videos I watched) to being a full participant. Which is what has finally happened.
Another contributing factor was turning 35 and being half way through my PhD. I thought it might be fun, even if only for a year, to make some videos, engage in this process, see what I could accomplish with it, and have a nice record of what my favorite things were, what I was doing, how I was feeling, etc. I didn't have any real expectations. I honestly didn't think anyone would watch. But they have! Without using social media I've managed to gain about 40 subscribers, which I think is awesome. It's 40 more than I was expecting. And everyone has been so nice! My two fears were that either no one would watch or that if they did there would be a negative response. Neither of those fears has come true (though I know the "hater" comments will roll in eventually, trolls always find you).
So yeah, I've got a YouTube channel now. Currently I upload every Tuesday and Friday. On Tuesday the videos are more personal, so far I've done a couple vlogs of my life, a tag video, a book review, school advice, and will be doing more of these types of videos in the future. On Friday, the videos are typical beauty channel standards, what's in my handbag, shopping hauls, monthly favorites, skin care routine, etc. Combined, the videos uploaded on each day are able to represent all the different aspects of my life: school, teaching, fashion, books, beauty, etc.
If you want to follow me on my new YouTube adventure you can subscribe to my channel by clicking the big, red "subscribe" button on my channel page. Or simply keep following me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as this blog, as I will be sure to update all of my various social sites when I upload a new video. I'm also including a couple videos in this post, embedded below, so you can preview the channel here on the blog. But I would love you forever if you went to the actual channel page and watched some videos. :)