2014 is a strange time to live in. How could people have known that ten years ago that cat videos and pictures of what a random person ate for dinner would draw so much attention?
The internet has opened the floodgates for literally anyone’s voice to be heard. One particular medium of connecting to the online world are vlogs. Why is vlogging so effective in capturing audiences? Vlogs allow the viewer to share a personal relationship with the vlogger. Hosts allow viewers to leave responses and this strengthens the interpersonal bond. Viewers can choose to subscribe to vloggers whose interests they share or whose personality they like. As vloggers acquire more followers their credibility increases and their opinions are valued far more than the average vlogger. These pocket communities on YouTube become the power behind the creation of viral video hits—the ultimate measure of success on YouTube. In this way, the vlogger’s influence on viewers equals that of word of mouth. The host can further establish a relationship with viewers by having viewers commit by subscribing to the vlog.
Having more subscribers enhances the value of the vlogger’s opinion and enables viewers to share their opinions with the host who will sometimes featured it in the vlog. Vloggers may also give away prizes as a way of saying thank you to their loyal followers. In many ways these popular vloggers become mini celebrities except rather than becoming publicly famous, they are popular on the Internet for basically being average, relatable people. Their ability to showcase their personality and their anonymity makes them appealing to users. Being popular on YouTube is rather an oxymoron because even though YouTube is widely used, the community itself is still rather unknown. This underground quality is another factor contributing to the appeal of YouTube. Viewers may come to see these vloggers as friends whom they trust and in whom they can confide. A certain amount of reciprocity is involved in these videos as well. Depending on the video, the viewer may feel as if they owe the vlogger a rating or comment because the host shared personal information. The openness of videos is essential. Businesses view YouTube as the ideal way to reel in customers. If they can gain the support of popular vloggers or create successful video marketing, it can dramatically increase sales. In the age of social networking, business will become more transparent and they have already turned to vloggers to spread their brand.
Literally anyone can now receive recognition and even bank on turning on a camera and just being themselves.