Sunday, October 09, 2005

narcissim: this is a document

People keep talking about videoblogging as being narcissistic. I ask you, is that such a bad thing? This is a document of my life that I wish to share with you. And I hope you do the same. This is how we get to know each other and I think it's pretty damn important.


Marta Fodor said...

I am certainly watching (your life)

Marta Fodor said...

and the kids are great
fresh vlogging potential
where are you teaching?

I'm Killing The Munchkins said...

SICK! I'm in that (the freak in the fedora). Awesome video, Ryan.


dltq said...

you simply have no idea how apt this vlog entry is, at this very moment, to me, in my own vlog adventure. thank you.


Zadi said...

so right on. how are we supposed to learn from each other if we don't see eachother? thanks for posting this Ryanne.

Enric said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Enric said...

Narcissism is often used in a blanket manner to say repressing self-expression is good. When used as prohibiting, it can lead to squelching creativity, thought and being alive.

Dooser said...

Some people are assholes.

I love that you shared this Ryanne. I think it's very important and you did a wonderful job. This one's getting saved.

I'm surprised that that interviewer actually seemed to expect a shameful 'yes' as an answer. And that guy on VoIP, way to be demanding, prodding and impolite.

Will said...

So good. I was thinking a hundred things a minute listening to that interview. Please don't think everyone in the Midwest is so anti-everything.

I catch flack for watching vlogs, but the way I look at it, I'd rather be watching real people doing real things on the internet that spending all my time watching fake people doing fake things on T.V. Like you said, don't underestimate the potential for community building. I would put that quality above news reporting any day.

And please---trying to tell us that narcissism isn't pervasive in the mainstream media. Whatever. Wrap it in all duty-speak that you want to, but at the end of the day I know that there are more than just a couple of people on T.V. because they like the thought of being famous.

And at the end of the day, I want to say that maybe there is too much focus on vlogs coming up to replace conventional media outlets. I like to think of vlogs and the like as amplifying art! This isn’t just about information---it’s about experience!

Le Flashing Blade said...

Apologies in advance for adolescent remark from a thirty-something. With a face like yours you can afford to be narcissistic. Ahhhh, that smile of yours Ryanne!

On a more sensible note I have found your blog and numerous colleagues' vlogs really very interesting. I like your content and I definitely like your style - nice editing, nice music etc.

Juan said...

I bet this is just an excuse to stop self expression. I mean, the power we have on our hands, they way we can show things, it's taking power to the grand communications conglomerates.

Great video. If a vlog is plain narcissism, then let's leep on doing in it. Everyone should have a vlog!

Julie Du. said...

Caught y'all on Midmorning. Posted my Op-Ed response on my blog if you're interested:

I am not a big fan of Kerri Miller, but I'm a big fan of you guys. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

spot on ryanne, i love the montage, and also seeing those kids is great. they look SO excited!!!
a doll's house

trine said...

oops, didn't mean to sign anonymously, blogger playing up...

schlomo rabinowitz said...

That was fucking badass. Period. If I had a gold star sticker to give you, I would.

(Do they give gold stars to schoolkids anymore? Or is that passe.. "Where's mah iShuffle for mah good grades?")

I guess I'll have to see your students videos to find out:)

jason said...

jay is so zen...i love it.
nice video hodson. i fucking miss you guys.

Richard said...

jay is really articulate ... impressive ... all of you did a great job in that interview ... congrats on the class

Michael Tyas said...

Interesting, I linked to this word for another purpose on Monday, and sharing it here seems important.

1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself.

2. A psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.

3. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.

4. The attribute of the human psyche charactized by admiration of oneself but within normal limits.

"Some people like to see themselves on the camera..." I agree. And there is NOTHING wrong with it. (I'll take option 4 Bob.)

french/new/wave/nerd said...

narcissistic? - no shit! and like we care?!

-those who are passive to the vlogsphere need to wake the fuck up and realize that this is about COMMUNITY -forever we've been emphasizing that it's not a popularity contest but about sharing ideas and concepts that can change the fucking world! everyday of life is important to be in touch with and to simply write vlogging off as just another egotistical myspace-type phenomenon is simply NAIVE.

-I ask those at that radio station, "okay, you've seen my life, show me yours, then you'll understand" -and hopefully the rest of the world will too.

farmer said...

There are genuine concerns with narcissistic re-mediation. Imagine a painter whose every painting was a self-portrait? Or a song writer who wrote her name into every verse. (There are examples of these already.) And that’s OK. There is room for all expression - in all media. And, to some extent, there will also be a “market” for every kind of media. However, commenting on rather obvious narcissistic parallels is not a blanket condemnation. Moreover, to view these observations as such is to shut down any hope for dialogue - which I think we all can agree is what we are trying to accomplish with vlogs.

The idea of vlogging as a self-involved and inward-looking medium is ripe for discussion - as is the fact that so many vloggers tend to deny it. We all could be wrong in our initial impressions, but flaming certainly doesn’t help. McLuhan, Postman, Barry, Sturken, Worth, Baudrillard, and many others, have weighed in on the implications of media and humanness. I am now developing my own theories of RE-mediation... that is... how humans prefer to view “reality” through screens; how our world only becomes real to us “through” screens. ( Television theory is often discarded as dusty and old-world, especially when compared to “sexy new media”. But video theory has never been fully plumbed.

After only two generations (50 years) with television, notions of “community”, “cult of personality”, “humanness”, “screen reality” and a host of others, remain open. But this much is true: we are being closely watched... and not just through RSS. Great advances in neural cognition are happening everyday. With this comes very sophisticated advances in psycho-marketing. Vloggers, as a media-expressive entity, are being targeted and analyzed for corporate exploitation. Put another way, trendy kids with guitars in 1968 were studied for VW advertisements. Our content, now, is being dissected for commercial potential. (It’s much more sinister than MTV’s Real World.) How we use vlogging impacts how it, eventually, will be used against others. Pioneers always have a responsibility... that could make for a great discussion!

Lastly, importantly, it must be remembered that we are NOT seeing “life” in vlogs. We are seeing constructed, mediated, moving images. A true slice-of-life is not mechanically composed, framed, edited, and viewed 4x3 or 16x9 with a sound track. Humans have peripheral vision, we have smell, taste. touch. We all know the very presence of a CAMERA alters reality in a room. The true fabric of life is constructed through our senses. Vlogs, as realty recorders, are vastly inferior to sitting face-to-face with coffee at a cafe. Can we ever “get to know you” from a vlog? Can we ever really see the world through a screen? Do we equate media presence with actual existence?

The world is stratifying into those who watch, and those who are watched. “Some people just like to see themselves on camera.” No problem. But is that a primary reason? Video cameras are like guitars. Create songs of self-expression, about your life and world, but remember to sing some outward... it vibrates a healthy world.

ryanne hodson said...

all this coming from a person who has a blog called media nipple...
thanks for the essay.

Steve Garfield said...

He calls it media nipple for a reason.

escorial said...

Ey Ryanne,
first I want to thank you for the help you have given me with my vlog. Maybe not directly although I started everything thanks to your site "Freevlog" with Michael, but for the new ways you've open this medium to my eyes.

Secondly, I found very interesting your last vlog. It is a question we all have asked ourselves and one we are being asked continuously by other people; most of the time as a recrimination. I made my own analysis in a posting I did some weeks ago called Why Do I Videoblog? ( As you can see I kind of point out the appreciation I have for the diversity of forms and styles vlogging is bringing.

My vlogs are a mix of narcissism, self discovery, self expression, artsy crap, creative experimentation and more things to be uncovered. I accept that part of me and feel no shame.

I think all kind of vlogs have their viewers and I see the beauty of diversity.
As I see the beauty of diversity in opinions about where vlogs are going or where each of us think should go (if we want them to go somewhere).

As valuable are the ones that propose “vloging” as a narcissistic self-expression as the ones that seek to take its content on another direction, making it more social-conscious, political-oriented, or whatever we want to call it.

Reading the comments of this posting got me a bit worried about the possibility we are getting tangle on trying to define our position in the vlog-sphere and defend it to the end, (creating confrontation with whomever has a different view) instead of just letting our eyes open to whatever this media wants take us.

I read the comment “farmer” made, and found very valuable points. I happened to discover “culturefarming” and “medianipple” while ago and expend time watching not only the videos but the message behind and found them very good. Quite of an eye opener with respect of what role the media is playing in our culture.
Although I don’t agree necessarily with all the ideas of “farmer” I have to recognize I got a bit disappointed with the way you answer his posting. It is very possible you won’t even care about my disappointment (and you shouldn’t) but I honestly think you are way smarter as to just ditch a comment from another blogger with such a disregard.

This is supposed to be a dialogue where the goal should be to discover and learn and we do that listening to what everybody has to say, good or bad, agree or disagree. I invite you to check out “culturefarming” a bit deeper and I am sure you will find you agree with a lot of the ideas expressed there, and if not… you’ll have some laugh.

Again, I make this posting with all the respect I have for you and what you are doing as well as respect for “farmer’s” point of view.

Sorry about my multiple “grammatical errors” but English is not my primary language. Anyway, peace and keep them coming.

ryanne hodson said...

to respond to both comments mentioned from farmer and escorial.

yes farmer makes good points.
i don't discount them.
in fact i respect that they took the time to write such a thourough response to my video. i always appreciate that.

sometimes i get overwhelmed by the conversations i create and tend to step back and stay quiet, either not respond or make quick responses.

now, you could take that response as sarcastic and bitchy or you could take it as sarcastic and silly. i tend to think of it as a nice mixture of the former and the latter.
you are allowed to comment however you want and i try not to discount what people have to say, though sometimes i don't disagree, i never want to discourage people from commenting.
even if my responses look snippy, they are me sometimes withdrawing from my own conversation and not wanting to get too deep. though i guess i could reap what i sow eh?

tawk amoungst ya selves!

jen said...

this post provided some inspiration our vlog post Finding A Home that talks a bit about narcissism and vlogging.