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Carter Long
Carter Long


A romantic track that finds AV making sweet confessions to his romantic interest. Over a sweet array of harmonious keys, the singer acknowledges his feelings for this woman, confessing the ways in which she makes him feel and speaking to their future.


Little has confessed to 93 murders, and FBI crime analysts believe all of his confessions are credible. Law enforcement has been able to verify 50 confessions, with many more pending final confirmation.

These incidents are either linked to victims who have not yet been identified (Jane Does) or to murders described by Samuel Little that have not yet been definitively corroborated by law enforcement (unmatched confessions). The information depicted when selecting the pinpoints on the map (also available in text form below) is based on interviews with Samuel Little; they are his confessions and recollections, and dates are approximations.

February 12, 2019 Update: Since this information was first published on November 27, 2018, eight cases have been removed from this map after being confirmed or matched to open cases, and one formerly unmatched confession has been matched to a Jane Doe. Sixteen recent drawings by Samuel Little based on his memories of his victims have also been added to the corresponding map pinpoints and in the text below.

Members of the TWR Ukraine team film one of the numerous videos that have populated their social media channels. The videos join a flood of content created to minister to the people of Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and surrounding areas. [image courtesy of TWR Ukraine]

Entrepreneurially minded YouTubers in the contemporary beauty and lifestyle discourse sphere employ a diversity of complex genres throughout their channels, drawing on particular communicative functions in order to cater to already established audiences and to accumulate new subscribers. Several previous studies have made efforts to categorise the vast amount of digital video publications on YouTube, as well as the various cultural aspects in which they are embedded (Burgess & Green, 2009; Gannon & Prothero, 2018; García Rapp, 2017a, 2017b; Simonsen, 2011; Tolson, 2010). Although early videoblogging practices date back to crudely produced webcam confessionals popularised over a decade ago, there is still a lack of sufficiently detailed descriptions and typologies accounting for the numerous emergent genres that now span YouTube.

This article explores the genre repertoire and key communicative functions of publications found on established Norwegian YouTube-channels specialising in the production of beauty and lifestyle media. Individual publications on YouTube encompass several composite audiovisual elements, including videos, titles, descriptions, and thumbnail images, all uploaded and shared by registered users. By using a dataset of 386 native YouTube publications uploaded on seven individual channels in 2019, I approach the YouTube videoblogging phenomenon in a Norwegian context based on the following research questions: What characterises the genres of the Norwegian beauty and lifestyle sphere on YouTube? Which central communicative functions do these genres rely upon, and how are they incorporated in the audiovisual publications? This study expands the literature on digital genres, media production practices, and user-generated content by mapping the genre repertoire of beauty and lifestyle channels in a contemporary Norwegian context. I provide detailed descriptions of key characteristics relating to settings, locations, and compositions, as well as specific communicative functions found in the genre repertoire.

During the past 15 years, there has been an immense increase in both the distribution and the consumption of digital streaming media. Internationally, YouTube now boasts a billion hours of daily video consumption and a registered global userbase amounting to nearly one-third of Internet users (YouTube, n.d.). The website undoubtedly appeals to a diverse range of users and has played a significant role in the emergence of user-generated content (Burgess & Green, 2009). In a Norwegian context, YouTube represents the most popular destination for digital video consumption amongst children and adolescents (Medietilsynet, 2020). Although the beauty and lifestyle phenomenon has been at the centre of substantial media coverage raising concerns about the effects influencer marketing may have on adolescents and children, research on the media they consume, its characteristics, and production practices remains fairly limited.

A large majority of the publications were found to share several central common characteristics, in that they were recorded in a similar setting and edited using similar techniques involving the frequent use of jump-cuts, superimposed text, and added licence-free music. With regards to setting and location, three main approaches to recording footage were found: 1) sit-down videos, where YouTubers are communicating directly to a stationary camera set in interior recording-studio locations; 2) behind-the-scenes footage; and 3) slice-of-life footage shot seemingly spontaneously, often situated in exterior locations. These three approaches can be conceptualised as central types of formal characteristics, which are used in the configuration of genres.

The sit-down videos (approach 1) set in an interior home-studio location was found to be the most common setting across all the genres identified. These appear to be linked to genres constituted by depictions of recurring and repeatable activities and are highly stable and conventional in terms of production. Genres typically utilising sit-down settings include reaction, Q&A, story time, girl talk, GRWM (get ready with me), haul, unboxing, showcasing, and how-to/tutorials. Other genres that may at times be recorded in such a setting include challenges, mukbang, and product tests. These do not require a fixed setting, but vary based on what the challenge consists of or what product is being reviewed. Sit-down videos are generally recorded at interior locations, often situated in personal living quarters with YouTubers placed centre-frame in close-up shots, where they function much like talking heads (see Figure 1).

Across the 17 individual genres, three frequently utilised central functions were identified: confessional, informational, and instructional. These functions represent prevalent means of communication used to achieve specific purposes. They operate as both conventionalised norms used in the composition of specific genres and as resources which YouTubers can draw from in order to shape the aesthetic, style, and tone of the videos, and ultimately appeal to users through the enactment of different roles and personae.

Visually, the informational function is frequently used in genres featuring commodities, including haul, unboxing, first impressions, showcases, product tests, and to a lesser extent, tutorials and GRWM. These genres all largely rely upon depicting the various properties of products and services in a precise and detailed manner. YouTubers do so by exploiting the semiotic resources of the medium of digital video using extreme and medium close-up shots (see Figure 5).

By utilising the informational function in a visual manner, product review genres are effectively able to serve their purpose of informing viewers about the visual aspects of products. The medium of video allows for this information to be communicated in detail, particularly if the visual product information is consumed in concordance with written text found in the video description. These written descriptions may contain additional information, including where the depicted commodities can be obtained, their brand, sizing conventions, prices, and potential offers. Information such as this is often also provided through auditive means.

The instructional function enables publications to depict YouTubers demonstrating step-by-step instructions or guides in great detail. The how-to and tutorial genres are optimised to function instructionally in a visual sense based on exploiting technologically situated affordances. The combination of extensive lighting and high-definition video allows the footage to effectively communicate how the application techniques are performed (see Figure 6). Additionally, the embedded YouTube video player enables interactants to pause, rewind, or fast-forward, and thus to utilise the visual instructive footage in a non-linear fashion.

Based on a New Rhetoric perspective on genre theory (Bazerman, 1994; Miller, 1984; Miller & Shepherd, 2004), the findings from this analysis expand on existing literature by offering detailed descriptions of how contemporary genres are complex configurations of specific formal traits relating to audiovisual production practices and depictions of specific activities. Furthermore, it illustrates that a crucial unifying characteristic of the genre repertoire can be observed in how the confessional function is employed to emphasise a sense of personable intimacy.

The various uses of the confessional function appear to be what epitomises the vernacularity and intimate informality associated with the beauty and lifestyle YouTuber phenomenon (García Rapp, 2017a; Raun, 2018; Marôpo et al., 2020; Berryman & Kavka, 2017). Whereas early beauty channels have been described as largely containing instructive tutorials (Tolson, 2010), the results from this study suggest that the phenomenon has evolved to incorporate a more personable tone, where eccentricity, personality, and lifestyles are emphasised.

Despite variations in terms of subject matter and narratives, most publications were found to be relatively stable in terms of composition and form. This is illustrated by how YouTubers primarily engage in three types of production practices relating to particular settings, locations, and compositional forms that are used in the footage. Furthermore, the study shows that the publications are indispensably bound to instructional, informational, and confessional functions, and how this is mediated through auditive and visual means of communication. The results of this study expand existing literature by detailing a repertoire comprised of emergent contemporary genres and providing descriptions of the specific terminology used to describe them and their various features. 041b061a72


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