Personal Media Is Here With You, You Know It?

Kim Moon-Mul승인2014.10.10l0호

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For quite a few years, personal media also known as Social Networking Services (SNS) has been growing steadily in cyber space with websites like Facebook, AfreecaTV and Wordpress (blog) as they become very popular. Also, personal media takes a leading place in our lives more and more. Maybe, most people use personal media at least once a day. These personal media websites are increasing dramatically nowadays and we are investigating this issue by asking two questions: “When has it increased?” and “Why has it increased?” We also did an interview with a student and an Afreeca Broadcasting Jockey (BJ) named Jessica.

The Concept of Personal Media
In a narrow range, it is a service that netizens participate in using personal devices directly to pursuit their own trend. Blog and mini-hompage belongs to personal media. In a broad range, people produce content first hand which is posted on mini-hompage or blog pages. This also includes websites such as YouTube, TV broadcasting and SNS.

The Reason and Background Behind the Surge in Personal Media
First, personal media is mostly established to be performed on a daily basis, which is developed and propagated on smartphone. That leads personal media to grow so fast. Second, people who see content are not simple participants but consumers who use these services actively. That is, one person benefits from another person’s actions and work. Third, personal media, which has moved away from the standard publishing patterns, can be broadcasted on a variety of subjects using media forms which can introduce its own way.

Personal Media Places and Its Feature

AfreecaTV
AfreecaTV does not provide any compensation to creators but gives a platform which individuals can produce personal broadcasts. Instead, BJs can earn money via star balloons (each worth 100 won). Viewers give star balloons to BJs, balloons can be changed into money. So it can become a lucrative job. People who are Broadcasting Jockeys on AfreecaTV produce their own various broadcasting channels covering topics like games, studies, sports and foods. Therefore, people who access this site enter the channel and see their broadcasts. Anyone can be a BJ by broadcasting in real time using a smartphone or computer with the Internet.

YouTube
A video clip of cute baby brother uploaded to YouTube is worth about 200 million won. This is an unpredictable situation that exists with online broadcasting. If internet users click on the video, it generates advertising profits according to the number of hits. So, a video’s owner naturally gains income. As this ability to make high profits emerged, a new word and job was created: Youtuber. A Youtuber is a person who uploads videos on YouTube. They are making videos that showcase their talent and then share them through YouTube.

Facebook
Anyone can upload their produced video on Facebook which is a website used by people from all over the world. Because of social media sharing, videos can be spread easily. Therefore, many videos are uploaded onto this SNS. Also, “pages” existed on Facebook. Each page has its own characteristic. So, personal media has a personality, too. For example, restaurant pages can introduce people to delicious restaurants and posts videos about food. The same method can be found on other pages from a variety of topics such as soccer, humor and travelling.

Individual Blogs
People can make a blog through portal sites such as Naver and Daum. Some, who manage influential blogs, are called power bloggers. Power bloggers have an important influence on our society’s mind and choices. They are called “personal media corporations,” so they have a powerful influence on corporations and netizens. Also, power blogging is a job. These people make money from advertising when they gain enough popularity and their influence grows.

The Ripple Effect of Personal Media Sharing
People usually share with friends their favorite personal media websites. This usually leads to an increase in personal satisfaction. This opens a niche market by dealing with unknown issues and topics with the intent to inform people who are unaware. Also, people can reject existing media opinions. In case of unknown actors, singers or musicians, they can produce content that included their previous performances and broadcasts in the hopes to promote them. So, this can help them get a job as well as appeal to more people. Lastly, personal media can be used by companies to advertise products and increase sales.

Controversies involving Personal Media
A popular AfreecaTV BJ Cheolgu’s broadcasts were regulated because of child abuse allegations. The event in question was when Cheolgu poured 4.5L of soy sauce on two middle school students. Also, a lot of popular BJs, who sit in chairs all day, beg viewers to support them by buying star balloons or clicking of advertizing links. It causes a controversy because people get annoyed and change their opinion about that BJ. Another example includes a couple who victimized several restaurants. They demanded free food for the reason that they were power bloggers. And, they argued that by uploading food pictures to their website, it created advertising for those restaurants. That is utterly absurd. Also, the famous blogger “Babyrose” made a group purchase of washing machines which wasn’t proved as being safe. He then made a commission on the sales for over 200 million won.

Our School Student Interview Business Sophomore Shin Su-bin
Q) What kinds of personal media do you use? (ex. Blog, YouTube, AfreecaTV, SNS)

A) I usually use websites such as blogs and YouTube.

Q) How do you learn about new topics on personal media?
A) I get personal media recommendations from my friends and after some searching. Also, I sometimes find something interesting by chance. After that, I constantly subscribe to personal media websites.

Q) What do you think are personal media’s merits?
A) Maybe, the biggest advantage is having a large amount of power and influence considering its low cost budget. Also, personal media are relatively free from various restrictions. So, personal media websites are interactive. This is different from mass media which delivers its messages to consumers using one way channels.

Q) How do you think about personal media’s disadvantages?
A) Personal media is excellent at causing ripple effects but it is limited to when something goes viral. In other words, personal media can’t achieve its mass distribution as easily as mass media. Therefore, personal media’s success depends on interesting and recognized topics that can be liked by many people. If personal media does not meet these conditions, it disappears into the pile. So, I miss it.

Q) How do you think personal media affects on your life?
A) SNS is a common topic of discussion among friends. We are happy when we hear each other’s personal experiences. Also, I share with my friends the inside culture of the personal media.

Phone Interview with AfreecaTV Personality,
Diva Jessica


Q) Why did you start broadcasting on AfreecaTV?
A) On AfreecaTV, I saw baseball broadcastings. I hadn’t seen that communication media before and it was so interesting. Also, I enjoy receiving attention from people. So, I’m drawn by these features.

Q) How do you organize your broadcasts?
A) The content of my broadcasts are different each day. AfreecaTV has many different viewers so I broadcast wide topics not to focus on specific viewers. I broadcast different topics on each day of the week such as business, pronunciation, drama translation, TOEIC lecture, American culture, phone conversation, and other random topics.

Q) Why do you broadcast about English contents?
A) In my case, I’m living abroad so viewers demand that I teach English. Also, they like my shows. I speak on English topics that viewers want to learn. I always broadcast topics that I think viewers will find interesting.

Q) When do you the happiest about broadcasting?
A) Umm, for example, yesterday I broadcasted a pronunciation correction show. Most of the viewers can’t do pronunciation well. I talked on the phone with one of my viewers yesterday and he said that he wasn’t interested in English because it’s too hard. Though people do not speaking English well, they want to have good pronunciation. I asked him, at first, it was awkward. So I let him repeat 3-4 times to utilize the emphasis shown in the broadcast. Then, viewers were shocked that he had amazing pronunciation within 1-2 minutes. That felt like a great sense of accomplishment to me.

Q) What is your goal in doing broadcasting?
A) I give a chance to viewers to increase their TOEIC scores, but also to learn English in an interesting way. My purpose is making broadcasts which teach situational expressions and telling American stories in a friendly manner. So I call my station the English playground which means viewers can learn English comfortably. Actually, watching someone else’s English is an effective way to gain motivation and to improve your own ability.

In the past, personal media was always mentioned in mass media. Now, Korea ranked second in the world for having a smartphone penetration rate of 73%. This means we have a chance to access personal media using only one finger. This will cause personal media to grow along with its impact. However, this is both beneficial and potential harmful. Therefore readers have to establish their own standards regarding which personal media websites they are using.
Kim Moon-Mu  kd01439@naver.com
<저작권자 © The Yeungnam Observer, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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