By now we’ve all wasted countless hours downloading video content from Youtube.com, the latest portal in the rise of me-media. Anyone can create video content and upload it onto Youtube where users can search by subject or content creator. One set of videos which has been creating quite a stir of late is LonelyGirl15. The downloads started out as a series of videos apparently filmed and edited by a young teenager who is homeschooled by strict religious parents. The videos appear as if they are “home diaries” fi lmed by her friend Daniel and cover the day to day aspects of her life as a teenager.
Since the videos started airing there has been much controversy online about whether the footage (always tightly scripted, shot and edited) is the work of a professional fi lmmaking group. Adding to the speculation is the URL www.lonelygirl15.com
(currently inactive) which was live and registered 2 weeks before the
first video appeared on YouTube. A quick Google search on “Lonelygirl15” will give you over 2 million links suggesting that this is one project which has captured
the interest of many users online.
Speculation surrounding the ‘project’ suggests that the videos were created by a talent agent company as a ‘microdrama’ using Youtube as a new platform “giving birth to a new artform”. I work in petrol or slippers or pasta I hear you say.... what use is Lonelygirl15 to me? Well... hush a while... Judging by the incredibly high profi le and enormous popularity of the project(go on...do a search yourself) we can
see that an innovative approach to marketing (using a mini-drama narrative
to showcase talent) and an innovative distribution channel (free exposure on
Youtube) can provide more talkability and profile than your average television
spot ever could. And the nice thing about keeping abreast of new media
is that often it takes more guts and creativity than it does dollars. In the
case of Lonelygirl15, it took very few dollars indeed.