• Davis Media Access's offices
  • A video on Luminosity's YouTube channel
  • A visionOntv training template
  • An edit suite at Davis Media Access
  • A video on AbsoluteDestiny's YouTube channel
  • The visionOntv platform's menu
  • telex
    Davis Media Access's studio control room
  • Laura announcing a video on LiveJournal
  • visionOntv's YouTube channel
  • mixing board
    A mixing board in Davis Media Access's control room
  • Obsessive24 announcing a video on LiveJournal
  • One of visionOntv's Twitter feeds
  • Davis on air
    The entrance to Davis Media Access's studio
  • Laura recommending a video on her Dreamwidth journal
  • visionOntv's Facebook page
  • marin control
    Community Media Center of Marin's studio contol room
  • Here's Luck's website
  • visionOntv's Blip channel
  • mural
    Davis Media Access office's wall mural
  • Here's Luck announcing a video on tumblr
  • Merseyside Street Reporters Network's Facebook page
  • MarinWindow
    The Community Media Center of Marin's offices
  • AbsoluteDestiny announcing a video on Dreamwidth
  • Merseyside Street Reporters Network wiki page on the visionOntv platform
  • Davis camera
    A studio camera at Davis Media Access
  • Luminosity's video "Vogue"
  • Sara Newton's YouTube channel
  • Marin cameras wide
    Remote control studio cameras at the Community Media Center of Marin
  • researcher
    The reseacher (left) co-operating visionOntv's "pop-up studio" at OpenTech 2011

Case Study: Luminosity

Luminosity began television and film fan video making when sending physical media by post (e.g. VHS tapes) and fan conventions were still the main distribution methods. She explained to me the reasons why she made videos and the types she made:

I make all sorts of vids. When I started vidding, slash was predominant, but I felt that there were many ways to subvert the text, highlight the text and talk back to the text. I make meta vids, character studies, parodies, arguments, mood pieces, both gen and slash.

One typical example of Luminosity's videos is the character study of Dean from Supernatural:

Luminosity's video "Goddammit"

Luminosity concurrently used eleven different platforms to distribute her videos during the period of my fieldwork, which included journaling, social networking, video hosting and other types of sites. She announced her videos by posting to Dreamwidth, and then used Dreamwidth’s cross-posting function to simultaneously post to LiveJournal.  Links to the Dreamwidth posts would be posted on her Facebook and Twitter accounts (links have been omitted to these last two to protect her pseudonymity).  In the latter part of my fieldwork, she also started embedding her videos from YouTube within Tumblr and Pinterest, an online pin-up board.  Also, while she was not using it regularly, she had also embedded three of her videos within her Archive of Our Own account, a platform developed and run by the Organization of Transformative Works, a non-profit fan run organisation.

pinterest screen cap

A page from Luminosity's Pinterest account

The most recent journal posts contained videos embedded from YouTube, although ones in the earlier period of my fieldwork had videos embedded from Viddler.  However, even in the later period when she embedded from YouTube, she still uploaded a copy to Viddler for redundancy in case YouTube rejected a video.  She also uploaded a copy to vidders.net to support that site, as it was a fan-run project, although she stopped doing that during the course of my fieldwork when it started charging subscription fees.  

luminosity vidder's account

A page from Luminosity's vidders.net account

The journal posts also contained a link that enabled the video to be downloaded in a higher quality format from Luminosity’s own site, Eyecandy. At the beginning of my fieldwork she told me she had anticipated using Critical Commons but decided against it later as it was proving too difficult to use, particular its requirement for a text commentary to be posted with every video to support fair use arguments, should the need arise, against claims of copyright infringement.  Also, before the period of my fieldwork she had previously uploaded videos to Vimeo, but had had her account suspended because of a terms of service violation, and she had also used Blip but there were long delays clearing her videos for publication to that site so she became impatient and stopped using it.  

In addition to Luminosity’s own efforts to distribute her videos, others also distributed them for her, sometimes with her permission and sometimes without. This was typically done through recommendations by other group members through their journals.

Luminosity rec

A recommendation by a group member on LiveJournal of a Luminosity video (click to enlarge)

However, it also happened in other ways.  One unusual example was when New York magazine ran a story on Luminosity and had links to two of her videos, “Vogue” and “Women’s Work”, within the Internet edition of their story, the copies of which were supplied by Luminosity but hosted on the magazine’s website.

Luminosity's video "Vogue"

Another example she gave was when a user of Vimeo had downloaded one of her videos, “Scooby Road”, and then uploaded it to their own account without permission while still giving her credit for it.  I take a closer look at my informants’ interactions with their audiences here.