The first two weeks of BCM241 has seen students decide on and begin to unravel the under working field site of their media niche – a topic that will be explored further as part of an auto-ethnographic research project. This week, we are asked to develop an approach to our research that will be appropriate for our specified niche. To do this, we must first problematise said niche. This boils down to finding an angle that can examine a key issue or question in regards to the topic. The next step is to detail the plan, including methods of observation and auto-ethnography that will be used when undertaking research. Lastly, a schedule needs to be established that details a timeline of the project, explaining the particular dates I’ll be working on each aspect of my research. I’ll now go address each of these steps in relation to my auto-ethnographic research topic – Tripe J’s ‘Like A Version’.
Problematising ‘Like A Version’
Choosing LAV as a study can be attributed to a love I have for music, especially live music, and especially local music. COVID-19 has left a live show shaped whole in my heart, and I find a good substitute for this is in YouTube videos. Often I find myself checking out the newest LAV on Triple J’s channel, and I figured this would be a great topic to investigate as it is something I already have a great interest in. When it came to problematising, I realised there are a few ways to tackle the LAV study. I found it interesting that some cover songs performed so well where others tended to fall flat, so I asked myself,
What makes these covers so popular?
Why do we enjoy hearing our favourite bands play songs that aren’t theirs?
So that was to be my focus, in hopes that a finalised research project could convey attributes of successful covers to potential performers.
In order to have a solid basis for my analysis, I will need to collect not only observational data, but autoethnographic samples as well. To do this, over a period of 4 weeks I will watch 2 LAV videos each Friday, 8 in total. The first will be the video posted from the previous Friday, giving me an idea of the traction a cover gets after it’s first week on YouTube. The second LAV I watch each Friday will be either the most or least popular video from the previous year. Over four weeks, I will have interacted with four current Like A Version videos, as well as the most and least popular from 2018 and 2019. Understanding that there are different outlets for LAV videos to be posted, I will use only YouTube data to keep the field fair. The popularity of each video will be established by it’s view count.
There will be a largely varying audience following for each artist, so I will consort with Spotify to determine the amount of monthly listeners and take that into account.
For each video, I will also record the ratio of ‘likes’ to ‘dislikes’, establishing an basic idea of how videos are received. Additionally, I will look at the top three most ‘popular’ comments, again ranked by likes, to determine a consensus of audience interaction. This will account for the observational aspect of my data.
To compile auto-ethnographic data I will initially note the kinds of music I am into, addressing the personal bias I might have with genre/performers. For each video, I will provide my own overall ‘like’ or ‘dislike’, and will record a personal dialogue stating what I enjoyed and what I didn’t.
Ideally, after four weeks I will have a large data set to draw from and be able to summarise how popularity among artists is established on YouTube.
In order to stay up to date and produce a properly compiled and analysed final report, I will stick to the following schedule.
Week 6: Pitch the project in tutorials, background research into YouTube live videos
Weeks 7-9: Collect data and notes from eight LAV videos
Week 9: Begin to analyse and reflect on data
Weeks 10-12: Analyse and compile findings, reflect on background research and readings
Week 12: Write research report, script the video essay
Week 13: Film and edit video essay, submit assignment