YouTube has just passed its tenth birthday and it is timely to review not only how it has changed in that time, but also its wider influence. By focusing on YouTube as a platform we want to draw together research that is distributed across disciplines to help cross-fertilise knowledge about YouTube and its users, and to identity the research questions and methods that best capture its ever-expanding reach, impact and significance. We plan to include a panel of industry insiders to offer insights into possible futures in the light of current developments alongside the academic papers which we now invite you to propose.
Professor Burgess will consider how YouTube and the broader online video environment have changed in the past decade, and what its competing futures look like. She will also discuss how we might learn to recognise such patterns of change empirically, and the key methodological approaches to studying the co-evolution of proprietary digital media platforms and their cultures of use over time.
Possible questions to address (but not limited to these):
How has the institutionalisation of YouTube changed its nature?
Has YouTube accelerated processes of media convergence and transformation?
What is the changing relationship of television to YouTube?
How have production techniques and practices developed as the platform matured?
What communities of practice have been influential in the development of YouTube norms?
How has the development of new aesthetic forms been enabled by YouTube?
What innovations in performance and modes of address can be detected on YouTube?
To what degree do YouTubeâ€™s affordances operate as a social medium?
What new forms of celebrity and fandom have emerged on YouTube and why?
What wider social, cultural and political changes can be attributed to YouTubeâ€™s influence?
Why do we need to regulate the corporate power of YouTubeâ€™s owners Google?
Is YouTube a positive space for self realisation and expression of marginalised identities?
How do concerns over data harvesting and privacy apply to YouTube?
How have conflicts over rights affected the monetization of YouTube activities?
What potential does YouTube have as a repository of curated archives?
What are the genres that have thrived on YouTube and what wider significance does this have? (e.g. education, journalism, advertising and marketing, campaigning and propaganda, entertainment, documentary, drama, comedy and parody, how to ...)
Is the development of specific apps for Music, Kids and Gaming a significant new trend?
What research methods are used to study YouTube? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Conference organisation team: Professor Jane Arthurs, Dr Alessandro Gandini, Dr Paul Kerr
Nicola Skinner. Supported by the Middlesex Universityâ€™s School of Performing Arts and Media and by the Research and Knowledge Exchange Office
23/4 September 2016, Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London.
Keynote speaker: Professor Jean Burgess
Please send an abstract of 350 words plus a short bio of 100 words for single papers or 500 words and individual bios for group panels by email attachment to
Deadline for receipt of abstracts is 4 April 2016.