Project Abstract (2017)

YouTube is a social media platform that allows anyone to upload and/or watch videos, and it has become a huge medium of user-generated content; video blogging (vlogging) is especially prevalent. Studying YouTube is valuable for understanding the social behavior of those creating public content, those viewing the content, and today’s global culture as a whole. Also, given that so much of the research on YouTube thus far has been quantitative in terms of how time, reviews, and the" related videos" feature affect popularity, I want to delve further by looking at the content people are producing and seeing if there is an empirical trend rather than a numerical trend that can predict and produce popularity. That said, my research question is: focusing on well-known American youtubers who specialize in vlogging, is there a common trend in their videos that enabled and furthered their popularity (based on the number of views) on YouTube, and would following that defined model actually create a popular YouTube channel? My hypothesis is that not only are there common trends among these YouTubers’ videos that can be reproduced, but that following such a trend would result in more views per video than a channel that did not follow the defined model; more views equals greater popularity. The goal is to demonstrate and validate my model by creating my own YouTube channel.

How to trend on YouTube: One Model Away from Becoming a Famous Vlogger?