Allana Carnie, 214107445
“They don’t call me Onlina Carnie for Nothin'” – Allana Carnie, 2016
While a person’s presence can vary from online to reality, online profiles can help to shape one’s identity, and for myself, this was as a multimedia creator, as well as for personal use. As different sites can be used to interact and showcase different aspects of your identity, they can work together to identify a large range of interests and characteristics that others may not have known in the real world (Internet Society, 2016). This idea of having multiple identities across platforms can often be formed based on the audiences on each site; for example, on Youtube, a younger audience enjoy watching my videos, and I therefore interact in a more entertaining but mindful manner, whereas on LinkedIn, I might try to speak in a more sophisticated tone for networking purposes.
I first began developing my online identity as a content creator in 2011, at the age of 15. Without any knowledge of the digital community or social media sites, I published my first low quality stop motion animation to Youtube. After gaining feedback from just a few subscribers, I decided to keep working on this style of animation, which as a kid I found fascinating. While creating an online identity can be fun, it is important to make note of what information is kept safe, in both general privacy settings and copyright laws.
At 15 I wasn’t aware of the Creative Commons rights, but since then have only produced original content, using other people’s music in fair use, always crediting them where possible. The Creative Commons license allows users to utilise other creators’ content, with attribution, and it is essential for creators to at least be aware of the possibilities of sharing content fairly. As many of my videos contain characters from the DC/Marvel franchise for parody use, I have always been careful so as to make sure that my content, from the beginning of the production process, falls under the satire category for fair use (A. Bovell, 2015). This has always been an important factor in the development of my videos, as I have been conscious about what content I need, the characters I can use, and where I might be able to get content fairly, including collaborating with musicians.
Today, I have over 2400 subscribers and 100 videos, reaching to a community of like-minded animators. It wasn’t until I kept a consistent, twice-a-month schedule of uploading videos, that I started to gain more attention on Youtube, partnering with the Fullscreen Network and collaborating with other content creators doing voice acting and even animating alongside them. This community helped me to strengthen the quality of my videos, and motivated me to continue with stop motion animation, as well as experiment with 2D animation from time to time. Recently however, I have had a re-brand of the Youtube channel, changing from AC Films to Allana Carnie Creative. This change was consistent throughout the platforms, although had its limitations because I had developed an audience under the name AC Films for so long. For Youtube, this has also been an issue as my URL still ends in /acfilms. Consistency is such an important issue in keeping an online identity relevant. Maintaining a schedule for posts or content uploads is a significant part of frequently growing your online profile (Social Media Branding, Anthony Yodice, 2016), which is knowledge I have gained through my own personal experience of creating content for Youtube.
Today, my focus is on regular comic uploads to Facebook, developing an identity on Facebook and slowly gaining an audience there. While the comics target a different audience, they share the same unique sense of humour that people enjoyed from my other sites, and keep the same tone. Having these sites linked, each under the username Allana Carnie Creative, was essential in allowing the sites to be easily recognised, by using the same designs that are memorable across each platform.
Since creating a Facebook page, I have made any activity in animation or illustration very public, including behind the scenes and events that give the page more content and show audiences a bit about myself in the art I create. Just as I have for Youtube in the past, I have made a point of collaborating with other Facebook users, contributing to other illustration pages such as Garage Party, and animating for Creative Nest Design Studio to develop my skills and get my content out there. This has been a key factor in gaining an audience too, as their audiences have similar interests and would possibly enjoy my content as well. This sort of collaboration is the perfect example of networking online. I recently worked with Garage Party on a short Comic Battle video, which got me noticed by the producer of a Youtuber’s meet-up event, IRL Web Series, where I was on a panel, sharing experiences and gaining inspiration for developing online content. This was an amazing experience for both myself and my friends at Garage Party, as we got to meet our favourite Youtuber, Draw With Jazza.
Social media isn’t just about gaining an audience for entertainment purposes however. Online profiles can be used for professional purposes, to gain clients for businesses and to develop a portfolio, and in a study made by Helen Donelan (p722, 2016), users have found sites such as Facebook and Youtube to be beneficial in these areas (Fig. 3). These sites are also used for 3rd party advertising, so that profiles can gain revenue, based on feedback these platforms provide them. In Donelan’s study, users were found to have their own limitations for not using sites for professional benefits, with a lack of time being chosen by 35% of the surveyed. However, social media has become so much more accessible and developing that consistent profile can be as simple as setting aside a few minutes each day to make a quick post, and let audiences know you’re still there.
In addition to my personal sites (Allana Carnie Creative), a friend and I have recently developed the blog site Unfruitful Pear, where we have been posting blogs about movies and TV shows. I think this is a great exercise as it lets us talk about whatever topics we choose, while practicing writing skills in a fun way. It’s also interesting to do something different to what I’m used to in terms of posting content, while still contributing online, for a difference audience.
My Broader Online Activity
With the encouragement of the ALC203 unit, I have challenged myself to keep consistent with other social media sites as well, such as Twitter, where I have promoted my other sites, but also related topics back to the unit in my research of online identities. Using visuals to capture people’s attention is a helpful trick to use on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In terms of the unit content, I have also been trying to provide feedback in the comment section of tweets and videos for Youtube to engage myself with audiences and other creators. I have become even more cautious of content sharing, making consistency and privacy two important factors in posting online. In a way, the students of the unit are creating their own sense of an online community through the help of this unit.
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