Last year I wrote an essay on The Show With Ze Frank and the art of the videoblog, and it has just been published in First Monday as "Ze Frank and the Poetics of Web Video". I'm thrilled that this work is appearing online, in an open access, peer-reviewed journal, with hyperlinks and color illustrations and a Creative Commons license. I wish there were more venues like First Monday for publishing on the whole range of topics I might want to write about (First Monday is a journal about the internet).
This article initiates a poetics of Web video by considering the central features of one kind of video on the Web, the amateur videoblog, in terms of its functions, which include various affordances of use, and constraints, which include economics, technology, and viewing conditions. It takes as its central example an American videoblog called The Show With Ze Frank, which ran from 2006-2007, and which drew a passionate community of fans into collaborating in its creation. This article considers amateur Web video as a potentially democratic space for media production, offering an alternative to commercial media that involves ordinary citizens as participants and champions their creativity.
Web Videos of 2006, this blog's first post, a nice little time capsule of my enthusiasm for this new art form.
Notes on Web Video Form, the blog rough draft of what became the First Monday article, with a bunch of links to videos of the moment, many of which I had forgotten about.
The Show With Ze Frank, 2006-2007, my reflection on the show's ending.