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Your Online Personality - Blogs vs. Videos

Okay, so I admit, hate mail is funnier.  But occasionally I get a (positive) comment which makes me think.  The below, posted about the video "Why I Go to Gawker Parties," is a great example. (Caveat if you watch it: Saying that I'm friends with 95% of Gawker employees is an overstatement. But the general sentiment - I know and like a majority of them - is true.)

Kim commented on your video "Why I Go to Gawker Parties":

"julia -- i knew about you via gawker before anything else (i read your column in amny but didn't know that was you until it was pointed out to me).  and seeing you via video has really made you more likeable (to me, at least, but i'll guess to many others as well).  just thought i'd point that out.  vimeo adds a nice counterpoint to everything they write about you on gawker.  (p.s. i love la esquina.   yuuuuummmmm)."

[cue Carrie Bradshaw sing-song]  - So I had to wonder - If the internet depersonalizes us and makes us more vicious (through a combination of anonymity and bitchy, subjective, unsubstantiated opining), will online videos personalize us again?  Make us more likable, or at least more real (maybe I mean "more accurate")?

[Except, uh, Carrie wouldn't ever wonder about this, because she barely understood the concept of IMs.  But, you know, go with it.]

I emailed Jakob.  What did the Fameball think?!

------ Forwarded Message
From: Jakob Lodwick
Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2007
To: Julia Allison
Subject: Hmm

The realness of a Vimeo identity is unstoppable; with that sort of intimacy, it's almost impossible to hate anyone who is not straight-up evil.

From: Julia Allison
Date: Sun, 07 Oct 2007
To: Jakob Lodwick
Subject: Hmm

Well ... I agree, to an extent.  Certainly, Vimeo has been and I think will continue to be very good for me - but only because in person most people find me genuinely likable.  Well.  At least 85% of the time (the other 15% is PMS).  However, I would refine your statement somewhat, adding in a paraphrase of what a reality show producer once told me:

A lot of reality show stars complain that the producers manipulate them – through editing or whatever - to get a certain type of character.  The producers actually say that ISN’T true, it’s just that the stars don’t realize what they’re really like (bitchy or obnoxious or whiny & stupid, etc.)

When it comes down to it, how you come across in a visual medium like video on Vimeo is very much how you come across in real life.  The difference is that you can see yourself – and if you don’t like what you see, well guess what?  Your self-perception is off.

In other words, if you’re annoying in real life, you’ll probably be annoying on video too.  If you’re self-important and egotistical in real life, you’ll probably be self-important and egotistical on video.

And so the people who will benefit off of this new video culture are A) those who are personable in real life and B) good actors.  :)  We all know that I’m definitely not B, so I’m swinging for A.