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I believe this case study develops my aesthetic/critical theory and demonstrates its coherence. Likewise, I think this theory can be used to examine other niche content creators on YouTube, for example, Adventure Adrift and the Ginger Runner:

These stories are built from both real culture and cyberculture. These creators are probably engaged in digital storytelling, and yet our definitions struggle to keep up with their innovation.

Circling back to the tension between economics and social criticism in the persona that Adventure Adrift has constructed, their social criticism is more explicit. Their tiny house allows them to travel the oceans and one of their aims is to do good in communities as they go. Their monetized web presence facilitates their doing well as they do good. I might suggest that Ethan Newberry is most at peace with being an entrepreneur. If his passion for ultra-running has a social criticism, it is more subtle, and he knows better than to alienate potential customers with proselytizing. Nonetheless, he is advocating for a more active and healthy lifestyle. As mentioned above, Jon B.’s social criticism is youthful and not fully developed but intensely relevant to higher education.

Circling back to the ambiguity of lived adventures turned to content for consumption of YouTube viewers, it remains to be seen how impactful this genre is in fostering lifestyle change and increased risk-taking. I take the Sailing Nervous channel to be one of these fast followers in the live-aboard community. Brendan’s Fabulous World of Fishing is likewise a channel on the rise in the fishing community. At what point will imitation breakdown and the market saturate? However, in truth and speaking from personal experience in the last year, I have taken several significant risks in part emboldened by this genre. I too experimented briefly with video making. It, however, is not my passion and struggling with cameras while engaged in an adventure dilutes my fun. Therefore, it will be hard to know the impact of this genre only because not everyone will become a content creator – even as s/he changes his or her life.

 

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