Starter - Pair Discussion: What celebrities do you follow on social media? On which platforms? What do they do on social media to communicate with you? How do they make you feel part of a community of other people like you (e.g. polls, quizzes, share-space, IRL meetups, picnics, other events)? How often are there links to merchandise or other paid-for content, products or events?

The A to Z office celebrated its first anniversary on 05/03/2019.

Look at the website for A to Z Creatives:

Answer the following questions:

QuestionCwestiwn Your ResponseEich Ymateb Suggested ResponseYmateb Awgrymedig

Suggested Response:

Ymateb Awgrymedig:

instagram thumb
  • The page maintains the colour palette of pinks and oranges, the heart, lipstick and flower motifs from the website.
  • It deals with “Behind the scenes, beauty, lifestyle, community & positivity”.
  • It adjures users to “Come on in, get comfy & join the conversation!”
  • The stories Hot in the Office, Weekly Wants and Zoella Beauty take users to pages where they can swipe up to buy either Zoella products, the Colour Pop collaboration collection or affiliate products from companies such as Zara.
  • The Wallpapers feature motifs from Zoella products or ‘empowering’ or ‘inspirational’ phrases, e.g. ‘women rule’, ‘yes, girl, yes’, ‘We get so worried about being “pretty”. Let’s be pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart and pretty strong’.
  • The Zoella page also continues the issue-based elements that we see develop on the original website – there are pages on, for example, FGM, cervical smear tests and International Women’s Day.

Link to theory task: Henry Jenkins wrote about fan culture and how communities form around TV, film, music or sports media. He said fandom is a ‘participatory culture’ that contains one or more of these elements:

  • relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement
  • strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations with others
  • some type of informal mentorship in which the most experienced members pass along their knowledge to novices
  • members who believe their contributions matter
  • members who feel some degree of social connection with one another and care about other members’ opinions about their contributions.
    (Jenkins 2009)

Look at the Zoella and Zoe Sugg Instagram platforms.

To what extent do they fulfil Jenkins’ definition of participatory culture?

Further discussion: Could Zoella/Zoe be encouraging this DIY culture with her success - even if her platforms don’t provide these opportunities?