Useful Creativity: Vernacular Reviewing on the Video-Sharing Platform Vimeo
This article intends to cast light on the phenomenon of non-institutionalised or vernacular reviewing by studying the review videos published on the video-sharing platform Vimeo. The data were automatically retrieved by searching for videos provided with the hashtag #review. The majority of these review videos (N = 1,273) were related to the technical equipment of filming and produced by filmmakers and enthusiastic amateurs interested in camera equipment and digital filming quality. The analysis describes the forms of reviewing in these videos and attempts to place them in the conceptual framework of reviewing, which, as is suggested in the article, reaches beyond the professional reviews commissioned by legacy media. Central questions are the delivery of an opinion or judgement, the imagined audience and the establishment of authority. Vimeo reviewers are characterised as both “professional vernacular” and “amateur vernacular” reviewers, reflecting a two-direction approach to reviewing, the one from cultural production (produsage) and the other from cultural consumption (presumption). The findings call for more conceptual elaboration of vernacularity in cultural critique.
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