Investigators Assemble

Part 2

The Nerdist – Jake Kroeger discusses how the emergence of popular TV and other comedy media outlets develop content based on online web series’ or other exclusive online material. This prompts many comedians to use the internet as an accessible medium for their show/art. Comedians use the comedy structure of the internet to appeal to fans directly utilizing comedy sketches, podcasts, and web series’ to hopefully get a chance at further spotlight from the availability of viewers. Kroeger discusses how successful comedy personalities also have transitioned to “web” performances as an enhancement of their talent, making web based stand-up possible and popular. Jake argues that the content that is created from this web comedy transition is what now drives and dictates non web comedy content; that what is popular and funny online is what will be successful in live media as well.

Los Angeles Times – Vankin at the LA Times addresses the surge of comedians moving their content online and immediately recognizes my other source, The Nerdist, as a chief inhibitor of this transition. Vankin says that internet platforms help comedians directly perform to fans and help other aspiring comedy groups and figures rise through popularity. The internet helps put anyone who has talent connect with viewers. Rankin would agree that the transition of established comedians to online platforms and the enhancement of a self-aware internet comedy community are the forces that drive popular and funny content through all media channels.

Pew Research – Pew Researched published a brief data dump that 50% of videos viewed online in 2010 were comedy based videos. This gives substantial substance to the claim that comedy as a medium makes its home on internet platforms.

#NewComedyStages – The transition of comedy culture onto the internet


LA Times – Vankin explains that for online personalities, online humor acts are the express lane into the entertainment industry today due to its influence in trends. Vankin references a member of Kyle’s comedy group who explained the investment payoff opportunities of their online comic performances; comedy central special, Us tour, feature film role. Vankin has pointed out that these are the steps followed by many other successful comedy entertainment personalities.

The Daily Dot – Currid-Halkett writes about the modern usage of the concept of social capital. She explains it as a gain in cultural, financial, and social wealth through the means of personal connections with other sources of social capital. Virtually a self thriving unquantifiable social ranking value that relies on its continual awareness and upkeep of all others. Currid-Halkett defines this as the obvious reason one would establish an online presence is to accrue social capital. While Halkett would argue that this chase for a popular position is futile and an unrelenting game at keeping up with your life online and denying your true one. However this need for people to make connections with each other online and bounce trending themes off each other is precisely the platform that Vankin at the LA times says helps give rise to those with talent who would otherwise go uncovered and can give anyone a chance in the spotlight.

#online popularity
#social capital

Splitsider – Megh Wright publishes a short acknowledgement to youtube celebrity Kyle and his group Good Neighbor as they are individually added to Saturday Night Live’s writing team. Kyle’s rise through YouTube and gaining a position among a popular humorous media outlet shows that success can be generated through online social capital and the social capital one can gain can influence massive media sources thriving off of ideas born on the web. This can support the idea that anyone with a camera, personality, and a will does have social capital to accrue online that is influential and valuable.

Documentaries Awkward Turn – ???





Investigators Assemble Part 1

The Gathering

On a frantic chase through the pathways of my mind, I attempt to find and round up all of the concepts and tangents that my sources, strong and flimsy, have uncovered for me in my search. To form a linear list of possible sources is highly unrepresentative of my unsynthesized thoughts could possibly assist in a more linear thought pattern.

Humor In The Age Of Digital Reproduction – Limor Shifman

The Internet Changes Comedy – Jake Kroeger

Is Online Popularity Really Worth Anything – Elizabeth Currid Halkett

The New Comedy Stages – Debrah Vankin

In one way or another most of these sources address a value in online social capital as well as changes in the forms of online humor. This will help me see how Kyle fits into the concepts that these authors study.

Nuggeting Sources

While contemplating the why people even strive to be popular on the internet I decided to edit my search criterion to simply “online popularity.” I found a lot of people discussing the value of something called “social capital” in the marketing perspective. With a little digging I found Elizabeth Currid-Halkett at The Daily Dot who could speak to this concept of social capital on the personal level.

“Social capital is considered to be the sum of the networks, connections, influence and interactions people have with other individuals and as members of groups…”

All of these notions and contradictions of capital are thrown into Screen_shot_2013-06-03_at_10.39.51_AMsharp relief within the confines of the Internet, where people accrue social capital through Facebook, financial capital through becoming YouTube stars and cultural capital through the blogosphere…”

“Even if the purpose of online social media is not to accumulate wealth, surely it is to accrue social capital. Yet recent research studying social media behavior suggests that those who spend the most time on Facebook can be some of the loneliest people in real life. Other research has pointed to an increasing trend of narcissistic personality traits with the social media generation. “

So Halkett has explained to me this notion of social capital where one gains worth and wealth (which many study to be non monetary values) through their interconnections and influences through different mediums. Using the pathways of the internet, the social capital equates to the concept of an “online presence” that I wanted to express in class. Halkett churns away at the senselessness of online social capital even relaying that the true create of the term “social capital” would be ashamed of the uses of this concept today. Halkett argues that any of the social capital one can gain online is virtually worthless and that from the eyes of many is virtually unachievable. Hackett states that no matter who you are there is always a source of greater social capital. This forces me to wonder what carries specific sources to a position of popularity and what gives their position value to them. This is a question I would ask Kyle if I could. This source challenges the idea that anyone would even seek out and enjoy being in a position of popularity online and helps me distinguish the sense of “social capital” that many people perceive.


Finding real sources has greatly helped me narrow down my line of inquiry and hold a firmer grasp onto what my inquiry project is. My inquiry has changed from an observation about my point of interest, kyle, to a healthier line of inquiry about the popularity of online humor in many forms and how is changes and influences the entertainment media over time. While this is still not a completely concise question, I see myself progressing through the continuous research and writing process. I will look next into what forms of online humor are possible and try to find some way to truly decipher how what is popular among these sources has progressively changed over time. I’ve been surprised in the amount of well adept sources I can ind that are more than eager to take an educated position on online popularity and studies in comedy and other web phenomena.

Connecting Nuggets

To discover where Kyle fits into online popularity trends I found a youtube database called SocialBlade which collects statistics on all youtube channels. I found Kyle’s page and found an abundant amount of data that can place Kyle on a timeline of popularity online that can also be linked to other similar sources that were also popular at the same time.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 10.19.51 PM

These graphs show the amount of viewers and subscribers on myles channel over time. These graphs do show trends in when viewers are interested in Kyle’s content.

My source from last week supported my claim that online comedy is significant and does go through changes and has an influence on entertainment media. This source helped me discover how Kyle’s internet presence specifically fits into that timeline and possibly some of the influence he has had over time.


Full Link:


Nuggeting Sources

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 9.17.17 PM


In trying to discover why online comedy was so

significant and why popularity changes take place I stumbled upon a post by Jake Kroeger at Nerdist which provided an interesting perspective on the significance of online humor.

“However, this does not mean that the Internet is done altering the art form of comedy. If anything, the Internet affects how humor is conceptualized and executed now more than ever into a more complex, diverse, and self-aware era of comedy. Who saw podcasts ever being adapted into movies or TV shows several generations of iPods ago?:”

This section does an excellent job of showing how influential and important internet based comedy is as a medium for the entertainment industry. This could also explain why some shifts in topic and style popularity take place over time. This section also indirectly shows how much technology has altered comedy in the entertainment industry providing a new “self-aware” community and audience for all computer users.



Full link:

Finalizing My Dream

Research into Kyle and his youtube channel and style has influenced my interest in online comedy and its influence on the internet. I have noticed changes in the style of internet humor and that it goes through “eras” in popularity. I have observed how Kyle’s videos fit into the timeline of internet humor and other sources of online comedy. I am curious what the value is in the popularity one can gain from being an online personality. I am hoping that Englebart will help me understand how the augmentation of intellect has created an availability of computer advancement to any person and how that has made my concepts of study possible.

Nelson Nugget

I think Nelsons ideology on the computer age perfectly completes the circle of viewpoints from all our Dreamers. Nelson seems to take a different approach than our other avid technology prophets. Nelson’s view focuses on the vision of human interaction with technology rather than getting hung up on the “technicalities” as he puts it. Throughout his book, Ted expresses disdain at many other visionaries of his time, seemingly accusing many of possibly holding back the technological age trying to create the perfect machine. Nelson most accurately predicted the future of computers; new technologies of his era were merely a platform to build from to launch humanity into the technological age. Nelson uncovers the irony amongst many technological visionaries of his time in this passage.

Noting that every company and university seems to insist that its system is the wave of the future, I think it is more important than ever to have the alternatives spread out clearly.But the “experts” are not going to be much help; they are part of the problem. On both sides, the academic and the industrial, they are being painfully pontifical and bombastic in the jarring new jargons. Little clarity is spread by this. Few things are funnier than the pretensions of those who profess to dignity, sobriety and professionalism of their expert predictions— especially when they, too, are pouring out their own personal views under the guise of technicality. Most people don’t dream of what’s going to hit the fan. And the computer and electronics people are like generals preparing for the last war.

Nelson’s tone is by far my favorite of all our Dreamers. Through playful banter and harsher criticisms, Nelson shows us a simpler view of our future without losing steam on arguing the specifics; a world of computers for everyone which cannot be achieved most effectively by endless speculation and changes in direction.

Mapping My Dreamers

Dynabook1.) Englebart’s vision for computers was one of vast possibilities and endless future developments for more than the realm of technologies. To Englebart, computers seemed to be a supernatural force put in place to be sure than the ultimate human potential could be reached. Licklider’s end goal was precisely the same, to maximize to bounds of human thought processes. These two visionaries saw the paths to reaching a “nirvana” between man and machine as very different however. Licklider believed that by dictating machines to handle the more trivial of human thoughts, human thinkers could be aided in more quickly being able to react to output data from computers to further their thinking; an extension of the human brain. Engelbart felt that mans interaction with machine would go deeper where the computer was more an extension of human thought rather than a device to handle simple tasks. The computer was a source of intellect which could be relied on to propel human minds into new breakthroughs.

2.) Many of our Dreamers intended for the future computing systems to be harnessable by the masses. This is almost a given fact as many Dreamers believe that the advent of mechanical “brains” would be a rise almost comparable to the net evolution in the human race. Kay and Goldberg were clearly marketing their ideas solely on the basis that it would be available to everyone. Their DynaBook was designed to be used by children; it was their entire statement to revolutionize computers to be accessible and used by many, to distance the user from the computer programming itself and instead implementing well understood symbols which corresponded to an action the computer would complete. The form in which Englebart imagined his world of man and machines also closely resembles what Kay and Goldberg blatantly spelled out when explaining the usefulness of their machines. Englebart imagined an enriching relationship between humans and machine counterparts through the ease of use and the level to which a computer could interact with ones motor and sensory channels. Kay’s Dynabook was a much simpler form of computer augmentation than Englebart theorized, however it worked of the very concept that Englebart was getting at through his demo’s and writing. Using a similar mindset that Englebart used to envision communication between computers and man, Kay and Goldberg developed new technologies that made the communication easier to understand such as the keyboard and mouse.

3.) To be continued



Joshua Kim at ALT, CONTROL, DELETE drew similar connections to me between these three dreamers. Josh concisely put together the goals and values I saw in these Dreamers. We both connected these Dreamers to a drive to harness artificial intelligence for the benefit of mankind.

They Say/ I Say

I wouldn’t say I most closely identify with Englebart’s thinking, however a passage I recently analyzed from Augmenting Human Intellect accurately corresponded with my way of thinking. i do also admire the picture Englebart paints with words about a concept so abstract that not many could even percieve such things in the time of his writing. While I don’t believe my nugget of Englebarts work is worth analyzing for these purposes, his style of metaphorical comparison helps give life and significance to many of his concepts which would otherwise be lost between the droning literal descriptions. I think this skill will need to be harnessed for not just me, but by everyone for their inquiry project.


I am challenged to analyze an unobservable phenomenon which takes place on the invisible realm of the internet. This closely resembles what Englebart was attempting to describe in his Augmenting Human Intellect; describing the effects of something so revolutionary that cannot be directly observed and has not even been invented yet. While we live amongst the tech that our Dreamers philosiphized, I will still need to harness their communication skills to make web phenomenon interpretable and relateable to those who encounter it daily without even taking notice.