::::: Welcome to Web Series Today "collaborative environment"
::::: Help get LGPedia back online!!!!! <== ACT TODAY!!!!!
::::: Welcome to new Web Series Today blog "authors". <= PLEASE READ CAREFULLY!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lonelygirl15 and the age of empowerment

Five years ago a young girl named Bree posted her first vlog on Youtube on June 16, 2006. That girl would become a friend of mine. You too?

Yes thousands, if not millions, of people would soon get to know Bree and the story of her life. Some believe that Bree perished in a struggle against "The Order"; a few of us believe that Bree lives on. Either way the point is that Bree was a reflection of major changes that were taking place in the World and one could argue these forces would go onto fundamentally change the World.

All this did not happen in a vacuum. The 90s had ushered in the World Wide Web creating a global platform for communication. Audio and video were soon brought to the web, often in the form of podcasts. The seeds of change had been sewn in terms of distribution but it would take a new set of Web 2.0 components to bring the final ingredient: "social". With all the key ingredients in place the "age of empowerment" became possible and Youtube was there to bring video into the fold. Bree became the embodiment of this new World.

Bree was about more than vlogs on Youtube. She was a girl with her own mind. A free thinker trapped in a World that had expectations of her. Her struggle was one of personal empowerment and she used the tools of her generation to achieve it.

Those same tools over the years to come have given rise to empowered individuals around the World. We have seen governments swept aside by their force. We has seen people rise up and say enough. Yet all too often we as individuals find ourself trapped in a world of "group think". It is a World where we must balance the desire to fit in against the consequences of personal empowerment.

Empowerment is not new to the World. Since early man first discovered how to use tools humans have struggled to control their environment. There are probably other key periods that could be described as the "age of empowerment" such as the age of the printing press. So why now?

What has fundamentally changed is the level of individual communication that takes place in the World. Technology has allowed us to break down barriers created by distance and allowed the formation of the "hive mind". When an empowered individual stands up for what they believe to be right, ideas that resonate can spread like wild fire.

Yesterday I watched the story of another young girl called Fazilla in Afghanistan. She also lives in a World with expectations of her. But Fazilla likes to skateboard and while this lies outside the expectations of her culture she also is empowered. "I really like skating. And I won't stop," she says. Fazilla is empowered and she will go on to change the World she lives in. Bree would be proud of her.


  1. Much of the web entertainment space as we know it owes a great debt to this show. This show showed all of us what was possible.

  2. Agreed. Bree and the community that grew out of lonelygirl15 was an amazing experience. In turn it owed much to the social culture that evolved on Youtube.

  3. I tried riding a skateboard once, it lasted 3 seconds.

  4. My theory is that Jonas is now running a skateboarding school in Afghanistan.

  5. See also: http://gigaom.com/video/happy-birthday-bree-lonelygirl15-turns-5

  6. Comment from the NTV article:

    "Miles Beckett
    Thursday, June 16 2011

    I can’t believe it’s been 5 years! Fun fact: Bree’s actual birthday, October 26th, is my brother Graham’s real birthday."

  7. Another guy commented on the NTV article, "5 years online feels like 10". So much has come and gone and so much has changed that it is mindblowing to look back.

  8. But so much has changed........at least in the "real world". The tools of change keep getting better. Our ability to congregate online, document online, communicate online etc etc etc. continues to increase.

    These are all building blocks and to the degree we learn to use these building blocks both the "real" and "fictional" Worlds will change. It rarely happens in the way one expects it, but it happens no less. And it is building.

    And, in the end, the fundamental changes in both Worlds will be massive. As I implied in the article, Fazilla and her generation will go on to change the World.


If you want to become an "author" on Web Series Today please read: http://tinyurl.com/becomeaWSTauthor

For more detailed information about Web Series Today please read: Web Series Today:

For other info contact: [email protected]

Join the discussion: http://www.tinyurl.com/webseriescommunity