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She Was A Camera
October 27, 2011 7:23 AM   Subscribe

She Was A Camera. Melissa Gira Grant writes about camgirl culture. (NSFW?)
posted by chunking express (17 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
(NSFW?) - based on the first photo i'd say yes, very.
posted by h0p3y at 7:27 AM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah, how different metafilter might have been if... but I've said too much.
posted by Ritchie at 7:32 AM on October 27, 2011


"NO! I am a camera, a camera am IIIIII!"
posted by inturnaround at 7:33 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is an interesting piece, when you remember how fleeting that phenomenon was.
posted by Forktine at 7:34 AM on October 27, 2011


Ah, how different metafilter might have been if...

...the camgirl invaders had stuck around? (Those two threads deserve the metafilterhistory tag, surely?)
posted by jack_mo at 7:39 AM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Someone not commenting from their phone should dig up the short-lived MattCam.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:03 AM on October 27, 2011


We were thought of as girls who were so desperate for attention that we'd sit alone in front of our computers all day to get it. But if being a camgirl was supposed to be a narcissistic or isolating activity, why did so many camgirls network together like this?

See how the writer deftly conflated narcissism and isolation, and then implied that, if camgirls network, they can't be narcissistic? That was a neat trick.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:07 AM on October 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


It seems so weird that this was a big deal back when the technology couldn't support it, but now that we have the bandwidth for streaming video, our narcissism comes in 140-byte packages.
posted by modernserf at 8:32 AM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Andy Warhol was right but so wrong.
posted by k5.user at 8:36 AM on October 27, 2011


If I got anything from that article, it was a reminder of how different the art and internet of the '90s were from today. When you live it in realtime it's harder to notice the changes. After seeing those screenshots I couldn't help but utter an incredulous "yeah, right" at "while they watched, we taught each other CSS..."
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:39 AM on October 27, 2011


...the camgirl invaders had stuck around? (Those two threads deserve the metafilterhistory tag, surely?)

Holy hell. I'm a little sad I missed this. Then again, I was in junior high.
posted by dismas at 8:40 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Beautifully written, thanks.
posted by hermitosis at 8:42 AM on October 27, 2011


another old camgirl post
posted by caddis at 9:23 AM on October 27, 2011


Self-indulgent author writes about self.
posted by bpm140 at 9:59 AM on October 27, 2011


It's an interesting perspective on the phenomenon. Back in the day, I mentally divided most camgirl sites (Ana Voog's site was a notable exception) into two categories: the Truman Show 24/7 life snapshot sites (Jennicam and similar) and the porn telecommuting (as opposed to telecommuting porn) sites, and noted how some of the former kind of slid into the latter over time, or stopped because they couldn't afford the bandwidth or equipment or simply had to find more lucrative work, e.g. Jennifer Ringley.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:28 PM on October 27, 2011


Melissa was a student in a 300-level Writing & Emerging Technologies course I piloted in 2001. Very smart, and I disagree somewhat with bpm140's assessment: she (then as now) was interrogating notions of publicy and calling attention to phenomena that now -- ten years after she was in that course -- we're only now starting to broadly accept about the ways we live our lives online. I like this bit in particular, especially the final sentence:
Even while clothed and not charging for it, were camgirls working? Were camgirls performing? We were sleeping, eating, and staring at our computers. We were blogging several times a day, creating and archiving thousands of images in a week of webcasting. Still, it could look like we were just sitting around with our laptops. The labor behind the work we produced was nearly invisible.
She was thinking about the way Facebook monetizes its users in a pretty sophisticated post-Marxian way long before anyone else.
posted by vitia at 2:13 PM on October 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I saw that post linked at Waxy, thought of the old camgirl invasion, came straight back here, found that post and someone had linked the old threads.

I always wondered what happened to linuxkitty.

I bet she's Occupying somewhere right now.

Or part of the 1%.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:49 AM on November 20, 2011


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