For the purpose of this experiment a brief virtual ethnography will be carried out, to provide a qualitative base for my methodology and to draw in reflection. Warnings raised by Hine (2006, p.43) ) regarding the authenticity of mediated interactions as material for the study, and the choice of appropriate sites are less of an issue as the focus for a music fan is unmistakably clear:  this study will gather online finds of the band, their performances and their music. One issue, however, is with the choice of the materials fans are presented with: YouTube's search engine performs a 'selection' and the outcome of this cannot be managed as such, but is affected by the underlying analytics of the site.

In a strange coincidence, music fans can be considered amateur online ethnographers: watching, searching for uploads is an immersive experience, a simulation of being face-to-face, an opportunity to offer story-telling, a textual construction of reality (of the video upload and of what it represents), without any travel involved. (Hine, 2006, p. 44) YouTube music fans are the electronic 'fieldworkers': they analyse, evaluate, authenticate, communicate and on many occasions fans 'view' and 'participate' (upload).

Bizarre Love Triangle: the band, the fan and the internet or how ‘gathering’ New Order...?

To illustrate the Rhizome of YouTube, I will look at Manchester band New Order which formed in 1980, and to this day is active in the live concert circuit.

The band has a typical internet distribution, such as a Facebook page (with 1 million likes)  an official and unofficial fan website, a presence on MySpace, a forum run by a fan and multiple YouTube ‘channels’, one through their record company (Rhino, via Warner UK) and another channel set up by the band. They are hashtagged on Twitter, and photos of the band and associated memorabilia are uploaded on Pinterest and FlickrAnother website aggregates New Order websitesWhen checking outside the regular social media listings, one blog in particular seemed to have run into difficulty due to copyright issues.

With more than 30 years on the music scene, New Order has a diverse following and an impressive back catalogue. Their top hit single ‘Blue Monday’ is one of the most prominent synthpop tunes of the eighties, and the biggest selling 12’’ single of all times. It has received numerous remixes, the latest one in March 2013 following the 30th anniversary release of the song. One YouTube upload, by Canada-based Spotnick, received more than 4 million views. Other tracks such as ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ has also seen multiple uploads: live versions, cover versions, remixes, and multiple copies of the identical uploads.  A live TV show version of Bizarre Love Triangle, uploaded less than a week ago, received 22,401 views, with comments, less flattering...  
Some other track uploads claim to be ' very rare' and are usually what sounds like bootleg recordings,  mostly audio recordings.  In effect searching for 'bootleg' brings numerous findings. Core fan paradise, no doubt.

Interestingly, YouTube uploads are not just about following the band. Uploads can teach a fan how to play the keyboard and bass lines, on occasion a portfolio of materials available for further scrutiny and instruction. Another upload is an unusual mix of a New Order track, against military photographs, the purpose being political. Other uploads are more art-scene movies, using the music as a backdrop. 
YouTube is open 'territory': the tribute band Re:order gets its fair share, and independent TV productions are also available.

It seems there is a (Kantian) 'sublime' number of materials, uploaded, duplicated, re-used, remixed, reloaded.

And of course, we should not ignore the commercials (skip ad) that relentlessly get shown at the start of many video clips.

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