Categorising types of digital natives: Separating the online influencers from the trolls

I was recently explaining the ‘Why Are Less Personality?’ campaign to a friend of mine and we naturally fell into a discussion of all things blogging and vlogging. One thing that really stood out to me was his thoughts on why a social stigma exists regarding online influencers. The prevalent idea was that the online community of influencers has largely gone uncategorised, leading to genuine individuals getting lumped together with troublemakers with a camera phone.

Below is a list I’ve compiled of different groups of online content creators who are categorised, not by their content, but by their posting practices and sphere of influence. This is by no means an exact science, but it is important that we start recognising genuine content creators as a category of their own. That way they can justly receive any rewards and be held accountable to the correct standards.

Full-time bloggers and vloggers:

Individuals or groups who have made the leap to establishing a career out of blogging and vlogging. These people have managed to create a living off being a digital native and can actively influence social trends and online discussion.

This is one of the main categories that the ‘Why Are Less Personality?’ campaign is based.

Brand social media channels:

This group includes all of the social media channels and websites of brands and corporations who are trying to reach an internet-savvy, younger audience.

This category should also include platforms associated with more traditional creative types. This would help to distinguish between, for example, Vevo music channels and indie musicians.

Part-time bloggers and vloggers:

A category created for people who write for blogs or post online content in addition to other pursuits and/or career paths. Their content is nevertheless still of a high quality and positively engages an audience.

This is the other main category that the ‘Why Are Less Personality?’ campaign is based on.

Online passion projects:

Shout out to the content creators who make online content to exercise their creative muscles. Earning money from these channels is not enough to pay the bills, so it is really up to the creator’s passion and commitment to keep themselves afloat. In this case they may not be online influencers because the drive is to create for themselves.

Occasional uploaders:

The individual who casually throws up a post or uploads a video. These people are not career-minded, perhaps posting to preserve some personal memories online. It is possible that content from this category can go viral, however. If the video contains some whacky or funny content, perhaps featuring kids or cute animals, chances are looking good.

Sensationalist antagonists:

This would be the class where people use online platforms to proclaim negative messages on their virtual soapbox or upload content that shows them being a public nuisance (or worse). It is this category that gives the majority a bad name amongst the general public.

See also: ‘pranksters’, ‘ranters’, etc.


This label has gained popularity online for those individuals who don’t upload content but rather post comments to antagonise the audiences of online influencers. In a certain way, they have their own influence because they abuse and bully others and cause audiences to band together in retaliation.

See also: ‘keyboard warriors’.

Are there any categories that you think I may have missed? Let me know with a comment below, please and thanks.

Mariel x


One thought on “Categorising types of digital natives: Separating the online influencers from the trolls

  1. Interesting post! I didn’t realise that bloggers fell into such a range of categories. Yes, I’ve heard of trolls, bloggers and vloggers before – but that was pretty much the extent of my understandings on bloggers. Insightful post!


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