YouTube Culture

Merry Monday!

Alright, so everybody’s been going crazy the past couple of months. By everybody, I mean YouTubers. And what they’ve been going crazy over is the seemingly recent acknowledgement of the of fame and stardom within the  YouTube community and the consequences that follow. Let me break this down.

It all started with SprinkleOfGlitter, aka Louise Watson, who posted a video appropriately entitled “YouTube Culture” in May.

 

Screenshot 2014-07-07 00.43.53

 

This video sparked a YouTube revolution. Okay, maybe not a revolution (yet), but it definitely got a great deal of people that use the platform to voice their opinions on the topic. From the people in comment sections, to smaller YouTubers, even to the major YouTube celebrities like PewDiePie.

 

Screenshot 2014-07-07 00.54.46

 

What Louise was saying was that after experiencing her subscribers scream at her and go crazy at YouTube conventions and meet-ups, she was overwhelmed. She says that it has come to a point where her own fans scare her. She thinks that there needs to be a better way for famous content creators to interact with their fans in a more stable environment. What’s more important is that she believes that she doesn’t deserve the praise and idolisation from her subscribers. She used idol and role model” as the key word. Louise thinks, and I agree with her, that to idolise someone one needs to acknowledge that person’s life story. She fears that they might not realise that the person they see onscreen is only the version of herself she wants to put out there. In other words, often viewers fall in love with the person that the content creator has decided to portray, not the actual content creator. So when one says Louise is their idol, they really mean Sprinkleofglitter is their idol.

Personally, I agree with every single word she said. I left a lot out, so you really should check out the full video to get the full idea, it’s refreshingly honest.

What struck me the most was the part where she talked about how she found it weird that there were barriers between her and her viewers at this convention. Also, when she heard that a girl queued for 7 hours just to see her, she felt like crying. This was what got me thinking, for the first time, about the authenticity of the “dialogue” atmosphere the YouTube claims to uphold, contrasting to the “monologue” ideology of mainstream media.

Until recently, we’d all accepted the idea that mainstream media, mainly TV, is not a platform where creator and consumer can interact. Because, really, no matter how much I love Amy Poehler I know that there’s zero chance we’ll ever meet. However, I sincerely and shamelessly believe that I will meet Trisha Paytas, The Third Pew and Brandon Berg and that we’ll be the best of friends. Seriously. But the point is, I soon realised, after watching all of Tyler Oakley‘s VidCon vlogs, that YouTube culture really isn’t that different to Hollywood culture.

 

Notice the screaming fans screaming for Tyler's attention. Also BODYGUARDS!

Notice the screaming fans screaming for Tyler’s attention. Also BODYGUARDS!

Granted, Tyler Oakley has over 4 million of subscribers, so fame is inevitable. However, the power that be have constructed an environment where the subscribers are treated as fans and YouTubers who happen to have lots of subscribers are treated as celebrities. Just like the mainstream entertainment industry. Bodyguards, flashing cameras, fangirls begging for the famous person’s attention, signed posters and red carpets.

People aren’t equal within the YouTube community. I’m not sure if they ever were; I got into YouTube relatively recently so I wasn’t there to witness the early days of YouTube but I see where it is today and I’m afraid to say, it looks a lot like the mainstream entertainment industry. There are spaces on YouTube where there is plenty of dialogue. Sadly, this usually only occurs when the YouTuber has below half a million subscribers, maybe even less. It seems that when the subscriber count goes up, comments and tweets stop getting replies.

Louise is really on to something, and I love it. She’s one of the few top YouTubers that seem to care about the divide between viewer and content creator. I respect that. She’s not the only one. Here’s a non-extensive list of other YouTubers that feel the same way (my favourite is TheThirdPew’s, just sayin’).

Don’t worry, I added links so just click on their names to go straight to their “YouTube Culture” videos. I know people of the Interwebs are lazy, I got you.

1. TheThirdPew

2. PewDiePie

3. Mickeleh

4. ChewingSand

5. Vicky (from The Hopeful Family)

 

What’s your take on all this? Comment!

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ARE TROYE SIVAN & CASPAR LEE ‘REAL’ SOUTH AFRICAN YOUTUBERS?

Good Day People of the Interwebs,

Do you consider Troye Sivan and Caspar Lee genuine South African YouTubers?

It’s Troye on the left and Caspar on the right. This was the thumbnail for Caspar’s video “Exclusive Interview With Troye Sivan”

 

Today I was exploring the small but talented world of South African YouTubers and found a video by the amazing Michael Cost entitled ‘What South African Movies Taught Me‘ and he said something that really struck a chord with me. After he mentioned all he learnt from Spud was that “if you starred in Spud, you will become a famous YouTuber”, he said something I’d been too afraid to voice myself, which is that he thinks Troye Sivan and Caspar Lee aren’t reeeally South African YouTubers because:

a) Caspar was actually born in England and moved to South Africa when he was young, and

b) although Troye was born in Johannesburg, he moved to Australia when he was young and has lived there ever since

And, to be honest, I kind of agree with him. But not for those reasons.

Okay, I see the disappointed judgement on your face. Let me make my points clear before we start throwing stones. Firstly, I don’t think that you have to be born in a place to call it home, so Caspar, you’re as South African as I am. I don’t dispute that fact. And Troye, well I don’t actually know what your family’s reasoning was for moving to Australia but whether you have or haven’t abandoned your South Africanness has nothing to do with me.

HOWEVER, the way I see other South African YouTubers is not how I see Caspar and Troye. For me, it’s not so much that I don’t think Caspar and Troye aren’t South African, that I have no right to decide, but for me it’s more of the essence of a hardcore South African YouTuber that I think they don’t have.  You know what I mean?

 

Here're just a FEW awesome South African YouTubers. From top left corner to the bottom right corner it goes: Michael Cost, Kharla Williams, Nerdzsquared, Prev Reddy, Rohil Aniruth, Tenn iBair, Liesl Prinsloo, Mark Fitzgibbon and ME! (^_^)

Here’re just a FEW awesome South African YouTubers. From top left corner to the bottom right corner it goes: Michael Cost, Kharla Williams, Nerdzsquared, Prev Reddy, Rohil Aniruth, Tenn iBair, Liesl Prinsloo, Mark Fitzgibbon and ME! (^_^)

 

Most South African YouTubers that I stalk (did I say stalk? I meant subscribe to) and love watching don’t really have über HD cameras, don’t hang out and travel with mega famous YouTubers like Tyler Oakley and Zoella, don’t get over a million views for a video and definitely don’t have a million subscribers. Heck, I’m pretty sure we get excited when we see we’d gotten a hundred views on a video and gained two subscribers.

But this is what I love about the South African YouTube community. We are growing together, experiencing the struggle of slow internet and powering through Eskom but are still making videos, not because we’ve got a billion subscribers, but because we have twelve and we love entertaining those twelve. Well, that’s why I’m doing it anyway.

So, no hate to Caspar and Troye (Troye was actually previously one of my “YouTuber of the Week” click the link to find out why!). I actually enjoy their videos. I’m simply saying they just don’t have the je ne sais quoi that I find in other South African YouTubers. Hey, it’s neither a good nor a bad thing: they’re just different.

Having said that, please check out all the South African YouTubers I’ve included in the collage I made, they’re top notch, I promise.

Here’s a list, in order of appearance:

1) Michael Cost

2) Kharla Williams

3) Nerdzsquared 

4) Preven Reddy 

5) Rohil Aniruth

6) Tenn iBair

7) Liesl Prinsloo

8) Mark Fitzgibbon

9) Gugu Béla

As usual, comment below! I’m dying to know what you think about this.

YOUTUBER OF THE WEEK: MAMRIE HART

Hey-o!

It’s Friday and YOU DESERVE A DRINK! Therefore, you should definitely check out this week’s YouTuber of the Week: Mamrie Hart because she will teach you how to make fantastic drinks and laugh hysterically while concocting them. Cheers!

 

 

I literally spent the last week just watching a crapload of Mamrie’s YDAD (You Deserve A Drink) videos and let me tell ya, I almost died because, you know when you laugh so hard your body concentrates so hard on laughing that it forgets to listen to your brain which is telling you to breathe? Yeah that happened with every video. It’s insane. And without actually making the drinks I managed to get giddy and hyper from watching YDAD that I didn’t even need a drink! That’s right folks, my laziness truly conquers all obstacles. Hey, I still had a pretty good time.

 

Mamrie usually dedicates her concoctions to celebrities such as Lady Gaga, George Clooney, and Rihanna. She also cleverly names each of her drinks, such as: George Clooney’s Silver Fox, Lady Gaga’s Tasty Monster and Rihanna’s Hotty Toddy. My favourite of all time though, has to be her ‘Tyler Oakley’s My Ty Thai Mai Tai‘, because: genius?!

Clearly, Mamrie has had plenty of experience bartending and enjoys a drink or two. Not only that but she is extremely talented, being a comedienne, actress, author, singer, and a YouTuber. People, she has a MOVIE out for crying out loud! But before the movie she was on YouTube so she qualifies for being on my top 10 favourite YouTubers of all time.

Be sure to click all the links in this post to see the wonderment and beauty that is Mamrie Hart. I just want to make the world a better place.

 

 

YOUTUBER OF THE WEEK: Hart

Happy Hump Day!

I bring you nothing but the greatest. This woman is fearless, hilariously brutally honest and my hero. Her name is Hart and she gives you life!

 

It’s Hart!

 

As of now, Hart is my favourite comedienne on YouTube. She is incredibly talented and does sketches, produces her own music, and tackles serious topics. She does all of this  while strongly advocating respect for the LGBT community from the perspective of a lesbian. In fact, the video of hers that caught my full attention was her Watermelon video, which was her response to somebody asking her: “If you love women so much, how come you don’t dress like one? Why are you dressing like something you don’t like?” To which her reply was…

Starts off with her eating watermelon…

 

Then you realise SHE’S WEARING AN OUTFIT MADE OF WATERMELON!

 

…And the dancing commences…

 

And what this really proves to us is that you don’t have to wear what you love. Just because she loves watermelon don’t mean she has to dress up as a watermelon…although she rocks it.

Ladies and gentlemen that video was just the beginning. All of her videos have a lot of time and energy put into them. She educates the masses about their own ignorance (towards sexual orientation or other issues) but she does it in the most unpretentious and level-headed way.  If you’re looking for an intelligent, educated YouTuber that can make you laugh and has many substantial things to say, then I suggest you visit Hart’s channel, Hartbeat, on YouTube and forget about your project/homework/250000-word essay for a few minutes.

Yes, I may be a bad influence, but if you’re going to procrastinate might as well do it right!

South Africans Can’t Vine? Can’t YouTube Either?

Happy Tuesday

I have recently discovered something ghastly. South Africans don’t think South Africans are funny enough for ‘American’ social media platforms. To be more specific, a few people I’ve spoken to genuinely think that South Africans should stay away form Vine and YouTube because “we’re just not funny.”  I don’t know. I think we’re not giving ourselves enough credit. And yes, before you chew me up and spit me out because I am grossly generalising: I know. I did not conduct a survey for everyone between the ages of 16 and 25 throughout the country to come to my conclusion. I have merely observed that among my own social circles, a shocking amount of people feel this way.

I have to disagree with the claim that South Africans as a whole aren’t funny. I mean not everyone is funny. But what does it mean to be funny? Humour is very subjective, no matter where you are from. Some people think Jim Carrey is funny while others would love to hit him over the head with a frying pan. Some people just don’t think he’s funny. Same goes with people on YouTube or Vine. The problem I faced when trying to argue against people that were telling me that South Africans can’t Vine is that I didn’t actually follow any South African Viners at the time. So yeah, I didn’t really have much of a comeback there. However I have quite a few people I admire on YouTube that are, *gasp*, South African!  But, me being the awkward human being that I am, I failed to make any comebacks yet again. Basically I’m a useless human being.

However, I still stand by my statement: South Africans have the potential to be just as funny/creative/influential Viners and YouTubers as Americans. Want examples? After the embarrassing realisation that I didn’t know any South African Viners I did my homework…

 

Follow South African Viners!!

Note: This is a very short list. I am a lazy individual.

1) Bo7bbsie

2) Daniel Rademeyer

3) Tiaan191

4) Chanel

5) DJ Fresh (SA)

Yes, DJ Fresh Vines!

 

Subscribe to South African YouTubers!

1) NerdzSquared

2) Mark Fitzgibbon

3) Preven Reddy

4) Amy Spence

5) Gugu Béla

 

And there are some of the amazing South Africans representing! If you agree with me and believe that we as South Africans aren’t half bad at Vine-ing and YouTube-ing, be sure to check those lists out. If you don’t think South Africans have the ability to take the Vine & YouTube world by storm, check the links out anyway, you might be surprised! I think what makes a YouTuber/Viner successful is when they get support from their fans. Perhaps South African Viners/YouTubers just don’t have a large enough fanbase to make them seem more successful. But you must remember, there isn’t as much access to internet here in South Africa as there is in America. This is not an excuse for people who do have access to write off any South African YouTubers/Viners, but it is something to consider in terms of views, revines, likes etc.

Just give South African Viners and YouTubers a chance before you declare every one of them unentertaining!

 

NerdzSquared

Here’s NerdzSquared!

 

Mark Fitzgibbon errbody!

Mark Fitzgibbon errbody!

Oh, before I forget. You may have noticed my name in the list of YouTubers. Yes, that was a little conceited of me. No, I don’t regret it.

🙂 Support fellow South Africans!

YOUTUBER OF THE WEEK: Sarah Rae Vargas

Merry Monday! 🙂

So yesterday I was scouring YouTube for something to watch. I admit, boredom had sunk its jagged teeth into my cranium. You see the problem with religiously watching your favourite channels as soon as they post a video is that you end up having seen them all and as a result have nothing to watch. But after much milling about on YouTube, I found a video entitled ‘Fat Girls Who Wear Leggings‘ and my life changed. My life. Changed.

Loooooved this video!

Loooooved this video!

This video made my day. I laughed, cried “I KNOW!” multiple times and laughed some more. In this video Sarah Rae Vargas speaks about the redundancy of proclaiming “Leggings aren’t pants!”, which, annoyingly, many people are prone do (I have a lot of personal experience with people like this). I loved every minute of it. She had a tasteful sarcastic approach to dealing with idiots trying to tell thicker people how to dress based on their body size. Argh. Such Magic.

Sarah Rae Vargas has her own blog and YouTube channel. Her channel, RavingsByRae, comprises of vlogs dealing with other weight-related issues that her subscribers (ahem… me) might share, OOTDs, Product Reviews and Beauty Tutorials. My second favourite video of hers is her Plus Size Swimwear Lookbook. This video really reminded me of how awesome Forever 21 is and consequently made me extremely sad that we don’t have it here in South Africa. The swimsuits were all stunning. I mean, I want to buy each and every one of them. More importantly, she really rocked all the swimsuits, especially the bikinis! I myself have never had the confidence to rock a bikini but after watching RavingsByRae, I am definitely going to consider those high-waisted beauties!

Look at that gorgeousness! I want one! If only Forever 21 was available in SA 😦

Just perfection.

I know I probably have too many full swimming costumes but this one is just begging me to buy it!

All in all, Sarah Rae Vergas is a phenomenal, confident and beautiful woman whose vlogs and blogs continue to inspire me and hopefully will inspire you!

Sarah Rae does incredible OOTD’s