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: SHANE DAWSON

Hola a todos!

I have the strongest urge to write this entire feature in caps lock because my love for this week’s YouTuber of the Week is gargantuan.

SHANE DAWSON EVERYBODY!

Shane Dawson is an exact representation of my kind of humour.

This YouTuber is the closest to my heart because when I saw one of his videos for the first time, I hated it.I don’t even remember what the video was about, but I do remember feeling offended, disgusted and slightly irritated. In fact, I went on for a long time thinking he was part of Smosh, which alienated me from him even more. Needless to say, I’m not a fan of Smosh. So for a long time I avoided any suggestions by YouTube to watch his videos, until one day I stumbled upon a video of him collaborating with Tyler Oakley (another fave!). That’s when it clicked. I suddenly understood his humour, I understood his YouTube personality and I liked what I understood. It was just magic. The easy-going nature between the two also helped. Tyler seemed to get Shane’s eccentricity and vice versa.

Here’s the video that made me see the light and is honestly one of my favourite collab videos:

Shane Dawson is a revelation. Immediately I subscribed to his main channel, simply called Shane. It contains his vlogs, his collaborations, gaming videos song reviews, Ask Shane and more. His other two channels are ShaneDawsonTV and ShaneDawsonTV2. ShaneDawsonTV comprises of more daily vlogs, music video parodies, his mini web series called The Shananay Show, and even original music videos. His third channel, ShaneDawsonTV2 is mostly his Ask Shane series as well as some vlogs. He is incredibly talented and thus does many different types of videos including sketches, skits, podcasts, reviews, daily vlogs.

What I love most about Shane’s videos is that they’re never low-key. Everything he does and says is in your face. He is not afraid to shock you. He is not restricted by political correctness, in fact he almost seems to be against it. I encourage you to check his videos out because you will be amazed. Don’t worry if you’re taken aback at first, trust me I was not a fan at first, because he will grow on you until he is a part of your daily dose of YouTube and you won’t be able to fathom how you used to live without his videos.

As always, stay fresh.