Tag Archives: youtube

Youtube partners find unexpected profits

Brian Stetler wrote about Michael Buckley and his now famous Youtube videos “What the Buck?” in a piece for The New York Times back in 2008 . Buckley was one of the first to monetize his videos on Youtube by becoming a “partner” and now he made enough money off his videos on entertainment news and celebrity gossip to quit his day job at a public access station. As Buckley learned, making popular Youtube videos once you’re popular (that’s the hard part) is a full-time job.

Just ask EpicMealTime, now famous (all their videos have at least 1 million views) for creating monstrous gastronomical feats like the Breakfast Eggroll, Tex Mex Lasagna and Meatzza.

Did someone say bacon strips?

The group of friends started off simply with a video of stacking all their favorite fast food on top of a pizza. More ridiculously hilarious than healthy (or even edible?), the video became extremely popular and viewers even started to send in suggestions for the group. Now their videos have ads and they even have a merchandise site for fans who want to buy a t-shirt with their famous motto “BACON STRIPS AND BACON STRIPS AND BACON STRIPS”. If you haven’t heard of them before, check out their videos featuring the hand-crafted bacon weaves and the Jack Daniel’s they work in to various recipes.

Hannah Hart: "Butter? I barely know her!"

Another accidental Youtube star I’m a fan of is Jenna Marbles, who’s first video that went viral was “How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking.” Jenna Marbles (real name Jenna Mourey) is a former go-go dancer and blogger at defunct stoollala (a sister site of Barstool sports) who now has over 2.7 million subscribers on her main channel and about half a million subscribers to her personal vlog channel. Although she just moved to California for a new job, she continues to put out new, humorous videos every Wednesday with the help of her dogs Kermit and Mr. Marbles. She now takes requests from fans, stays updated with a twitter, and has even featured on other Youtubers videos, like My Drunk Kitchen (run by Hannah Hart, another accidental Youtube star who now makes regular videos). Both Jenna Marbles and My Drunk Kitchen, where Hannah Hart literally just films herself cooking while intoxicated (with hilarious results) also now have ads for revenue from their videos and merchandise. Who needs a “real” job when you’ve got millions of adoring fans on the internet who will watch anything you make and buy anything with your jokes on it?

Jenna Marbles: "Chili-face noodle-punch!"

Not only do these few examples give me hope for Youtube stars that want to produce great, original content just as someone who has a Youtube channel like myself, but they also give me hope as a comedian. The world of comedy is different than even 10 years ago. Some of the best talent on TV, movies, an on-stage these days comes from the internet and sites like Youtube. Youtube is the new resume for funny and talented people trying to sell their work to agents. There’s not much room to hide with simple camera equipment, a microphone, and usually minimal editing. The old rules of comedy no longer apply. On the internet, where the democracy votes who is the best with its “likes” and subscriptions, funny and original content is key. Luckily, these people and channels I subscribe to are making some money now and don’t have to sacrifice the quality of their videos. Youtube, Vimeo and sites like it need to adapt to suit content creators like these because not every actor or comedian will plan on being popular- but when the internet speaks, the entertainment industry should listen.

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Censorsh*p

We’ve read about censorship before- in books like Fahrenheit 451 and 1984– and it was based partially on experiences. Now we see the same issue cropping up in the internet. It would be very convenient for many people, for governments, for dictators, and for corporations to only show us what they want us to see on the internet. This happened recently in 2010 when Google agreed to censor certain sites in China that the Chinese Industry and Information Technology’s Telecoms Development Department  didn’t approve of. Essentially, China’s “Information Department” is acting here as a ministry of propaganda. There’s no way to sugarcoat good old fashion censorship of information from the masses. Omission of information is just as bad as falsified information. There are hackers and people who are able to find ways around such internet restrictions, but not every Chinese citizen can be expected to do this. And while this agreement with Google may have started to prevent the dissemination of  pornographic or “subversive” material, who is to say where the line is drawn? Who decides at that point what is considered “subversive” or threatening to national security? The scary part is that citizens might not even know what is being kept from them. Who is to say that opinionated articles on the censorship of free speech won’t be censored next?

This isn’t just happening on search engines in communist countries, either. It’s happening here in the US and even on our cell phones. In 2008 Common Dreams reported on instances of Verizon blocking subscription text messages from the pro-choice group NARAL. Verizon cited reasons of censorship of texts that, in their opinion, “promote an agenda or distribute content that, in its discretion, may be seen as controversial or unsavory to any of our users.” Not only did this block the free exchange of information between an organization to people, but prevented those supporters from being able to organize amongst each other and efficiently rally support. Verizon was basically suppressing information that they didn’t like that could POSSIBLY stir up change.

The Common Dreams piece also cited the example from 2007 of Comcast blocking peer-to-peer file sharing sites. Are some of these sites pushing copyright laws? Yes. But that’s not all they’re used for. And the act of slowing down certain sites like this is data discrimination. While these sites may take up more bandwidth, it’s crucial to maintain equal treatment of internet traffic- net neutrality– if we want to keep the internet an open and egalitarian place for intelligent discussion and growth. Net neutrality is essential for independent media sources to be heard in a sea of mainstream media (who can afford the more expensive bandwidth for heavy traffic). If we lose this, we’re truly spiral into a nation of state-approved media, with the power of the media in the hands of the few and the rich.

R.I.P. Megavideo, you were dearly loved.

 

In this video, internet veterans Hank and John Green (of Vlogbrothers fame) explain the importance of free speech and expression on the internet through preserving net neutrality. They also get some help from other famous Youtubers. Hank and John Green have been spreading stimulating and educational content for years now on Youtube, as of lately through their educational project ‘Crash Course’. John Green will use his channel to explain to his subscribers everything from the economic futility of pennies to the current Syrian crisis. They are successful because they are funny and dedicated to their fans, but also because they are capable of explaining things as complex as net neutrality to their young viewers.

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