How’s everyone doing? I hope the answer is well. We’re getting back into the swing of things in regards to the website and I hope you checked out the three different pieces I put out last week. I’ve also learned a little bit more about WordPress as a whole that should help me attract more people to the pieces I produce and help us create a larger community. So that’s fun! This week I wanted to talk about the video playing Giant, YouTube. YouTube is the video playing and streaming hegemon that sets the standard for hosting videos that all other social media sites try to compete with like Facebook, Snapchat, Vine (RIP), and Twitter. It also helps that Google owns YouTube which helps both companies flourish with views and that sweet, sweet advertising money. You might have heard that there have been some issues with Google and YouTube ads which has caused companies to pull ads and advertising money from Google and YouTube (more on that here and here). But I’m not here to talk about controversies or tech new, I’m here to talk about YouTube and how I use it as a source of entertainment.
Now in last week’s blog (which you can read here), I talked about how I recently got into watching the cast of Critical Role play Dungeons and Dragons. I also mentioned how I watch their old videos on YouTube as well as watching new content on the Geek and Sundry website and on their Twitch stream. I might have also mentioned that I first heard of Critical Role because they did a collaboration with another group of YouTubers I watch frequently. Well that was my wordy segway to saying that I watch a lot of YouTube and more and more I’m getting away from traditional media. Now I don’t log all the time I spend in front of a screen and track how much time I am looking at Facebook, or writing, or watching videos, but I have noticed that I have a television sitting in my room that I haven’t turned on in almost three weeks. I am one of those millennials who is a part of the “cord cutting” generation. I don’t buy cable services and I don’t watch that much television. The only television I watch live is The Walking Dead because the internet is really bad at spoiling that show (Did you see The Season Finale!? So good!!), but everything else I just watch through Amazon Prime or Netflix. Let me tell you that I’m super behind on everything and the time I spend on Netflix really isn’t that much. Honestly I could go without it and find plenty of stuff to watch on YouTube to occupy that time in my day.
YouTube has become my main source of entertainment and I consume a lot of my content from it. I started with a few main YouTubers who I would watch whenever they posted videos (mostly Mondays and Wednesdays for me) and it quickly spread to over 25 main YouTubers I watch almost every day. YouTubers are expanding their networks while adding channels and doing collaborations with other YouTubers. I see the new person’s content and then I start following them to see more. I started out with a lot of videogame themed YouTubers which expanded to movies and television themed YouTubers and expanded further into things like news, Dungeons and Dragons, and people who literally just sit around a table and talk to each other about random subjects on a daily basis (similar to a podcast). I think one great thing about YouTube is that I can basically find whatever I want and tailor the content I’m seeing to fit my interests. It’s not like television where you have to buy a whole bunch of channels that you might be interested just to watch a few shows. I can find the YouTubers I want and watch the content I want without having to sort through a bunch of stuff that doesn’t interest me. You want to find nerdy people playing video games? YouTube has it. Want to watch cat videos? YouTube has it. Want to watch makeup tutorials? YouTube has that to. YouTube has everything (besides copyrighted material) and is able to go from video to video with specific content in mind.
The other part of YouTube aside from the viewer and the platform is the creators. The creators on YouTube are some of the most ingenious and creative people out there. I know that this varies from YouTuber to YouTuber and even across what kind of content people produce, but ultimately there is a reason why YouTube is such a big platform. The people who are able to succeed, grow an audience, and keep a community thriving is impressive. Look at one of YouTube’s biggest content creators, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg better known as Pewdiepie. Now you might be aware of Pewdiepie because you’re a fan or maybe you think he’s “just some guy who plays video games”, or maybe you heard about the controversy surrounding him after the Wall Street Journal put out a piece about him calling him a Nazi and a white supremacist. That story lead to a lot of outrage against the Wall Street Journal, Google, YouTube, Pewdiepie, and many others as people took sides. But pushing that aside, it’s amazing to me that someone who “just plays games” for a living can have 54.5 Million Subscribers and videos that easily clear the 1 million view mark day after day. Even if you assume some of those subscribers are bots, non-active YouTube profiles, or people who don’t really watch his stuff, there are still a ton of people who come back day after day to watch Felix play games, make jokes, and talk about important things from time to time (but mostly the first two). YouTubers are able to find their niche talking about subjects that interest them and then expand that to a wide-reaching audience. That’s an amazing task that many people have tried to do and very few have succeeded at, but altogether I find its incredible that so many people are trying and I get to reap the benefits by watching their videos.
A little bit of me always wanted (still wants) to be a YouTuber, but the I think the dedication and hard work some of the YouTube creators put into their work would kill me. I’m going to stick to writing and see where that takes me and see if I can do what so many YouTubers hope to do: make their passion into a full time job with great pay. Overall I just wanted to give YouTube a little bit of time in the sun and talk about how much I enjoy it as a social platform to watch amazing creators and their content.
Let me down below if you enjoy watching YouTube and what creators you really enjoy. Maybe I’ll have to check them out! I hope you enjoyed this piece and you check out the rest of my website. Altogether I thank you for your viewership and I hope you have a wonderful week!!