Thursday, 25 March 2010

I said I wouldn't do this..

But when have I ever done anything I said I'd do.

Blogging about YouTube pfft if ever there was a topic I wanted to avoid.

So over the last couple of hours Gary a dear friend of mine better known to the online world as CheekTV has hit the wall that I hit 2 months ago.
The sudden realisation that you can't compete with the pretty face, the egomaniacs and the cute hair. Many people involved in the so called 'Community' are doing it for themselves and nobody but themselves, why shouldn't they? Most of them are making good money and aren't at a stage in their lives that they can actually understand.

My personal opinion, twitter ruined the community. Strange isn't it that a website that has had a social impact on the world in so many positive ways destroyed an already existing websites community.
Before twitter you would help out other people out on YouTube with a shout out in a video to give them a little exposure and things were great. Now if you give someone a shout out, you're seen as an arse licking little prick or someone that just whores themselves out. When really where's the harm in exposing someone in the 'ultimate' way. Twitter has suddenly meant people look at a video retweet it and think well as I retweet you I expect the same kind of return. The bulk of the community are to busy looking after number one making sure their own back and subscribers are safe so that they feel they have some higher moral status over the rest of the online community. Well who the fuck do you people think you are?
For over a year I've spoken with Gary about what a joke YouTube is, so 2 months ago I let go, I still keep an interest in a few people because they are either entertaining or a close friend so hence why I'm writing this.
Yes people make videos to be seen of course you do, but its not that important is it? 999 times out of 1000 an A level will get you further than ten thousand views etc.

The top people in the UK over the last year help nobody but themselves most of the time, its horrible how Nerimon makes videos about Twilight sure for comedy effect but he knows its current and will scoop in lots of money for it, I don't blame him its just using the market for money. But that's not what Alex was about he doesn't need to do that to entertain, I feel he's lowering his standards by doing it. Even the most up and coming talented Youtuber for a while Crabstickz is having his video titles as 'SEX TALK' and 'Fancy a bum' Chris is good enough that he doesn't need to do that but knows that doing it will give his video an extra little push from the most viewed charts.
I watched the new concept from Myles and Charlie today 'The Zone'. And without beating around the bush, it was bloody awful. Slow, awkward, forced and sloppy. Such potential but little promise. Charlie isn't a presenter he's a face for 3 minutes in my opinion. Myles is trying to hard, I used to have a lot of respect for Myles he was the figurehead of the community to people a year or two ago, but even he made a video call 'HOT SEXY BODY PAINT!' come on people, Youtube was never about the views or whether you could get a TV career from it was it?
It was about sharing ideas and making video's because you wanted to, not because it could make you a tidy sum of money on the side and having enough subscribers to feel better about yourself.

Views/Subscribers/Twitter followers change people. So many people are different now from a year ago. 'Internet fame' changed them just look at their videos a year ago compared to now.
YouTube is just like school, social groups that others can be excluded from.

 You can't sell out from something there isn't a value for, but respect is worth a lot more.

I've been offered a chance to take my comedy to a new level and don't know what to do with these offers BUT, I didn't go looking for it, I didn't title my videos 'SEX HERE FOR FREE' I didn't force myself down peoples throats and I didn't complain for a year and a half when things didn't go my way. People let me down on YouTube because I expected to much from people.

Everyone in the 'community' right now will look back at there videos in 10 years and realise how much FUN it was not how much it meant to be popular.
I'm not jealous of these people I'm saddened that even an internet format can be filled with such hypocrisy.
I'm so proud of what I achieved through my video making 2400 people subscribed and I got featured in the UK and got made a YouTube partner. All these things make me smile even now but it was the respect I gained from people in achieving these things that make it all the more sweeter.

Sadly I grew to dislike the community for what it was, if you've read this and can relate don't let the same thing happen to you, because its not worth it. Make a difference and help people because you can, not because you think it might then help you. It was never about that, it still shouldn't be about that AND I for one would hate to see it come to that.


Gary said...

There's a lot of of people on youtube who are waiting for the whole thing to collapse and restart over. It's getting to the point of shit saturation over people that genuinely care...or just about, care still.

I joined in 2006 as a singer and I've seen many of these "stars" rise up. You had to be there at the right time. Newbies are doomed. It's a fact.

In 2008/2009 my CheekTV channel only crossed over because I gave out t-shirts at the Tibbils gathering. I did a lot better for views and was made partner at just 350 subs. Now I'm drowning like everyone else. Community? The community has killed me! If I didn't care I'd make every video about Justin Bieber - for the money (which is what youtube wants).
I essentially bought my way into the UK youtube "community." I also know I'm the worst for promoting and pushing talentless pretty faces because I'm like a foul cockroach...I'll do what it takes to survive. The old saying "If you can't beat them, join them" is so true right now.
As Ben said Chris is the same "If you can't beat them, join them."

Do I reget selling my soul to twitter whoring and favours? Yes
Do I want to go back to 50 views for a video in a week with 4 comments? No.

It amazes me TV companies and advertisers attach themselves to kids that have no experience, no skills and certainly no talent. It's amazing. Really.

Alas, this is the nature of the world today and us old timers need to remember. They rise, they fall and on come the next pretty face. Remember Matt "Smivadee?" He was the lairy Essex boy that's now making charity videos as his comeback. But why has it got bad views? People don't want to be preached at by Blade376 or LittleRadge (Sports Relief 2010) and Co. They want fat bitches falling off tables and kids drugged up from the dentist :'(

Viral video between 1min to 1.50 has killed the vlogger. Now it's cheap laughs and clips of virals/silly news stories that go big. Even youtube machines like Buck are down on views :( He's another person that works hard and has made it his lifes work. I hope people like him are going to be OK.

Sad times, but I have no idea how I can turn things around...let me think on it x

Cassie Graves said...

I make no secret of the fact that I joined YouTube for it to be a springboard for my music. I was never here to make friends, simply to further my career.

However, in late 2008, I discovered the community, and immediately made friends.

The hierarchy became clear to me fast, and as I work my way up the ladder, I see it for the bitchy, selfish, "community" that it really is.

However, I now don't care, as I see it for what it is, and know that my career is outside, and that YouTube is simply a platform.

I try not to take it too seriously, and, although most of my friends are from the community, the more successful I am, the more I become hated, and, for want of a better word, envied. For that reason, when people "sell out", it doesn't bother me so much as how google are so reluctant to allow me to do so.

I know it sounds pig-headed, but I'm all about my career, and my entire life has to be centred around it for it to happen, so am I selfish? Yes, but I don't believe that having friends in this "community" should get in the way of what your videos are about.

I've become far more professional in what I do lately, and part of my success is linked to advice you yourself gave me months ago, and what my friends now tell me, however, I try to keep my social life separate from internet drama, even if the people are the same.

I understand, and agree with, every single word you have said, however, I need it at the moment to survive, and will be a part of it until I start to make real money outside.

nerimon said...

I agree with a lot of this, but - speaking from the other side - I definitely think you're making a leap by assuming that people who talk about current popular topics like Twilight are automatically doing it FOR the money. That's just plain not true. Everything I've done has always been simply to entertain people. If the videos are entertaining, watch them; if you don't like them, fine, just go for a walk, do something else, don't worry about it so much. I know this isn't the first time you've been saddened by 'the state of the community' and my humble submission to you is - why do you let it get to you so much? I've known for years that us UK lot are all shit and snobby. So now I just make videos for my audience, because unlike the UK people, I know my audience actually like me.

The reason I decided to do an 'Alex Reads Twilight' video was because I'd never read it and know a lot of other people hate on the book without actually reading it, so I wanted to document that process. My original plan was to do it all in one video and get it out of the way, but there was just too much humour to get out of it, so I made it a series. I don't know why that's a problem; I agree that it would be a problem if I was just cashing in, but you have nothing to base that assumption on except that I'm talking about things my audience are interested in. Well, of course I would. I'm not 'using the market for money', and suggesting I am makes me sound callous and insensitive and that's not fair. I never upload anything I'm not totally proud of. In Gary's comment, he mentioned Buck, someone who makes talking about current topics his livelihood, yet doesn't seem to be judged by the same standard. Maybe that's because he makes a point of always doing that, whereas Charlie doesn't always talk about Justin Bieber - but again, he just got given a magazine and thought it'd be funny to make a video out of it. We're just trying to please people. Unlike the last time you criticised me (when you had every right to, cos I was making shit videos), I feel like what I'm putting out now is fun and good and makes people laugh for a few minutes before they carry on their day, so why does it have to be placed under this weird scrutiny? It's just gonna drive you crazy.

You know I have a lot of respect for you, otherwise I wouldn't waste my time saying all this, I'd just say "oh well he's an idiot" and leave it there. I think you need to see YouTube for what it is: a place to make videos. It's not any more complicated than that. A lot of people - including me - really enjoy your content, you're funny and honest and good at what you do, so just let go of the other stuff and make great videos. I have the same feelings as you; it pisses me off that Shane Dawson has millions of views despite being talentless and boring and using ZANY THUMBNAIL PICTURES, but it's not important is it? It's not his fault that people wanna see that. Good for him. And good on Fred for making shit videos that earn him fuckloads of cash. You can't fake those views. If people really didn't wanna watch those videos, they wouldn't get watched, but there's a market for them. Ultimately, the joke's on us for letting it get to us.

You know I'll always make time for you if you wanna talk any more about this, Benjy :)

nerimon said...

Addendum: What I said about Shane Dawson really isn't fair, he's obviously not talentless, very few people are talentless. But I just don't think his talents lie in videoblogging.

nerimon said...

Sorry to comment-overload, but just reading the blog again, a few things I didn't mention the first time:

-I agree that Twitter's shit and pointless

-It bothered me that you said you can't 'compete' with the other users. Why should it be about competing? I touched on this in my previous comment, but I care about my audience, and I make videos for them. There's nothing wrong with that. I feel that's how it should be. When I go to gatherings, I'm always happy to spend all day hanging out with new people, and I don't know anyone else in our UK lot who does that. They all just bunch together and fuck off to Pizza Hut on their own. How's that for a community?

-I agree that a lot of new people who join YouTube ARE doing it because they're hoping they can win over some stupid company that doesn't know any better into giving them money for their commercial or whatever. But speaking for myself, I'd never do something I wouldn't do for free anyway. The idea of Chartjackers, being a 'get the internet in the charts' thing, is an idea we all liked enough that if the TV thing hadn't worked out we'd have just set up a new channel on our own and done it that way, it just wouldn't have been documented by the BBC. It seems a bit close-minded to assume that anything with an end result of more money is automatically wrong and bad.

-You say you believe that subscribers change people; I can only speak for me, but I know I make exactly the same videos that I used to, they've just got better because I've become more competent. One of my first ever videos was about the (obviously satirical) gay subtext of Harry Potter, I deleted it years back and then remade it into Harry Potter Is Gay a few months ago, and when that video went live loads of people said I'd changed. What? When Meekakitty had a couple thousand subs, people loved her, and now people moan cos she's already in the most subscribed list, but she hasn't changed. I don't think subs change people. I think subs change other people's perceptions of people. Myles saying 'welcome to my world' when he had 10 subscribers was quirky, now it seems arrogant.

Last comment, promise <3

tom said...

I love you all, but my GOD, you're all ignorant shits sometimes. Expect a blog post about this asap.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Ben it has come to that. Like you say ,and Cassie has pointed out about her self, people who are using YouTube are doing it for more or less monitory reasons. I can not speak much on the website side of things or the video making side of things as i am relatively new to them. However, I have been watching all of these people for over 2 years now and would like to call myself friends with some proportion. I have experienced this 'new' community as this is what i have been exposed to recently. But first to the matter of:
Content. This is a word that seems to come up more often than not when i talk to Gary (CheekTV) about new videos on YouTube. Himself and I remember the days when the website was ruled by the content of its contributors but as you say times have changed. People are using flashy titles for mediocre at best videos so they can pull in the 'views' and yet they winge about not getting comments. My stand on this is that if you make good content people will comment and rate. However if you are just sitting infront of a camera for two to three minutes waffling along with no real purpose, what more can you expect.
Back when i first started watching YouTube videos i was in the first 2000 subs for Charlie and Alex. Back then their videos were very different as you say Ben. Content meant something. I think its a word that needs to definitely be reconsidered.
The so called 'community' was opened up to me in october last year when i moved to london and began to have contact with Teoh (mrtinoforever). At first i plodded along being my usual self without realising that in this group of so called 'friends' there were very specific nuances as to how to behave. As Alex said these people were 'snotty' and to my eye some were very pretentious about their YouTube "fame", if you will. As you said Ben its just random people watching you on the internet. That doesn't make you "famous" per say it just means your a little bit well known on the internet . The communtiy is a very different place to what i thought it would be. I thought it would be a group of nice people, as that is how they came across in their videos, talking creatively and having fun and being friends. Instead i found a bithchy sub world that was largely based on the number of subscribers you had and who you knew. Don't get me wrong i have made some amazing friends e.g. Gary, Ben, Georgie, Alex and i even met my ex-boyfriend through being a part of this group of people.
I personally think that the word community couldn't really be applied to what we have in the UK. Its more a clique of people who are popular right now or a group of people who have bonded due to circumstance and how many subs/views they have.

I hope i don't come across as naive but this is my personal stance so feel fee to comment and contradict.

LittleMissJadeykins said...

Bonjour Ben,
it's been a while since we last spoke! I just wanted to say, and I don't mean this harshly, but you did a blog very similar to this a year or so ago - back when we had that huge argument about it, remember? Anyway, the fact is that things haven't changed on youtube between then and now, sure the community has adapted and evolved and some people are in it on a more individual level but that's because Youtube as a whole has gotten more commercialised. Can you blame them really, considering the whole site has gotten so corporal? To be honest it only follows that videos become more about the individual. Sure it is a shame that the old community of stickam and weekly gatherings, etc. has dwindled, but I think that if you can't accept the changes being made it's high time you moved on onto other things like the rest of us did. Youtube is never going to go back to how things were, it's only going to become more about the individual as time goes on.

Love xxx

Dale said...

I was going to comment but every thing's been said in the comments. I can see where you're coming from but i still don't think gaining money from doing something you enjoy is a bad thing.

As for the community obviously regarding gatherings, once you make friends you're more likely to draw to them at a gathering than new people you don't know.

Think Alex summed it up with just don't let it bother you, as hard as it is sometimes.