Posts tagged youtube
Posts tagged youtube
^ Ashley Clements and George Takei
It would be safe to say that the Streamy’s have a bit of a rocky history; they’ve only been around since 2009 but have managed to rack up more than their fair share of controversy and negative press since then.
In 2010 tubefilter CEO Brady Brim-Deforest was forced to apologize after numerous technical problems and a seemingly never ending stream of vulgar jokes, cursing and more than partial nudity ran through the course of the show.
And although the awards are billed as an annual event, there wasn’t actually a show last year, or the year before.
This was because IAWTV (The International Academy of Web Television) split from tubefilter after the 2010 show and went on to form it’s own awards show (shockingly called the IAWTV awards) that celebrated its second show this January.
So this year the Streamy’s had everything to prove, and by teaming up with Dick Clark Productions (the company behind the Golden Globes) they obviously intended to get it right this time.
And did they?
Sort of, no-one ran across the stage naked, at least, and the show went off as planned.
Everyone who went seems to have had a good time and commentary has been generally positive; particularly singled out was stand up comedian Chris Hardwick’s presentation of the awards.
However, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some criticism too.
The main issue seems to be that the show was seen as trying to be something it wasn’t by inviting a host of Hollywood and pop culture types.
Particularly cited were performances by rappers Vanilla Ice and Soulja Boy, some felt that the performances alone were fine but wondered what they had to do with online video “as an awards show that’s about the online community it would be great to see some promotion of smaller artists”.
Hank Green, creator of the undisputed king of online video based events that is VidCon, stepped in to give his opinion of the night:
“To me it didn’t feel like online video…it still felt like online video trying to imitate Hollywood…which we’ve done for too long already”
Whether this was down to the influence of Dick Clark Productions or perhaps an attempt to out-glitz the IAWTV awards is a matter of speculation but it’s definitely something they might want to work on if they want to hold on to their core audience.
You know, the people who actually watch online video.
Based in Silverlake, Los Angeles -number 1 on Forbes list of “America’s Best Hipster Neighbourhoods”- this rom-com series focuses on two residents who fit all of the stereotypes.
You know the ones: skinny jeans, non-prescription glasses, an obsession with organic everything and a taste in music that consists of whatever people aren’t listening to.
Before you wonder why you’d want to watch a show about people you cross the street to avoid, here’s the twist.
They don’t know each others real names and the whole thing is narrated by the inner dialogues of both characters as they muse on everyday life.
Their entire relationship is a series of increasingly unlikely chance meetings at various locale’s within Silverlake and the greater L.A area.
Our Romeo is “cereal guy” and our Juliet “faux-fur girl” but far from deciding to get married the first time they meet these two haven’t even worked up the courage to speak to each other yet.
It’s a play on hipster culture and the individuals within it but it’s also a play on everyone young, awkward and a little unsure of who they really are.
So the characters are particularly prone to introspection.
Whether it’s the faux fur jacket they bought at forever 21 or the kind of cereal they “should” be buying vs the kind they actually want to buy it’s clear they’re still working things out.
What develops is a window of insight into the characters that simply isn’t possible with any other format, especially that of the traditional rom-com series.
It shows the disparity between the image they present to the world and how they’re really feeling.
It also allows the audience to connect with people they might otherwise not like straight off the bat by placing the characters and scenes in situations we all go through every day.
What really gels the whole thing together is the budding romance between the two characters
As of yet they’re no Ross and Rachel but the whole will they/won’t they thing is definitely there and it’s surprisingly easy to become emotionally invested in the prospect of a relationship between them.
When a misunderstanding from afar at the 99 cent store leads to faux-fur girl questioning her self worth you really feel for the character and find yourself rooting for a relationship that hasn’t even really begun yet.
However, the format giveth and the format taketh away.
To achieve the substantial character development that a fictional relationship requires some of what makes the show unique is probably going to have to be sacrificed.
the material they’ve been burning through in series 1 doesn’t seem capable of stretching much further than that.
There’s only so many times you can run into someone before you need to address it.
Hopefully what’s been established so far will provide enough to build on as the series continues.
The contest -which Pepper is currently winning- is sponsored by computer giant Dell and the prize consists of £10,000, professional coaching by David Mitchell and the opportunity to star in their own online comedy show (presumably featured on ChannelFlip itself).
It’s ostensibly aimed at up and coming underground comedians who want a leg up into the mainstream.
Forgot to Tell the Joke
Whether that category includes ex big brother contestant Pepper is debatable, especially considering his somewhat unclear prior affiliations with ChannelFlip.
However, it’s the nature of his entry itself that’s really got people riled up.
“Hi guys, just wanted to quickly enter this competition cause I’m a comedian and [I] just wanna tell you a joke”
Roughly twenty seconds of silence then passes before a caption pops up saying ”sorry guys I forgot to tell the joke” Pepper then goes on to say
“so if you could just vote for me that would be really good thanks guys”
This isn’t the first time Pepper has been criticised for the way he utilises his fan base.
In June of this year he started a campaign to buy a coach and tour the U.K at a hefty £50,000 price tag. Funded, of course, by donations from his subscribers who in return would be permitted to enter the bus and party with him and other YouTubers.
The project soon fell flat after only a small percentage of the target was met and the video promoting it was privated by Pepper.
Vote Based Competitions
It isn’t just Pepper who’s come up for criticism.
Traditionally competitions like these can expect the winner to be the person with the best entry.
They make the assumption that nearly everyone coming to the website arrives relatively unbiased and without having yet decided who they’re voting for or that they’ll at least take a look at the other entries.
This logic kind of goes out the window when dealing with people who already have a built in fanbase and who don’t need to carve one out through the competition itself.
The implication is that if competitions want to claim that they’re rewarding the best entry rather than the one with the largest fanbase behind it -regardless of objective merit- then impartial judges rather than a system of open voting is the way to go.
Regardless of who actually wins it seems clear that those who organise competitions like these will need to start factoring competitors who already have large audiences into their calculations.
Saturday’s Hyde Park gathering organised by Toby Turner and Seth Hendrix descended into chaos after overzealous fans and Turner himself was injured.
Police and ambulances attended and treated several people including one girl who was “impaled through the hip” and another “through her left hand” while others were trampled by the crowd and received minor injuries.
Massive crowds reportedly refused to heed warnings from Turner not to climb up to him after he ascended a fence to escape a crush of people. When he tried to leave the crowd then chased him through the park before he narrowly escaped in a taxi
“They were grabbing at him. He jumped down and just started running away through the park, and the whole crowd followed him, it was the scariest thing ever”
This may be the first time attendees have been seriously injured at a YouTube gathering but it isn’t the first to attract negative attention for crowd management and security concerns.
Just under a year ago another gathering held at Hyde Park -this one organized by Philip De Franco- had to be shut down early because the security team hired proved to be too small to effectively manage the sheer size of the crowd as well as the determination of some members to get in close.
De Franco left via a planned exit route and later stated that
“This was definitely an eye opening experience, I need to change how this works, a random field in the middle of the day does not work”
This years Summer in the City being held at a specialized venue with heavy security as opposed to it’s usual open air venues was among other reasons because of issues like these.
In the aftermath of the event the community at large was quick to express it’s disgust.
Most laid the burden of blame squarely at the feet of “fangirls” generally younger, overzealous fans of bigger YouTubers who are seen as disrespectful of others and the boundaries of the people they admire
“There was this obnoxious guy with a megaphone (who was about 12) Mr Obnoxious was soaking up the attention, when people biked past he shouted “HUG THEM” and all these stupid fangirls would tackle the bikers”
Others however took a different view, saying that popular YouTubers need to take more responsibility for the events they put together and anticipate potential problems
“Learn from the mistakes of others and make the safety of your fans your primary concern. While most fans are level headed admirers of your work, it only takes 1% of a gathering to ruin it for everyone else”
It seems like there’s a bigger issue at play here than the actions of any individual group or person no matter how much influence they have over events.
Something frequently mentioned over the past few years is the “celebrity culture” surrounding big YouTubers and how the atmosphere of gatherings has changed since their original inception.
What was once groups of like minded people meeting to talk about a medium and a community they were involved in has become something else. Particularly when relatively well known YouTubers are in attendance.
While most shy away from being viewed as celebrities there is a substantial minority who seem to actively encourage it.
In April of this year vlogger Sam Pepper attracted negative criticism for crowd surfing over fans during a gathering he organized.
A lot of this change in atmosphere can not only be put down to the massive increase in viewership that has occurred during that time but a change in the type of gathering attendee.
Instead of being mainly made up of people who make videos themselves and watch a large number of others in turn the present day gathering attendee probably does not make videos themselves and may only watch one or two bigger YouTubers.
What actually constitutes a gathering in the mind of the community at large is no longer clear.
Some people just want that precious picture and signature and others to hang out with those who belong to the same community.
While both things can happen at the same time it’s clear that “gathering” can mean something other than what it used to.
Both attendees and organizers could stand to keep this in mind; especially when the lives of others may be at risk.
Sometimes it takes a while for the law to catch up with advances in technology and the the changes in culture that accompany those advances.
Especially if those changes only apply to a small percentage of the population.
Like, you know, YouTubers.
Vlogging and driving is something that’s been briefly and occasionally talked about for a couple of years now on road trip videos and in comment sections.
Most of the people who do vlog and drive -at least on a regular basis- are within the spectrum of daily vloggers or people who have a daily vlogger channel in addition to a main channel.
Viewers are often taken along for the ride instead of the vlogger sitting down at the end of the day and recounting their experience. It’s seen as a more interesting way to present the story, saves time and is an aide to those with poor memory for detail.
If there’s one thing that vlogging and driving is even remotely comparable to it’s driving while texting. Both text based communication and easily portable digital recording devices saw their advent at around the same time.
“I think it’s just as bad as texting, texting has caused many accidents and you see the commercials. I see people, you know they’re driving in their car, holding their camera in their hand over here and I mean they’re looking back at it driving and you’re not focused on the road. what’s going on?”
It’s been argued that if using a recording device while driving were as prevalent as sending a text while driving that it would also be banned.
Speculating about it doesn’t really help anyone.
For now at least it’s legal, although anyone using their phone as a camera shouldn’t be too surprised if they get pulled over and the cop isn’t in the mood to learn about new media.
Some YouTuber’s who vlog and drive have adopted dashboard and windshield mounts which much like hands free kits allow the driver to keep both hands on the wheel at all times.
Again, though, a lot still depends on the individual. Someone who constantly glances at the camera is going to be paying less attention than someone who keeps their attention on the road and simply speaks as they drive.
Doing that kind of raises the question of why you’re bothering to do it in the first place. It would seem that producing a video like that would be pretty unentertaining.
What’s really the issue here is the amount attention that it takes away from the road, something that’s generally unclear and depends on the person doing it.
The driver must both remain focused on the road while engaging their audience. Even if it’s just telling people what you had for breakfast that seems like a bit of a stretch; let alone doing something that requires a large amount of thought.
Anything that takes the drivers attention away from the road is surely a risk. Whether that’s informing your subscribers about a give away or changing the station on your car radio.
Regardless of that risk it seems that vlogging and driving is unlikely to become a legal concern unless it becomes far more widespread or a high profile accident sparks a public outcry.
In the absence of hard data that proves once and for all how dangerous it is, if at all, the debate will continue.
Crowds of youtubers and fans alike poured into London this weekend for the annual Summer in the City gathering.
The event has expanded massively since it’s beginning way back in 2009 and is only beaten out by events like VidCon and Playlist Live.
This year two days of the gathering (friday and saturday) were held at a venue called The Brewery, apparently because the increasing number of attendees forced them out of their traditional open air Jubilee Gardens / Hyde Park location.
The attendance has become so big in fact that even the specially selected venue was incapable of accommodating it at times
“When we settled on The Brewery, the event page had just hit 1,000 people attending! We had no way of knowing that number would skyrocket over the following months. So of course it was extremely disheartening for us when we realised we would have to turn people away”
The waiting time in queues at times stretched to 4 to 5 hours and in combination with the sweltering temperatures reached in London this weekend it led to an outpouring of frustration on sites like twitter and tumblr.
A problem certainly not unique to this year or even Summer in the City (though it does seem to be more pronounced in the UK than in the U.S) were large groups of fans following the more popular YouTubers around
“One image sticks in my head: a pair of doors in the main hall upstairs, surrounded by fan girls, a mob of crazies who don’t seem to understand that the fabled VIP room behind the doors isn’t some sort of Hollywood A-listers party, but more of a blank room with scared YouTubers drinking bottles of water”
“This wasn’t a case of people not wanting to interact with their subscribers, or not being able to handle standing and talking to people; it was a zoo out there, Kayley and I were still shaking five minutes later and we hadn’t even been the victim of that situation. a lot of people were being aggressive and overstepping boundaries”
Strangest tumblr Rumour Ever
In combination with the social media rumour mill this lead to perhaps the strangest rumour ever. That an overzealous fan had licked the face of vlogger Danisnotonfire.
The fact that it didn’t actually happen didn’t seem to bother all that many outraged fans.
What has shined through throughout the course of the gathering and later blog posts and videos made about it is an overwhelming sense of gratitute that the event exists at all.
For most attending just the chance to interact with those whose work you admire made the experience worthwhile. Even if it was just a 90 second conversation and the time it took to pose for a photo.
More than that it was the opportunity to make friends with and talk to people who share the still relatively niche interest of online video (at least the bit that goes beyond cat videos).
And all of it for free. Something Summer in the City definitely has over -understandably- pricey events like VidCon and Playlist Live.
A list of upcoming YouTube gatherings, concerts and cons can now be found under the “Content” heading on our tumblr entitled “Gazette Gatherings”
The list will be updated weekly and provide links to the relevant Facebook page / other posting.
All events will be organized first by country and then by date.
If you’d like to submit an event for inclusion don’t hesitate to do so; however be sure to also make a much fuller post somewhere else and send me the link.
Things would get too crowded otherwise.
If there’s an event not listed that you think should be don’t hesitate to message me
Hopefully you’ll find this feature useful.
^ Photo credit meetinglife.com
That day he recorded his last piece of video content and sent out a whole host of messages to his friends. Many of them just saying hello.
Regardless of his motivations for what he did what has really come out of this is a sense of communal mourning and loss.
A wide variety of YouTubers have paid tribute to him in video form since his death was announced. From those who were close friends with him to those who simply enjoyed his music and videos.
“To everyone else that’s watching this, Nathan Wills was a very kind person and if you can just send some love. We made videos together and a lot of you have heard his music in my videos so you know him.” - Katers17
“Nathan Wills was the person that always would cheer everyone up, he was always the most delightful charming peron that you could ever meet. He was always so friendly and I met him at the first yotube gathering that i ever went to and he made me feel like I was welcome” - Aly
King of the Web
One of those friends, Sarah Parker, has taken that one step further by asking for support in King of the Webs Battle Royal Competition on his birthday in an effort to raise money for Wills’ family.
“However, August 5th would have been his 31st birthday and as a tribute—and to show my support to his family—I would like to gain as many votes as possible on that day. In case I would win the daily prize, I would donate the money to his family”
“The YouTube community was really important to Nathan and I would like to see it come together to bring a final salute to his family”
So far the youth of the format and the people who use it has -with a few notable exceptions- insulated it from the reality of death.
The death of online personalities will inevitably become far more common as YouTube and the community that exists within and around it ages.
What doesn’t have to change however is the way that death is dealt with, with respect, compassion and the celebration of their work.
Especially the ways that that work has affected the people who watched and supported it.
^ The gold plated play button, reports of it going *ting* when looked upon are as of yet unconfirmed.
The new rewards system -which attendees of this years VidCon got a sneak peek at- was officially unveiled just over a week ago.
It consists of a gold plated play button for those who have reached at or above a total of 1,000,000 subscribers and the thing is framed in a way reminiscent of gold or platinum records.
There’s good stuff in here for the slightly less mammoth creators too. Those who have reached 100,000 subs get a 500 dollar gift card and a custom DSLR bag.
It’s actually not unusual for social media personalities and organizations to receive awards based within an online genre or even a single website.
They focus exclusively on web series; still a pretty small industry despite the large audience growth and acceptance into mainstream culture that it’s made in recent years.
What’s different about these rewards is that they’re given exclusively on the basis of numbers.
^ Look familiar?
The reception among big YouTubers has been largely positive and tends to break up into those who are still a bit too small to qualify for the gold and have a hungry look in their eyes.
“I want one, my house mate Charlie. He’s got a million subscribers. He just sits at his desk just across the room from me with his gold…plate….thing. I do just want to put more effort into my videos and make them more worthwhile” - Alex Day
and those who are grateful for the recognition but have some concerns
“I love it because it feels like a thank you…a thank you to the people who have invariably worked extremely hard to achieve that level of success. And it’s important for YouTube to recognize that those people play a large part in the success of YouTube”
“The fact is that most of the people doing really interesting things, who have the most potential to grow, to change things, to continue altering the landscape of media, and who I am fascinated by do not have 1,000,000 subscribers” - Hank Green
“I’m flattered, since i am in the 100,000 category - but saddened by all the incredibly talented and hardworking people going un-thanked, the ones who don’t quite have that many subscribers but still make huge contributions to this community daily” - Kristina Horner
They aren’t the only ones to focus on the smaller channels.
One thing brought up repeatedly in the comments on the official announcement, on twitter and other sites where the discussion has taken place is that the awards do nothing for smaller partners and creators.
The awards themselves arent the main issue here however. It’s a sense of continued and growing frustration with YouTube -spawning movements like the #SaveYouTube campaign- its policies and the general attitude of the site as a whole.
A lot of the ways in which bigger creators got a leg up in the past simply don’t exist any more or have been redirected towards already popular channels.
Stuff like getting featured on the main page or appearing in the recommended videos section and although the community has gone a long way in picking up the slack there’s always going to be people who slip through the sizeable cracks.
When taken together with things like the new London Creator Space and programs like YouTube Next Vlogger and NextUp a picture forms of a business trying to consolidate its gains and standardise skills and pathways to success in an industry where technical proficiency can vary from the profound to the mediocre.
It could well be a risky move, there’s a good chance it may simply limit creativity, create a stiff model for how creators should work and interact with their audience that could stunt them in the long term and make the industry even harder to break into.
Then again it might usher in a new generation of ultra-proficient creators while improving the already substantial profiles of the people who did it the old fashioned way.
Damned if I know, feel free to have your say though.
Five months ago YouTube musician Mike Lombardo became the subject of an FBI probe into allegations that he solicited nude video and photographs from underage fans and in turn sent them nude images of himself.
That probe has now come to a head with Lombardo being arrested on July 20th and charged with four counts relating to producing and receiving child pornography as well as coercing a person under the age of eighteen to engage in sexually explicit activity.
He was held for five days before being released under the conditions that he not use the internet, surrender his passport to the court, submit to a psychiatric evaluation, be electronically monitored, stick to a strict evening curfew and not have any contact with anyone under the age of eighteen.
All of this began at the end of 2011 after 19 year old Deanna Archetto informed the FBI that a 15 year old fan had arranged with Lombardo to meet for a “sex liason” on new years eve.
Archetto was herself informed by a 17 year old girl referred to in the FBI affidavit as “Victim 2” who herself engaged in “sexually explicit discussions” with Lombardo.
An examination of the 15 year olds cell phone lead to the discovery of “multiple nude images of Lombardo” and “multiple explicit text messages”.
Using this to gain a search warrant the FBI conducted a raid on Lombardo’s apartment on December 30th and the subsequent search revealed video of a 14 year old girl masturbating “fully nude on a bed with her legs spread apart” on his laptop and video of a 16 year old masturbating on his cell phone.
Since then nothing has been seen or heard from Lombardo and he has not spoken out about what happened on any of his social networking accounts.
Should Lombardo be convicted the total amount of jail time he could face is hard to predict with the minimum sentence for each of the charges meaning anywhere from 5 to 15 years in prison (60 in total).
Ultimately a lot will depend on how he pleads and with many of the facts unknown any speculation is just that.
An air of resignation and muted shock has pervaded the community reaction with many stating that this latest development had been expected for a long time and was “the natural conclusion” to the investigation.
In a tumblr post Vlogger thatzak said that
“What I can’t get over about all this is how much power someone with a mildly sizable audience can have and it’s really fucking frightening”
A lot of posts centered around the victims and it was stressed that people not forget them or allow them to be blamed for the actions of their alleged abuser.
Leakynews editor and leakycon founder Melissa Anelli placed particular emphasis on that last bit
“There will be a lot said about this in the next few days. I want to say this. Blame these girls just once, even a little, and it’s probably best you (in this order) look up the definition of informed consent, unfollow me, and stop thinking about ever saying words to me”
Predictably, it happened anyway.
Regardless of how the trial plays out, with the extent of the evidence against him made public it would seem that his career in creating music for a young audience is dead and buried.
Perhaps that’s just as well.