My YouTube Story: 2006-Today
So Thursday's theme for Blogmas in July is Personal/ #ThrowbackThursday. Today's Post: My YouTube Story: 2006-Today
AKA The Good, The Bad, The Grumpy Cat....Or not.
I was stumped on the topic to talk about today. Then I slowly started putting something together in my head. I want to tell my YouTube story, as it is an important part of my last 10 years.
People are shocked when I tell them that I started YouTube in 2006 and one of my videos has over 200,000 views. I can't quite believe it myself.
So I thought we'd take a look back at my journey through the wonderfulness that is YouTube shall we?
YouTube was created in 2005 and has become the top video site on the internet. In 2005, I was in 7th/8th grade and was going through my very awkward stages ie. glasses, braces and acne (see below). That second photo of me is when I got my first cell phone. It cost 25 cent per text and I was overjoyed!
Around this time was when my love for computers, technology, photography and online video really manifested in me.
My dad gave me his old laptop, an HP and that was the first time I had a computer with high speed internet in my room. Before then, we had a shared computer in the basement, where I discovered iTunes and other new technologies online at the time.
I looked through old photos and actually found a photo of my room at the time at my old house. There is my HP sitting on my desk. I still have part of that desk today!
I used that computer for a while and started tinkering with Windows Movie Maker, which even at the time was truly awful. I really disliked it but it was all I had and I couldn't afford Sony Vegas.
I started watching YouTube amongst a bunch of other video hosting sites. The types of videos I watched then were very different than what I watch now (then: fanvideos of TV Shows/Movies, now: YouTube Personalities and Content creator originals). Though I'll admit I still watch an occasional fanvid every once in a while.
So at the time YouTube started, I was in middle school and pretty much obsessed with Disney Channel. Hannah Montana, Cory in the House, and High School Musical were all the rage. Those were the shows that I loved and what I watched fanvids of online.
The first video I ever uploaded to YouTube was a fanvideo of Hannah Montana (which by the way, all still exist. I'll link all below). This video, for some odd reason, has over 23,000 views.
I say now that this was when my love of editing videos was truly born. Remember, I was in 8th grade! That was nearly 10 years ago. Totally nuts to me. I'm proud to say that I actually got YouTube before I got Facebook.
So after I uploaded that video, I decided to dedicate a video to my crush at the time, Cory in the House Star Jason Dolley. He was my celebrity crush for many years.
This video has the most hits on any video I've ever made, over 200,000 even though it is mostly pictures. This blew my mind. Another fun fact. If you searched Jason Dolley on google, this video would pop up as the top hit for a few years!
Boy have my editing skills changed!
On my 16th birthday, I was given a great gift, my Mac. With that, I was for the first time given the iMovie editing software which had so many more options than the old HP. I continued making videos on that channel through college.
I made 2 Cory in the House Videos, 12 Degrassi Videos, 2 One Tree Hill Videos, 2 Kyle XY videos, 4 personal videos, 1 Narnia Video, 1 "multi-fandom" video, and one video of a guilty pleasure show of mine called "House of Anubis". If you would like to watch these, here's a link
One video that I really liked was this one. Basically I made videos if I listened to a song and thought the show/movie fit well with the lyrics. Lols.
In all, I'm actually not embarrassed of many of these (except maybe the first 5). They took hours to make and since I didn't have my own footage, I "borrowed" some and began to perfect my editing skills. I wouldn't be near as good of an editor now if I hadn't started editing in my formative years. I've always been very mature for my age and my overall feeling towards things hasn't changed much in 10 years time.
However, the platform itself has changed more in the past 2 years than in the previous 8 in my opinion.
Now around 2008-2010, I'd obviously followed YouTubers that had been around for a while, like Shane Dawson, iJustine, Smosh, Fred, musicians like Chester See, Esmee Denters, Kurt Hugo Schneider, Tyler Ward, etc...then around 2010 I started watching vloggers like ShayCarl and CTFXC. But it wasn't until 2013 that I really started following many of the people who now have between 3-10 million followers (ie. Tyler Oakley, Troye Sivan, Zoella, Alfie Deyes, Tanya Burr, Jim Chapman, Marcus Butler, Louise Pentland, Joe Sugg, Casper Lee, Joey Graceffa, Ingrid Nilson, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart, MirandaSings, etc...).
Summer 2013 turned out to be the hardest and worst summer of my life. I had no job (as I started looking too late), no friends around and I literally sat around all day long. The 2 positives about that summer: I got in shape and started working out everyday & I rediscovered and fell in love with YouTube again. I had people to watch, groups of friends to discover & I didn't feel so lonely. In my opinion, summer 2013 was for many YouTubers the ending of anonymity and the rise to overwhelming stardom . Now if you aren't a YouTube fan and don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry I'm moving on!
Throughout my senior year of college, 2013-2014, I had strongly desired to use my skills that I had learned in college and my time in Los Angeles, where I professionally edited a short film and gained a lot of knowledge, to create a YouTube channel where I film myself for the first time. I had spent so many years behind the screen instead of in front of it that I felt I had a lot to learn, but also a lot to give. You'd think that watching YouTube videos like it was my job would make me grow so fast. Well it didn't. I'm not saying I haven't gained any following, but I realized that it's harder to grow a YouTube channel today than it was 9-10 years ago. There is way more competition and much harder to please audiences. However, I feel like I'm finally starting to make videos I'm proud of, not just "ok with", which is how I started last year.
My channel is picking up speed a bit as I become more consistent, but I really need to utilize my production background more than I have.
Here is my last video that I made. This one and the one being published on Sunday are, in my opinion, the best production value in a video I've done.
I hope to make YouTube videos for a long time. It's been almost 10 years and the platform is still as important in my mind as it was back then.
Thanks for reading this, it was fun to walk down memory lane!
Tomorrow I will write a few tips if you are planning on starting a YouTube channel! Because there are some people that need them :)