YouTube creates, connects vibrant online community

Elizabeth Hale, Co- Web Editor

You are sitting in your room working tirelessly on your APUSH homework when your phone lights up. It is a text message from a friend telling you about a video that is blowing up and sends a link. You tell yourself you will only watch the one video, but you cannot keep the promise. Three hours later you realize the amount of time you wasted on senseless videos, and give up on your homework. That is the power of YouTube.

YouTube is mostly known for its silly videos of cats, babies, and pranks gone awry. While those types of videos remain popular, YouTube’s community is growing rapidly.

Men and women of all ages who post videos on a regular basis have acquired a certain fan base television stations cannot reach, and everyone from politicians to your favorite celebrities are starting to take notice.

YouTube, activated in 2005, has over 800 million unique users that visit the site every month. Varieties of makeup tutorials, gaming, news, entertainment and many other genres are what have helped YouTube gain its success.

It is also a source of learning and education with channels like Crash Course teaching audiences about things like history. Author John Green and his brother Hank have three channels they operate together, including Crash Course, another being their vlog channel.

While most Vlog channels never get off the ground, the few that are outrageously entertaining and creative seem to hit it off. Blogger Jenna Marbles, with her crass sense of humor, has become very popular with 7.7 million subscribers making her the most subscribed woman on YouTube

While Marbles’ channel is successful, two other channels still have more subscribers than her. Smosh, a comedic channel featuring Ian Hecox and Anthony Padillia, was created in 2005 when YouTube started. The channel has gathered the most subscribers, nearly 8.4 million, not to mention the creators have six other channels they manage.

Taking the number two spot on the list is Ray William Johnson with his scripted show Equals Three. Each week Johnson reviews three viral videos and at times has a famous guest appear with him.

While seeing a famous person appear on a YouTuber’s channel may seem  odd, it is actually becoming a common practice. News vlogger Philip DeFranco interviewed presidential nominee Gary Johnson and Vice President Joe Biden when the election took place last November. Johnson had stars Robin Williams, Jason Biggs, and Andy Milonakis appear on his show.

YouTube stars sometimes also make the transition to television. Lucas Cruikshank, commonly known as Fred, is one of those people. After his videos went viral in 2006, Lucas was pursued by Nickelodeon and currently has his own show although he is no longer know as Fred.

Although he is on television, Cruikshank is not the only one making money from his success. YouTube channels can make hundreds of thousands, and at times millions of dollars. Johnson is said to have a net worth of around five million dollars from making videos.

Most popular channels are not just one person and a camera, but are often part of companies either run by the creator of the series or larger studios. For these YouTuber’s, making videos is not just a hobby, but an occupation and source of income.  Even though YouTube may seem like an endless pit of videos, many YouTuber’s call it a tight knit community.

Vidcon is an annual conference held in Los Angeles where YouTubers from all over the world come to connect with each other and their fans. At the last conference over seven thousand video creators, viewers, and industry representatives came together for the largest. Popular YouTube stars sometimes share the screen together like in Rewind Youtube Style which was posted by YouTube at the end of 2012 and YouTube Stars React on the Fine Bros. channel.