Sunday, 29 June 2014

YouTuber Focus #26 | Barbara @ ThePersianBabe

Subscribers: 200,989

This week it's back to fashion and beauty vloggers with Barbara from YouTube channel ThePersianBabe. Barbara started uploading videos to her channel back in 2010 and has since rounded up over 200,000 subscribers from talking to us from her bedroom about what she's bought recently, products she's been loving and how to achieve her latest looks. There's no airs and graces, no unrealistically high production values and no shameless self-promotion, just one girl talking to (many) others.

Barbara is now 21, younger than me, but I swear I feel about 16 in comparison because her style pretty is sophisticated. Seriously, she makes me want to wear heels in the day and that's saying something. I know every time Barbara uploads one of her haul videos that I'm going to want to buy at least a few of the things she shows us, if not all of them. I even bought a top the same day I saw it in one of her videos because I trust her style opinions. Ah the power of a YouTube haul.

Whilst Barbara is dedicated to updating her channel regularly it is clear that, arguably unlike some other YouTubers, she does not see this as becoming her full-time career as she is on her way to completing a degree in Pharmacy. Barbara's potential buying influence has however been spotted by brands such as BaByliss who she has been involved with in their #GetYourLook videos to promote BaByliss products. Barbara is also besties with fellow vloggers Shirley (Shirley B. Eniang) and Michelle (Beautyandtheblog) so if you like Barbara's videos and style then you should check these girls out too!

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Thursday, 26 June 2014

Book Deals Everywhere!

This year is seems like every big name on YouTube has managed to land themselves a book deal, Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart and Shaycarl to name but a few, and last week Zoella announced that she was the latest to start working on her book release.

Zoe has been working on her young adult novel, Girl Online (due out in November), for several months since being contacted by Penguin, only like the biggest publishing house ever, to sign a two-book deal. The fictional book will address certain issues that Zoe herself wishes she could have read about more as a teen, such as struggling with anxiety, but also covers the classics including love, loss, friendship, fallouts, all with the modern twist of being based around a blogger. Though Zoe promises it's not based herself, despite the likeness.

Personally, I think it can only be a good thing that internet stars of today are branching out in to more, what I could only call, 'old school entertainment'. It's nice to know when we get all wrapped up in social media and the digital age that people are still interested in opening up a book, even those whose whole career has been made online. E-book versions will all be available to download too of course, but I'm a real-life book person myself. All I hope is that talented writers aren't being overlooked because they don't have as big of an online following as those whose lives have been made online. I don't blame the publishers though, it's clear these books by YouTubers with millions of subscribers are going to fly off the shelves. The metaphorical online shelves anyway.

I'll most likely be right with everyone else on Amazon ordering mine when they're released. Will you be getting yours too? Who's book are you most looking forward to getting your hands on? Let me know in the comments.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

YouTuber Focus #25 | Fun For Louis

Channel: FunForLouis
Subscribers: 765,634
Most Popular Video: Draw My Life | Louis Cole

Louis Cole is the ultimate YouTuber for all people interested in travelling and living life adventurously. If there's anyone who is going to make you want to leave your troubles behind and travel the world it's him. Oh and if there is anyone who can pull off a full head of dreadlocks, it's him. Seriously, he's like a real life Tarzan.

Now I could ramble on for ages trying to explain to you how Louis became the man he is today and how he became so fascinated with travelling and other cultures, but quite frankly he has covered it a lot better than I could in his own Draw My Life video, so check it out. If I had gone on a road trip to Paris at the age of 16 instead of going to school, well let's just say, I don't think I'd be alive to tell the tale. But that is where Louis' love for adventure began. Louis has a very unique and refreshing way of looking at the world. He describes being held in a Thai military base as 'fun' and I would describe it as my worst nightmare. He even decided to live homeless when he travelled to Australia. But that's what I love about YouTube, you get to watch people who live their lives completely differently to yours and feel like you know someone who you would never usually have the chance to meet.

Louis started his YouTube adventure with his channel FoodForLouis which saw him eat unusual things that definitely shouldn't be inside a human. Tarantula for breakfast anyone? A little after this channel took off, and after receiving some abuse from animal rights activists, Louis decided to focus on his FunForLouis channel where he uploads videos of his travelling adventures and now creates daily vlogs of his life.

After what started as a bit of fun with friends Louis says he now uses YouTube to try and have a positive effect on people's lives. The adventure continues...

'Peace Out, Enjoy Life and Live the Adventure' - Louis Cole

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

YouTube Fan Culture 
Are you ready for a ramble? Because you're about to get one. 'Let's get ready to ramble'...oh god I'm sorry.

Given the time I could probably write a whole essay on this topic but thankfully my essay writing days are well and truly behind me. What I want to talk about today is a topic that there has been a lot of buzz about online recently and it's that of YouTube fan culture and the changes that are happening between creators and viewers as their popularity increases. What started off for most big-name YouTubers as talking to a camera in their bedroom and hoping a couple of people online would like it has now turned in to a world where thousands tune in to their videos every day and consider them the next generation of celebrity.

After attending YouTube conventions PlaylistLive and Itatube earlier this year, Louise of SprinkleofGlitter uploaded a video directly addressing this notion of YouTube fan culture from her point of view and her reaction to being unintentionally idolised by thousands. What she reminds viewers is that YouTubers, and bloggers in general for that matter, only show a small snapshot of their lives and though it may seem like their lives are perfect, chances are they aren't. She also talks about how overwhelming the before mentioned YouTuber conventions can be and the strange feeling of security and barriers being put in place to physically distance the YouTubers from their viewers, something that only people who actually consider themselves celebrities would come to expect.

I'm not 100% sure who got the ball rolling first but the discussion seems to have snowballed online with the likes of Charlie McDonnell and Carrie Fletcher (yes sister of McFly's Tom), as well as a host of others getting involved to talk about the subject. After all, who better to try and get us to grips with what's going on than those that have directly experienced the changes in YouTube culture.

Big name YouTubers like Zoella are so popular online that they can meet excitable screaming fans in the street, and whilst I'm not suggesting that young girls shouldn't be excited, it probably only puts YouTuber's off trying to interact with their fans let alone take part in impromptu meet-ups or gatherings like they were once able to. With her anxiety struggles as well it's no wonder Zoe avoids going to busy places alone.

When the likes of Zoella, Joe Sugg and Alfie Deyes went to see One Direction they were moved by security to different seats because as one of the guards said they 'wouldn't be able to control them'. 'Them' being the fans that had recognised them in the crowd and started screaming, looking pretty close to tears. Whilst this is clearly only relevant to a small percentage of subscribers this reaction does naturally place a bigger divide between the YouTubers and their fans and increases their chances of being considered celebrities.

The fact of the matter is these 'YouTube stars' never dreamed that through uploading videos of them chatting in their bedrooms they would be able to make a living let alone be considered a new generation of celebrity. They are just normal people, and that's why their subscribers enjoying watching them, but the more popular they become the closer to celebrities they become.  They will no doubt get judged if they do show signs of living more like celebrities however and less like 'normal' people. A vicious circle.

Truth is that no one, least of all the YouTubers, wants things to feel like an 'us' and 'them' situation between themselves and their viewers, but with their popularity rising how can this be avoided? I'm not entirely sure it can. I think it's just important that viewers remember that even though they may seem like celebrities because you see them online every day, they are still normal people, with flaws, but just have a few more followers.

See, I told you it would be a ramble. For more follow SocialVix on Bloglovin' and you'll never miss a post.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

YouTuber Focus #24 | A Model Recommends


Subscribers: 228,680

A Model Recommends is the YouTube channel and blog name of successful model Ruth Crilly. 33 year-old Ruth, who I definitely thought was way younger, began modelling during the second year of a law degree when she was signed by renowned agency Models One. The law degree got left behind, I don't blame her, but she did manage to achieve a degree in English Literature a few years later so the education is not lost.

Ruth has admitted that when she started uploading videos to YouTube back in 2010 there was no intention of becoming a 'YouTuber' but rather used it as a way of embedding videos to her A Model Recommends website. Now her channel has over 200,000 subscribers and it's no surprise, who wouldn't want to look to an experienced model for beauty and skincare tips?

A lot of people might have some preconceived idea about models but Ruth never comes across as superficial or vain but is very down to earth, natural and chatty. Her videos range from product reviews, modelling tips, monthly favourites, get ready with me videos and more.

Ruth also has a second channel Model Scrapbook where she uploads more vlog style videos, taking us behind the scenes of model life at the likes of London Fashion Week, the Brit Awards and her trip to Dubai. I challenge you not to get a little jealous!

There's no questioning Ruth would have achieved success without YouTube, well she did already have a successful modelling career, but it looks like her blog and channel have taken her in to a different direction that no one would have even considered possible back 10 or so years ago. As long as viewers keep embracing her channel it looks like Ruth's online presence is only going to grow from here.

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Sunday, 8 June 2014

YouTuber Focus #23 | Jenna Marbles


Channel: Jenna Marbles
Subscribers: 13,355,714
My Highlight: Things Girls Lie About

Remember back in January when I couldn't get my head around the fact that Zoella had 3 million subscribers? That's a lot, but Jenna Marbles has over 13 million making her the most watched female YouTuber ever. I can't even comprehend how many people that is around the world all sitting down on their laptops, phones and tablets to watch Jenna's latest video.
Chances are you're already aware of Jenna or have at least seen one of her videos. I remember a few years back watching her How to trick people in to thinking you're good looking video after it had done the rounds on different websites and social media. The video now has over 57 million views and it's success spurred Jenna on to create more similar style videos, leave her job at where she learnt how do all that internety stuff (technical term) and became a YouTuber full-time.

Jenna started her channel in 2009 after working in a tanning salon and as a go-go dancer but don't be fooled she also has a masters degree in psychology from Boston University. Didn't see that one coming did you? Now 27 Jenna says she's still not entirely sure what her future holds and what she wants to do for the rest of her life but it seems like it's all going pretty well for now.

Jenna would be the first to admit that her videos aren't about showing off her video quality and editing skills but her viewers don't come to her for that, they watch to laugh with Jenna, and stay for her dogs Marbles and Kermit. Who knew an Italian Greyhound could look just like Snoop Dogg?

So if you're one of the few who hasn't watched a Jennna Marbles video before then what are you waiting for? tThere's nearly 200 to get you started and she uploads new videos every Wednesday.

Oh but before you do, don't forget you can follow SocialVix on Bloglovin' and you'll never miss a post!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

YouTuber Focus #22 | Hannah Hart

Channel: MyHarto
Subscribers: 1,116,538
Hannah Hart is a 27 year-old LA-based comedy YouTuber best known for her weekly My Drunk Kitchen videos in which she cooks while just a little bit tipsy. OK, sometimes more than a little bit.
Hannah uploaded her first My Drunk Kitchen episode back in March 2011 and became a YouTube partner within months. It's success allowed her to quit her job as a Japanese translator in New York and focus on her channel and her first love, comedic writing. As well as weekly My Drunk Kitchen uploads, Hannah also uploads more 'talky' videos and collaborations with her YouTube friends. She also has a second channel YourHarto on which she uploads more extras videos, including vlogs, behind the scenes and bloopers.
Through her YouTube channel Hannah has become besties with fellow, previously featured, comedy YouTubers, Grace Helbig (Hartbig is their 'ship' name by the way) and Mamrie Hart (no relation, purely coincidence). Fans of the trio refer to them as the holy trinity and their YouTube success has allowed them to write and star in their own feature film, Camp Takota, and go on a worldwide tour with their #NoFilterShow. Hannah has also taken her own tour Hello Harto on the road around the U.S, Canada, Europe and Australia coinciding with #NoFilter peformances and her attendance at YouTube conventions around the world.
If that wasn't enough My Drunk Kitchen is now a book! Hannah's guide to eating, drinking and going with your gut is released this August and has the support of YouTube hero and bestselling author John Green. The news of her book comes at a time where numerous YouTubers are announcing book deals, so it looks like it's the way forward for a lot of the big name vloggers at the moment. BRB, off to go add to my Amazon wish list.
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