YouTubers (aka A World with Blurred Boundaries)

YouTubers

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an architect.

OK, so I ended up giving up on that idea because when I looked into it it seemed a very long route to get there with lots of years of study before I’d actually start earning any decent money – so I went into IT instead – but I still think architect would have been pretty cool for me.

I suppose for a stretch of my career I did end up working in (IT) Strategy & Architecture, so that’s something.

My son also likes architecture, but unlike me who made that decision based on enjoying technical drawing at school, he has a broader view of the world. He likes the idea of doing something which has something to do with architecture, whether classic buildings & construction architecture or technology architecture – that or maybe something to do with computers… or design. He hasn’t really decided yet.

The World Has Changed

What almost certainly informed this is not only my encouragement for him to have an open mind, but the fact that the world around him also begs him to have an open mind. The possibilities facing kids of his age (14) these days are quite different to those when I was that age. Even then the world was moving fast (just look at your typical household computer – at around that age, we had a Vic-20, pretty advanced too at the time – versus how that has evolved over the years), but now it’s moving faster than ever and (in my view) has also radically changed.

The ‘Job’

Your choice of employment, in fact, the whole concept of employment has changed so significantly.

Yes, many many people still view the world in terms of the traditional ‘job’. The traditional job which is based on the age old idea of the factory worker, clocking in and out of a place of work and getting paid for the time they spend there.

These days there are so many different ways to make money.

YouTubers

One such example is ‘YouTubers’. A perfect example of how the world has changed.

Out on a shopping trip recently and with some money to spend, the only thing my son could find that he wanted to buy was a book called ‘I am a Bell End‘ – he asked me if it was OK with me if he bought it. Sure, I said having a quick look at it – it looked pretty funny. I suppose a modern day equivalent of Viz which was similarly appealing (& a bit rude) when I was younger.

I asked who the guy on the front cover (KSI) was.

A YouTuber.

Ah.

So what exactly is a YouTuber?

Didn’t you know? Well, it’s a perfectly viable profession, if you can make it that is. A YouTuber is someone who makes their living via being popular (very popular) because of the videos they’ve shared on YouTube – i.e. they don’t even have to have their own site. They become internet celebrities because of their popularity, then because of this fame, companies want to sponsor them and there are all kinds of other ways they can ‘monetize’ their fame (like writing and selling a book called ‘I am a Bell End’ for example).

Who Can Become a YouTuber?

Well, there you go, that’s the thing.

Anyone.

Anyone.

You don’t need any particular skill to become a YouTuber because the internet is so accessible these days. You just need to put some videos on YouTube. They don’t even have to be your own videos, though I guess that would be the best route. You just need to get enough people liking your videos and following you to reach super-stardom.

Easier said than done.

I know.

But, isn’t it interesting that all of this is possible? I suppose kids have always had different idols to their parents, but this just seems so different. I had never heard of KSI and though I know YouTube well enough, hadn’t really fully considered the growth of YouTubers as a list of celebrities in their own right. Celebrities that our kids know very well.

Celebrities that our kids know because perhaps they’re now watching YouTube more than they’re watching TV.

If YouTube isn’t replacing TV, the nature of how we watch TV (e.g. catch-up, self select etc) is merging together with internet video in any case.

Check out this list of popular YouTubers: http://www.listchallenges.com/top-50-youtubers – how many of them did you know?

How To Become a YouTuber

Well, you obviously need to be OK with sharing for a start, familiar with how to make videos (though again, these days, getting videos out there on YouTube couldn’t be easier) and have something to say (or to share).

Beyond that, the recipe for success is not easily defined.

Ask anyone who has tried to make a living online one way or another (how to get traffic

In case you’re in any doubt that this is a viable profession these days (albeit difficult to reach dizzying success, but what self-employed profession isn’t) consider this which is just one example of many similar articles out there describing this ‘job’ and how to get there: https://www.plotr.co.uk/careers/youtuber/overview/

What fascinates me is not so much the idea of YouTubing itself but how it has come about and the fact that it is there as a viable career choice.

i.e. What it represents.

What YouTubers represent.

A world where the boundaries of what we’re doing with our lives are becoming increasingly blurred.

A world where ordinary people celebrate other ordinary people just like them and make them into huge celebrities.

A fast-moving world where we reach each other faster, where we know more about each other than ever (not always a good thing, but it’s what we’re faced with) and where we can go out and grab answers and knowledge quicker than ever before (sane son I mentioned above also learned to play guitar via YouTube).


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