Eight years ago, nobody could have fathomed it would be possible to launch careers that bridge the gap from normality to celebrity by just posting videos on the Internet.
The ever-changing entertainment landscape, with limitless media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Vine, has defined this generation.
But it all started with YouTube.
The amount of effort that goes into making a video varies. As someone who enjoys making them (see my video of my adventures before and during the DigiTour here), I know from experience while you may only shoot for five minutes, you could spend more than 10 hours editing.
So if you want to start a channel and build a fanbase, you need to create videos on a regular basis.
It doesn’t just stop there; you have to take your work to other social media outlets and spend hours trying to spread the word about the video.
While making a YouTube video go viral may seem like hard work, it’s fairly simple overall. Although there are thousands upon thousands of videos uploaded to the site daily, many don’t rack up a lot of views.
So what makes someone get views and subscribers? It just has to be current.
The impact? While we often hear horror stories of cyber bullying, YouTube is an open space for people to be who they want. Popular channels and personalities become classified as YouTubers, who then become advocates for their subscribers.
Who exactly is a YouTuber? There are many ways to characterize them: beauty gurus, musicians, personalities, comedians and collaboration groups.
Once a person’s account hits a certain amount of subscribers, likes and views, he or she can become a YouTube partner, where their account is monetized, allowing it to play advertisements. For every view, they get a fraction in payment.
But there are other perks, too. Not only do YouTubers get to go on tour, have a fun job, travel and attend conventions like Summer in the City and VidCon, they get to go to different movie premieres and interview celebrities (hint: One Direction).
This month, YouTubers from America, Britain and South Africa got together for the DigiTour, which is billed as the first-ever YouTube tour. The event started Oct. 3 in Chicago, before heading to Toronto, Philadelphia and New York.