LookingForClues - Article

  YouTube Stars - Video Blogs

This is the hottest thing on the Internet!  First it was e-mail.  Next came chat rooms.  Then there was Instant Messaging, MySpace and blogs of all shapes and sizes.  Now, the hottest thing for socializing on the net is video blogging.  Sites like YouTube.com are making Stars out of ordinary cyberspace citizens.  Then again, the people you will meet in this article have probably always had a certain flair and charm and talent.  But now they can show off to the entire world! 

This web page will introduce you to the Stars of YouTube.  You'll be entertained by their video performances!  Further down on this page, we present an article called, "YouTube Stars - Creating Reality TV?".  The article is written by a man who describes the kinds of videos that people are creating and uploading to YouTube.  Learn which videos and video personalities he has found to be entertaining and even occasionally uplifting.

After you have read our article, follow the Related Links to see the videos discussed in the article.  We have embedded two short clips from the amazing illusionist known as MadV right in this page.  For more information about blogging and making videos on your computer, please buy a few of the Books we recommend below.  Remember the thrill of sending and receiving your first emails?  Well, the Internet is fun once again; check it out for yourself!

Want more information?
Here are some books about YouTube.

 Related Links:

EmoKid21Ohio - My First Video Blog
A sample of EmoKid21Ohio's work.

emogirl21 - Video blog three
This is one of emogirl21's blogs, the popular "Birds are dying" clip.

littleloca - Loca and Silent Girl 
This video marks the first appearance of Silent Girl in the Littleloca series.  Warning!  Adult language.

FilthyWhore - The caterpillar pillar 
Overlook this member's name and see the endearing video she made about two caterpillars who learn that love is more important than the quest for worldly excitement.

Brookers - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Watch this one with the whole family. You'll all be rolling on the floor!

Darahgna - Cooking with your Favourite Goth
This girl is simply adorable! Be sure to watch this delightful performance.

Darahgna - Cooking with your Favourite Goth Part 2
Second in Angharad's cooking series. In this one, she really IS a Goth, but a charming one at that.

Kenny Crane's YouTube Stars blog
This blog is writer Kenny Crane's continuously updated follow-up to this article. Each entry talks about one or more YouTube members and shows videos right there in the blog. There is also an excellent FAQ about YouTube.

Kenny Crane's YouTube Stars Squidoo Lens.
This lens has more YouTube links and an RSS feed from Kenny's blog.

Enjoy our exclusive Feature Article:

YouTube Stars - Creating Reality TV?

by Kenny Crane   5/20/06

People like to watch other people. For years, people have gone to the park or the mall or the beach, to see and be seen. With the advent of the Internet, many people began visiting chat rooms to mix with others. They soon realized that interacting in a chat room was different from people gathering face to face in someone's living room. The anonymity of the net made chatters less inhibited. Although the majority of people were civil and friendly, it was common to find "haters" online who just seemed to want to cause grief for the others, criticizing and putting down their fellow chatters.

Now we have social networks like MySpace and Xanga where people can post messages about their thoughts and feelings or just about how their day has been. There are also many bloggers who keep a web-log of their thoughts on whatever interests them. Some discuss politics, others discuss music, and some free-range about whatever is on their mind. Many people now have some form of broadband connection to the net that allows them to quickly upload and download pictures, audio files, and even videos. Sites like MySpace and Blogger, which allow members to post pictures and sound clips, have become popular with young people who are trying to find their way in life. Many are struggling to see where they fit in with their peer group, trying to find some popularity and friendships with like-minded people.

The latest online social phenomenon that is drawing thousands of participants is video creation and sharing. People make short videos of themselves and upload them to sites like YouTube.com. These 30 second to 10 minute video blogs can be of a person telling a story, sharing their feelings, or providing some form of entertainment. Sites like YouTube keep track of the popularity of various members and allow users to comment on videos. The comments are often extreme; either they love the video or hate it! Comments are often vulgar and shocking. This is what some people think they must do to get attention. Often, a person will make a subsequent video in which they address the comments made about their earlier works. Some handle it with dignity while others follow the Jerry Springer model. All of this goes on in the public eye, and is becoming a very popular form of entertainment, just like Reality TV was a few years back.

Who is popular on YouTube these days? Well, the most well-known people seem to be EmoKid21Ohio and EmoGirl21. "Emo" refers to a genre of music and a lifestyle characterized by emotionalism and melodrama. EmoKid21Ohio began his videoblog career by creating a video of himself sitting in a chair, head held up by leaning on his hand, wearing a hoodie. He spoke with sighs and sad overtones. In his videos, he spoke of his emotions, how things made him feel sad or angry. Soon, he began relating to EmoGirl21, another YouTube-er, who had caught his eye. Her videos featured her in dark eyeliner with strands of hair covering part of her face. After each had made several videos that had been seen and commented on by a multitude of fans and "haters", another YouTube member revealed that these two people were actually living in the UK and were simply pretending to be self-absorbed American Emo kids.

YouTube users can subscribe to the accounts of members that they like. The most subscribed member this moth (May 2006) is littleloca. Her video blogs tell of life in the ghetto of East L.A. She is a "Latina" with a sweet-and-sour attitude who just became prom queen and is about to graduate with a 4.0 average. She loves to wear large earrings and speaks (and occasionally curses) with a Spanish accent. Most of her blogs deal with comments made by other members, although she does mention school, her family and religion. Several of her videos include her friend "Silent Girl". Silent Girl has not spoken since she saw her brother get shot in a robbery. She just sits next to littleloca and makes adorable facial expressions in reaction to what littleloca is saying. As with the Emo kids, it seems that these two women are not real people. Littleloca is actress Stevie Ryan and her friend is named Monica. In any case, they have become very popular and it is rumored that they may move their "show" on to bigger and better venues.

Another popular YouTube member is MadV. This man is an illusionist who bends spoons, spins playing cards in mid air and writes without touching the pen in his videos. He wears a mask that he removes in one clip to reveal nothing but empty space in his hoodie. Last week he announced that he had signed up with a TV production company and will no longer be making videos for YouTube. His final thoughts are wonderful, "I can't thank the fans enough - all the comments, the tributes, the dedication - you guys really are awesome. I've learned a lot, and I hope some of you have too. It's been fun along the way. If I could leave just one idea - it would be this: We are all part of this world, so let's respect one another. If you gotta be sayin something, say it nice. Don't let the haters stand in your way. I didn't. True!"

For the last three months, the most subscribed member is a young lady whose YouTube name is FilthyWhore. I think that old cliché applies here - Don't judge a book by its cover. This woman is a hair stylist and makeup artist who has a very pleasing voice and has quite an eclectic lifestyle. She is trying to find her place in life and all of its different facets. Jacci (her real name) describes herself as, "bitchy, irritable, naive, addictive, sweet, silly, immature, sarcastic, beautiful, insecure, pierced, tattooed, shy, honest, indescribable". On MySpace, she lists "Nietzsche, Jesus, My mom, Tom Savini" as her idols. In her videos, Jacci talks about things going on in her life and responds to comments from other members. In one very memorable performance, she shares her favorite bedtime story with us. Its the story of the Caterpillar pillar, which she states is from "Once Upon a Time: Bedtime Stories for Adults" by Hannah Farley. It is likely that the story is actually known as "The Chrysalis" by Trina Paulus. Jacci relates her recollection of this heartwarming story with breathtaking eloquence and heartfelt emotion. I was truly moved by her recital. The audio seems to mute out her "s" and "ch" sounds, possibly an attempt by her webcam software to squelch background noise. Despite this irregularity, her voice is still quite audible. She modulates her voice, easily switching back and forth between nominal adult speech and sweet childlike wonder. This performance is her masterpiece!

For sheer entertainment, it's hard to beat the videos of Brookers. This young lady likes to lip-synch to songs, spoof commercials and tell stories about Paste! Brooke (her real name) just released a delightful video which features her lip-synch of the "Mary Poppins" classic, "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". Check it out, you'll love it! Then, for something completely different, watch her video on Paste...

Finally, I'd like to tell you about a 15-year-old Welsh girl named Angharad, who goes by the YouTube name of Darahgna. This talented young lady plays the Piano, Viola and Bass guitar. She plays in a "band" with her three girlfriends, known as the "Moshing Muckas". Her videos are usually small staged performances that are golden nuggets of entertainment. In her two-part series, "Cooking With Your Favorite Goth", Angharad teaches us how to make Angel Delight and Jelly (Jell-O?). In part one, she charms us with her oh-so-proper speaking voice and her endearing facial expressions. A friend comments that her choice of wording for a spoon (a mixing device) is apparently some sort of inside joke that all of her friends get. The same friend comments that it is in fact a measuring JUG, she bought one at IKEA. Many people commented on how cute the performance is, but some could not understand why she called herself a Goth. Goth people usually dress in black, dye their hair black and wear black lipstick. So as not to disappoint her fans, Angharad made her sophomore effort in true Goth style! Sporting black hair, makeup, lipstick and blouse, she speaks in a normal teenage voice. Although the delightful "put-on" voice is gone and her facial expressions are less noticeable, she still charms with her hair-flips and tongue-in-cheek "Goth" comments. All her fans await part three - learning to make cake!

Now please read
our article on
Sex On YouTube!

YouTube is a new medium of communication. No one knows the rules yet. Much experimentation is taking place to see what works and what flops in this environment. As in all online forums where feedback is encouraged, there are fans and haters. Everyone has his or her own opinion about what makes for good entertainment. As the YouTube experiment unfolds, I think that it would be helpful to raise the level of discussion to a more positive level. People can make their feelings known without resorting to personal attacks, crude language and vulgar remarks. Go to YouTube and see what's there. But be nice and grow up a bit! I'll close now with an excerpt from the introduction that Angharad wrote to her latest video, "Last Day of School"...

"As we grow up.. we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down.. probably will. You'll have your heart broken.. probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too.. so remember how it felt when yours was broken. ... So take too many pictures, laugh too much and love like you've never been hurt because every 60 seconds you spend upset.. is a minute of happiness you'll never get back". Well said, girl!!!

Please Visit YouTubeStars!

Kenny Crane has been writing about YouTube videomakers and their videos at YouTubeStars.com since June 2006. He also publishes the YouTube Top 100 Weekly Chart of the Most Popular YouTube videomakers.

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