Sunday, July 22, 2012

Meeting Michael Buckley

I first joined the YouTube world on April 20, 2006. As far as the web video universe goes, this is back in the DAY. At that point, YouTube had been around a little longer than a year, and people were still trying to figure out what it was.

I'll be honest: I had been posting stupid short videos to websites like (heard of it anymore?) and Google Video thinking that YouTube was going to be a big flop. And now here we are...

Early on, my inspiration was a daily video blog called "RocketBoom." (It's still on but not with its original host, Amanda Congdon.) This was a daily show about whatever that ran on the Internet. Truly one of the firsts of its kind. So that's what I tried to emulate, and let me tell you: making a video every day is HARD. And for me, it lasted one week. One WORK week. So 5 days. Too much.

But as time went on, people began to emerge that were willing to put in the kind of effort required to make a regular show and build an audience. And one of those people was Michael Buckley. His fast paced vlogs on celebrity happenings gained huge popularity and made him into one of YouTube's first big "Partners" (the program through Google that allows video makers to monetize their content and generate revenue for video views and clicks on ads). I even did a speech on him in my college professional speaking class (for which I got a perfect 100), and people had no idea that there were people who were making videos online for their full time jobs!

The interesting thing about it is that when you hear that someone's job is to make YouTube videos, the general assumption is that it must be super easy. Well, lemme tell you: I make one video a week, it isn't my full time job, and it still can be super stressful. Not stressful in a sense that I don't enjoy doing it. But stressful in a sense that you want to make something on a regular basis that keeps this group of people entertained and coming back.

I don't know how Buck does it, but every week he makes anywhere from 3-5 videos (and many times more) for his nearly 1 million subscribers (seriously, he's only a couple hundred away so go to his channel and sub!), and every video has the same energy and positivity of the videos before.

I had the chance to visit Michael up in Connecticut a couple years ago with my friends Kristin and Jeffrey, and it was so cool to see someone as popular as he is (he is SUPER popular, yall) be so down-to-earth and welcoming of us. He is what YouTube is all about: someone who literally makes their videos in the spare bedroom of their house and writes, records, edits, and posts all of their own content.

This past week, Michael won a contest for LIVE! with Kelly and will be co-hosting the show along with Kelly Ripa on Tuesday, July 24 (with guest Will Ferrell!), and I could not be more excited for him. He definitely deserves it and will knock it out of the park. Who knows... maybe that gig could become a little more permanent!

So now, we take a trip back to the summer of 2010 to visit Michael Buckley with Kristin and Jeffrey.