YouTubers are heard worldwide

November 17, 2014


photo taken by Bea Peczon

After several retakes, Vanessa Codilla films the introduction to the Bean-Boozled Challenge video.

Times have changed. You don’t need to be famous to have a channel; your channel can make you famous. Your YouTube channel, that is. Ever since it was created in 2005 and bought by Google in 2006, the video-sharing website has made it possible for not only big companies to advertise their products or sell their music, but for aspiring individuals to have their voices heard across the world.

The recent YouTube Boom has led to hundreds of YouTubers making a career out of their channel. According to the online article “Top 10 Most Subscribed ‘Youtubers’” by Adriano Valente, “the ones who succeed online are the ones that can entertain us with what’s familiar while bringing on their own twist.” The current most subscribed YouTuber, PewDiePie, who makes funny comments while playing video games, has a net worth of $7 million through an estimated 5.4 billion views.

Individuals can be successful on YouTube because it’s easily accessible and the possibilities are endless. People don’t have to recreate themselves or mold themselves to play a part; they become successful for being themselves and sharing their interests with others.

As an avid YouTube viewer myself, I subscribe to over 100 YouTube channels which focus on very different topics. Sometimes I watch YouTube “Gurus,” or people who talk fashion trends and makeup products. Some of these gurus are sponsored by companies and are given products to sample or clothes to try out so they can tell their viewers about their opinions.

Watching YouTube videos is as normal as watching television shows for senior Mariel Lansangan. “My favorite YouTuber is Lauren Elizabeth because she’s really pretty and her personality shines through the camera,” Lansangan said. “She not only encourages us to be comfortable in our skin but also not to care how others think of ourselves. Her tips on beauty and style has helped me develop the style I have today.”

Kin Bunggo, a friend of mine who has her own YouTube channel, was also inspired by her favorite YouTuber.  “After expanding and looking for more YouTube channels like Jenn Im, it has influenced me to grow more confident with who I am physically and emotionally,” she said. “Aside from looking for outfit inspirations, they all gave me the message that your body is your own canvas and that only you have control of what you want to wear and feel good in it.”

After expanding and looking for more YouTube channels like Jenn Im, it has influenced me to grow more confident with who I am physically and emotionally”

— Kin Bunggo

The common YouTube Guru has videos targeted towards helping teenage girls through videos such as “What’s in my Bag,” “Fall Outfits Lookbook,” and even “How to Survive High School.” They are relatable and give off the impression as older sisters, which makes them so successful on YouTube.

Lansangan said that she enjoys watching YouTubers because she considers them to be “normal people who happen to have thousands of other people watching their videos.” She has gone to meet and greet events in which fans ask questions and get autographs and pictures with the YouTubers.

“When you go to a meet and greet it’s exciting to see your favorite people off the computer and in real life,” said Lansangan. She finds them more approachable than celebrities because they “were once living like regular teens before they decided they wanted to have a voice and broadcast it to the world for others to hear them. They are like an inspiration that shows how teens can have a strong impact to younger children.”

After realizing that I spend a considerable amount of time on YouTube, I decided that I wanted to create my own YouTube channel. I didn’t think that I would serve as an inspiration, such as Lansangan and Bunggo’s favorite Youtubers, but I wanted to post videos to entertain others and to look back on several years from now. My first problem was determining what category I wanted my videos to fall under.

I subscribed to several YouTube Vloggers over the years. Vloggers, a shortened version of “video bloggers,” document their experiences as they go through their daily life. I was surprised at how entertaining others’ lives were and how well I knew certain YouTubers after a while. For instance, when one of my favorite YouTubers got married, I felt like I actually witnessed the monumental event because she filmed her whole experience, from the proposal to the actual day of the ceremony. This made me want to film my own vlogs.

Bunggo’s channel focuses on vlogs as well. Her main goal was to simply share her experiences, like she usually did through blogs and private journals. She started documenting her life through video because she was also influenced from vloggers she watched daily. “At first, was fun and really challenging. It took up a lot of time and editing in the process, but it was definitely worth it,” she said.

Although making vlogs was a challenge I was willing to accept, initially I was too self-conscious and shy to hold a camera out in public. Taking selfies next to a tourist spot was one thing, filming myself the whole duration of the trip was another. My dilemma was solved when another close friend of mine, Bea Peczon, gladly accepted my invitation to share a YouTube channel with me.

“I love editing and cinematography,” Peczon said. “I think making a youtube channel would help me get better at those two.” She used to film her own vlogs for her cousin in the Philippines to see how her life in the US is like. Although she was originally embarrassed to hold up a camera as well, she gained much needed confidence for the both of us by watching other vloggers.

We vlogged for the first time together during a trip we took in August. It was a new and exciting experience. We filmed ourselves trying to wake up although we were only able to get three hours of sleep, sitting in the car, walking around the event, and even during a concert. The most entertaining part of it was rewatching the footage. We laughed as we saw how we reacted in certain situations and at people in the background posing and waving at the camera.

After we obtained footage, we put much effort into thinking about our new channel name for videos that we created together. We ended up coming up with the name “MAECOB2T” (pronounced mae-co-beat) as a of my combination of my middle and last name and her first name.

“To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting MAECOB2T to happen. I never thought of partnering up with someone and starting our own channel,” Peczon said. “I think it’s more fun and productive to have someone who shares the same passion as I do.” We quickly tackled the creation of a new YouTube channel by splitting up the work. We both filmed, but Peczon was in charge of editing the videos while I created the thumbnail pictures for videos, channel art and profile picture. We both

Bea Peczon sets her camera up before recording the Bean-Boozled Challenge.
photo taken by Vanessa Codilla
Bea Peczon sets her camera up before recording the Bean-Boozled Challenge.

have the task of searching for copyright-free music and planning for our next video.

Although we have vlog footage from recent adventures, such as our experiences volunteering at the LA Cancer Challenge and our bus trip to Old Town Pasadena, we still haven’t edited them because we were busy with other types of videos. Aside from the video of a dance cover we recently posted, Peczon and I decided we wanted to film “challenge” videos as well.

Popular YouTubers usually catch on to trends and film their own version, whether it is the Cinamon Challenge or ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. After doing research and going through several channels, we found the Bean Boozled Challenge. We bought a pack of Bean Boozled Jelly Beans, which contains jelly beans that look alike but taste different. For instance, the two brown beans in the pack looked similar, but one of them tasted like canned dog food while the other tasted like chocolate pudding. We filmed our reactions as we ate each jelly bean and gave points to whoever kept a straight face or got the better tasting flavor. We are still in the process of editing this video.

I plan to continue making videos with Peczon. Although we don’t have many subscribers yet, our most recent dance cover gained over 1000 views and 26 likes in less than a week, which is a positive start. When we gain more subscribers and have more free time to devote to our channel, we plan to film short skits and continue to make vlogs and challenge videos.

Starting a YouTube channel was definitely outside my comfort zone, but I’m excited to continue this task not just for myself, but to entertain and inspire others. “YouTube is such a powerful influence on our society today,” Peczon said. “It can inspire people to do what they love by seeing others do what they’re great at, and that could end up being a chain reaction. YouTube is about inspiring one another so that they could be their better self.”

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