South students strive for Internet stardom

Hwa Oh, asst. a&e editor

Passion with a camera can go a long way for some in the world-wide stage of YouTube. Evident through the success of YouTube-born celebrities such as pop singer Justin Bieber and makeup artist Michelle Phan, the universal exposure allows people to share their talents and personalities while connecting with their audiences.

Making way into such a vast world requires experience, and since venturing into the YouTube scene five years ago, sophomore Justin Kim has seen success in his channel, according to Kim. Kim’s channel, ItsJustanHurr, features comedic rants and opinions and has reached a maximum of 200-300 views per video with approximately 800 subscribers. The videos, according to Kim, also receive positive feedback from his audience.

“For subscribers, I obviously want to keep growing my community, but I do get those occasional comments or people in person who tell me that the videos add positivity to their day or that when they’re sad, they watch them and it cheers them up,” Kim said. “That’s what I really like to do. If I can get my opinion out there and express myself while also making people feel better or good about themselves, then that makes [creating videos] worth it.”

Although differing in experience, Grace Yang, novice vlogger (video blogger), whose YouTube channel documents personally interesting moments, also finds a great sense of fulfillment in creating videos and developing her channel.

“[I feel] a mix of happy, curious, and amused [when making videos],” Yang said. “When I film, I just document what’s there. I don’t know what’s going to happen [and] so I capture things in the moment. For example, if someone were to fall, I would capture that and that’d be funny. But someone wouldn’t be able to capture that with a camera, with just a picture.”

Unlike Yang’s spontaneous videos of real-life moments, freshman Matt Moran’s older channel, DarkLord Projects, showcases detailed, pre-planned videos about computer building. Posting once or twice a week, Moran’s average view count is 1,100 with approximately 500 subscribers. However, according to Moran, his busy schedule has temporarily halted his DarkLord Projects video uploads.

“The reason I stopped is actually because of school [as] it kind of got in the way,” Moran said. “Every video [needs] about four hours of time to make; now, that sounds like you could split it up, but it really doesn’t work that way because you lose track of where you worked last.”

Kim, Yang, and Moran all are in consensus that finding the time to invest in producing the videos is challenging. However, with plans to further develop their videos and presence on YouTube, these students hope to achieve more. Moran looks to grow a new channel, Nerd Charge, by applying the lessons he learned from DarkLord Projects failures.

“I kind of know what to do right and wrong because [DarkLord Projects] was my first channel,” Moran said. “I did a lot of things wrong, but I think that if I do everything right [this time], I think I can reach some significant goals faster.”

In regards to such challenges of having and maintaining a YouTube channel, Kim notes the difficulties and obstacles to overcome for new YouTube channel users.

“When you put yourself out there on the internet so far, as to a video, your opinions, [and] letting people see you and comment and thumbs down, you have to be prepared for negativity,” Kim said. “If you keep posting past all that, it really helps you grow.”