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Losing my Vlog-ginity

Blog Articles

. Brit mum in California . Reporting from the front line of parenthood & running a Small Business .

Losing my Vlog-ginity

Laura Bonnell

Watch out Zoella & Kinder Egg unwrappers, there's a new kid in town!

Watch out Zoella & Kinder Egg unwrappers, there's a new kid in town!

Back in March I toddled off to a small gathering at The Sanctum Soho Hotel featuring Mother Pukka (aka Anna Whitehouse) and Matt Riley. The event was 'The Great British Fake Off' organised by the talent agency Flipside. The purpose of the talk was to chat to us about their experiences in Vlogging, and how You Tube is a social media platform we need to pay attention to. Here's a few facts:

You Tube has  1,300,000,000 users.
It's the 3rd most visited website in the world.
300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!
Almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day.
Mobile Youtube users spent 40 minutes on average session, up more than 50% year-over-year.
YouTube’s mobile revenue has doubled year on year.
YouTube overall and even YouTube on mobile alone reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.

Source: Fortune Lords

Fleur Brooklin Smith from Flipside went on to explain that they represented a number of You Tubers who had managed to actually make a career out of Vlogging. Yes, you can click a 'monetise' button, and start earning some cash from posting on You Tube! Most of the talent Flipside represents is of the 'younger generation' shall we say? They realised that with more of 'my generation' (shall we say?) were turning to social media for advice, research and entertainment. Enter stage left Anna and Matt! Anna had started posting to You Tube about a year ago - click here to read more about her experience.

Matt had decided to start posting his recipes to You Tube after appearing on The Great British Bake Off . He saw it as alternative way to reach his audience instead of writing a cook book. He told us how he's able to pop to Sainsburys for ingredients in the morning, put the baby down for a nap, and then get his wife to film him in the kitchen. The Vlog would then be ready to post later that week, link here.

Great British Fake Off in action with Anna Whitehouse (+ urchin) and Matt Riley

Great British Fake Off in action with Anna Whitehouse (+ urchin) and Matt Riley

I came away feeling inspired, but not so sure I was really ready to add yet another social media channel to my growing portfolio of things to do. But as the weeks passed I started to think about it as an extension to my blog. I'm really enjoying writing about my misadventures in launching a business, why not record some of those as well? I realised when I'd spoken to Papa Pukka (aka Matt Farquharson) at the GBFO event that I did in fact have an in house editor and title graphics animator - my husband! So, I had a me (packed full of ideas) an Iphone, and an editor, done! I also then realised I had some very talented buddies who work in film production The Quick Brown Fox. It so happened they were going to be at the next Kids event I was doing A Family Affair, and were able to squeeze in a few minutes of filming me whilst they were there!

With a bit of direction, a couple of takes, and me flouncing around a bit in front of the camera we shot this, my first You Tube post:

Also carrying on my 'Momsters University' study I did a bit of Vlogging research (i.e. fannied around a bit on You Tube). You Tube is already widely used by Children and Teenagers as a means to watch everything from Kinder Eggs being unwrapped, to other people playing video games, to Tween idols Vlogging their daily lives. It's quite insane when you look at the viewing stats of some of these posts, literally over 9 million hits for someone peeling foil off an egg shaped chocolate - it's insane! And people are making money from this! Now, I'm NOT, I repeat NOT now aspiring to become some You Tube wannabe that does something inane and goes viral and becomes a millionaire (not till next month anyway!). But I differ back to my manifesto - I want to have fun, and you know what I don't have a problem larking around in front of a camera, and making a bit of a tit of myself. I'm planning on also having some valuable light hearted content also, but there will be some titting around as well! 

Yes, I did elbow my way past some 10 year olds to get this shot. And yes, I did feel like a complete over-aged tit, but it's all for your comedic benefit (hope you appreciate my sacrifice of dignity!)

Yes, I did elbow my way past some 10 year olds to get this shot. And yes, I did feel like a complete over-aged tit, but it's all for your comedic benefit (hope you appreciate my sacrifice of dignity!)

I had a bit of moment this week. I'd gone into Smithy's to buy my youngest a magazine, and happened upon these:

The Vloggers Year Book, and My Vlog Log from Studio Press

The Vloggers Year Book, and My Vlog Log from Studio Press

Slightly embarrased (again!) I decided to buy them, as I was weirdly fascinated! I mean us oldies gotta learn from the kids right?! Initially I was a bit horrified that these publications were teaching children how to be You Tube stars. Is this really what we want the next generation to aspire to - to sell their life to social media?! But then I took another angle at it, and realised You Tube has kind of become the TV for the younger generation. I have to confess my kids have been watching You Tube for a while now, and they're only 2 and 5. It's mostly Nursery Rhymes, Cartoons or those flippin' Kinder Eggs again! My youngest totally dropped me in it at Nursery this week by having me wrench my Iphone from his sweaty paws whilst he yelled "Oo tube, oo Tube" at full volume in front of the other parents at drop off. A1 parenting right there! This battle with how much technology to allow into out kids lives will be a constantly evolving challenge I think. Considering getting one of those 'screen time' timers when we move to the States. Fo now, I'm rolling with it. For now it buys me 20 minutes to write a blog post, safe in the knowledge my 2 year old can now dissect a Star Wars Kinder in under 30 seconds whilst reciting Incy Wincy Spider*.

*Timings have been exaggerated for comedic effect, it's more like 42 seconds