I joined Youtube back in about 2008 on a previous channel, and back then Youtube wasn't as big as it is today- the community was a lot smaller. Google have made a lot of changes over the years both positive and negative, the first change i remember happening was the rating system, it used to be a star system where you could rate videos from 1 star (poor) to 5 stars (amazing) and I believe it was a bit of a flawed system, as you could have people rate a video as OK with say 3 stars, or 5 for awesome, compare it to the current system of likes and dislikes and its much improved, there is no middle ground for your thoughts on a video, you either can like a video or dislike it, simple. Over the 8, almost 9 years I have been a Youtuber, I have experienced some wonderful things within the youtube community and seen some horrible things. I have experienced bullying and trolling and learned how to overcome them (by talking to other YouTubers about their experiences and how they learned to ignore it and get past it). I have also seen a lot of not so great things within the YouTube community. I've seen relationships come to an end BECAUSE of YouTube, and how the stresses of making daily videos has affected those people. I have also seen people record their marriage through YouTube to share their joy and delight at being able to spend the rest of their lives with the one they love with the entire world, which is fantastic. When Google plus was integrated with youtube, I have never seen so many people come together as a community to share their opinions to Google on a concept and how much they disliked it or loved it.
YouTube gatherings are, I believe, an essential part of being a YouTuber. Its what really brings the community together to talk about and share their stories and ideas. I've been to two youtube gatherings, both of which happened in Southampton, and I met some amazing YouTubers who I have become good friends with and have supported me the past few years through watching my content. I got to meet some huge youtubers, some of which have grown massively over the past few years and I consider to be good friends. YouTube gatherings need to carry on happening, they are good opportunities for the smaller YouTubers out there to meet like minded people and network with others and make good friends too. Some of the best YouTuber friends I have, I met at a Gathering.
YouTube has changed so much over the past few years, its so much harder to make a big name for yourself if you don't start off with a good idea of where you want your channel to go or what type of content you want to share. I feel like youtubers don't get views or an audience as easily anymore due to the way in which google changed the inner workings of YouTube itself. My current channel (chrismax18) has been active since 2010, and when I first started I was easily getting 300 views or more on all of my videos but as time has gone on, with my latest videos I am lucky if it hits over 100 views, Tags on YouTube videos don't work in the same way they used to. With YouTube back in the day you could do video replies to another youtubers video and people could see your video posted below that video as a link. YouTube went and changed that, they got rid of that concept entirely and now video replies are a thing of the past, which is a shame because it made it easier for the smaller Youtubers to be able to post a video on their thoughts and ideas about a certain topic. This feature within YouTube made it a lot easier for somebody to gain an audience, but without it, it has made gaining a big audience very difficult to do.
One of the best things about Youtube is it helps build character. Before I started YouTube, I was never very vocal or chatty, but since doing Youtube I became a lot more confident in speaking and voicing my opinions, it really can help build confidence and charisma. I love being a Youtuber, it's one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I have never looked back. I would recommend it to anybody looking for a great hobby or platform on which they can build an audience or to have fun with.
Chris - Chrismax18