Hello everyone, my name is Barry Aldridge and I have been a Youtuber for 9 years. (Not quite as long as some who have been on the site for 10 years plus or even since the beginning of Youtube itself, and who I have a lot of respect for in general, but long enough to see some significant changes).
Being on YouTube for so long can bring about mixed emotions, when you see how the site has changed over time. Personally, there are some changes I’m not too keen on, but I can understand the change in direction from a business perspective.
I was introduced to YouTube was through my best friend, who I had known for several years beforehand. He felt that I needed to have something to occupy me and he showed me the website - the rest is history!
When I started doing YouTube, copyright rules were much less strict. Most of the material was uploaded by the fans, rather than the TV Organisations and celebrities themselves. This is how I started.
The other side of YouTube was the original content whether it was comedy, music, art, vlogging or other ways of doing creative videos. When I first started vlogging I had an interest in doing both normal vlogs and Top 10 videos involving other people's content.
I was confused by YouTube at first, until I went to a Youtube Gathering in 23rd June 2007, (I remember this is as I watched the Sound Of The Drums episode of Doctor Who haha). I remember it being a lot of fun - I met up with a couple of friends, and my best friend, at London Victoria. One of them who I knew as WhenterIrons (I think it was the username) is the tallest person I had ever seen. I also met Frankifairy who created this video right here (Just to say this was before the HD days that we are used to nowadays). Good news - I got permission to share this while I was writing.
I remember we were going as the cast of Wizard Of Oz, and I was the scarecrow (which I didn't like at all). The hoodie I wore on the day ended up with my mum a couple of years later. We messed around on camera in London Victoria for a while, then went along to Tower Bridge for the main gathering (that was organised by an American called Zipster08) at a pub called "The Dickens Inn", which is a fantastic place that I recommend to anyone if they have time. At this point I remember I was still wondering what YouTube is all about. I started to discover it while talking a few people, but it still took a while to try and find my way. It was a great day, but I remember having to leave my friends early because of a night job at the time and my dad needed me home at that point to get some sleep.
I started to vlog a lot more after finding out about the other people there. Some had come from America, which was amazing to me and it was all in a pub right by Tower Bridge and thought it was a really cool.
In my opinion, this was way better than the gatherings set in London that involve walking about all the time, which isn't too bad in itself, but there are those who want to just chill out for a bit and have a drink- which is what happens at gatherings I organise in the West Country (mainly in Bath). This has led to meeting so many people, whether it was working with them on podcasts, tv series/web series stuff or just meeting in general in their home cities. Before this, I had never met anyone near my home, apart from one occasion for a Face 2 Face interview I did back in the day.
So that's it for now about my beginning days. I will talk in depth about some issues with YouTube another time
Take care of yourselves and have a great whatever