Sunday, 8 June 2014

Updated version: What defines someone as a Blogger/YouTuber?

I've made a few amendments to this post since it was originally posted live yesterday. I've been questioning some of my own points since I posted this and feel I wrote the post, quickly and a little sloppy. So here are a few amendments. I just want to clarify my own views on this better. Also I feel some of the statements were taken out of the contexts and the original point to article was missed.  However to clarify the basis of my original argument still remains the same.

Where did the debate begin? 

So after Toya going into the Big Brother house on Friday night a big stir was created on twitter amongst the blogging community and some very divided opinions came out. 

Firstly the rumour mill was already in overdrive that a YouTuber was going into the Big Brother house and everyone was eager to see who this was. When the YouTuber star was revealed as 29 year old Toya a "who is she" broke out. When her YouTube channel was finally found and we all saw she had 173 followers (this has risen significantly after launch night) the question that caused a lot of divided onions was can she be classified a YouTuber. (I will also say now this is nothing personally against here, I quite like the girl. I'm going to look at the bigger question of what makes someone a YouTuber or a blogger). 

To some people the answer is quite simple:

"If you write a blog your a blogger, if you make a YouTube video your a YouTuber"

Obviously since the boom of blogging and YouTube it has only been recently the public and the media have classified certain well know high profile YouTube personalities under the word "YouTuber". However where do the smaller less know bloggers and YouTubers fall into the classification.  There's nothing that says x amount of followers gives you this credibility that we have come to associate with the higher profiled higher followed YouTube personality's.  

Even when I'm at events or have emails from PR companies I'm referred to as a blogger, I refer to my friends with blogs as bloggers or YouTubers, however I think all bloggers feel a little weird when refereed to by this term from other people sometimes. For me if a PR company is saying "This is Sammie, She's one of the bloggers" I start to instantly question my own credibility. I've had my blog for around a year and a half, work hard at it almost on a daily basis and have gained substantial traffic, yet I still feel a little wobbly as to what other people feel the term means. Are other people thinking I'm "bigger" than what I am by using the term blogger to classify me?

Hobby vs Occupation.

Most bloggers or YouTubers have probably been to an event where we have been asked what we actually do. Typically most of  us see this question as what we do when were not blogging or making YouTube videos. Typically I answer this question with what I do as my day time job and so do most other people, with the exceptions of full time mum, student etc which is just as creditable and just as time consuming as any full time job. My point is we answer this question with what we feel is best definition of ourselves. 

If you saw the few tweets last night that said blogger or YouTuber is a code word for the unemployed, you may think this isn't fair. However there is still credibility to the statement.

If you are unemployed and write a blog, you are unemployed with a hobby.Yet still Blogger is most likely the description of yourself that shows you in the best light. 
If you blog as your occupation (such as registered as a self employed blogger) than it's likely you would feel blogger is the best description of yourself also. 

We all know blogging can be a time consuming hobby for the smallest of blogger and if you've been lucky enough to make enough to make a living from writing a blog or making YouTube videos, you are clearly within your rights to call this your full time occupation and as such apply that same word "Blogger" or "YouTuber" to yourself. The difference been your success. I feel it's fair to assume anyone who is able to make a living from blogging has a successful blog. 

I'm sure anyone trying to be a full time blogger as their occupation or anyone who has started a self employed business will know this takes dedication. 80% of new businesses fail in there first year, if you aren't making enough money to pay your bills or overheads you would have to cease trading. You would no longer be self employed you would be unemployed. However blogging doesn't come with much cost, it's likely if your blog doesn't take of you wouldn't just pack it in, you would try harder. Yet it's likely you would still feel Blogger is the best description of yourself if that is your only focus. 

What gives a blog or a YouTube channel credibility? & What defines success?
I feel this is quite simple in some ways and falls under basic supply and demand. If people like your blog they will read it, if people like the videos you make they will watch them. If you are successful in say creating make up looks on YouTube and people learn from your videos and 1000's of people request more, it's hard to say the video wasn't a success. If you make a video showing people your £1000's of pounds worth of make up what mummy and daddy bought you and it gets 1000's of views yes that may be successful but what credibility are you expecting to gain..credibility of a spoiled brat? 

Obviously anyone would rather define themselves as a blogger as opposed unemployed. However just because you have a blog or YouTube channel and are able to devote more time to it than say someone working full time or someone with children isn't going to gain you any more credibility. The extra time you can devote to your hobby is likely to make it more successful, but it isn't automatically gaining any more instant creditability.  

If you make an appearance on Jeremy Kyle or You've been framed are you then going to call yourself a "TV personality"?

Credibility is always going to be earned buy the quality of the content you produce and success is never going to happen over night. 

If you aren't bored of reading lets me sum up my point?

Everyone is entitled to define themselves by how they see themselves best. I would define myself as a blogger depending on the situation I am in. When someone asks what I do I choose to answer this by my full time occupation. When someone asks what my hobbies are, I say I'm a  "Blogger". We are human and it is in our nature to always try represent ourself in the best light. 

However just because we define ourself by something doesn't make it creditable. If you define yourself as a "full time yummy mummy" (vom) and your child is 18 then anyone would question the credibility of this and assume unemployed. If you define yourself as a celebrity after your appearance on Big Brother 2007 and no one has heard of you, it's transparent there isn't creditability to the statement. 

Credibility in any occupation or hobby is earned. I know I could easily talk about this topic in much more detail all day and could easily touch on the rise of social media, the rise of reality TV star and the rise of the fame hungry but I'll leave that for another day. What are your views on the debate?

Remember to leave all your comments and views below, you can also tweet me at @LilBlondeSammie


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