Online media is becoming more and more commonplace in our daily lives, as people take advantage of an online network where they can share photos, memories, music and much more. The internet has served as a connective plane between communities, friends, families and even celebrities and their fans. Many stars such as Justin Bieber, Sean Kingston and Soulja Boy have become famous via websites like YouTube, where they began their careers posting amateur videos.
YouTube was created in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees, and has developed into a home for a variety of different types of video, ranging from educational to music videos and even film previews. YouTube is used by businesses and is also a stepping stone for the public to become professional artists and vloggers.
However, it is not by pure luck that potential new stars are found. YouTuber Megan Parker was only 15 years old when she was discovered for her make-up, fashion and life advice videos, but she was resourceful and promoted an idea that was novel and had mass appeal. She received 100,000 views per video and through the YouTube partner programme and brands she mentioned in her videos, she was able to leave school in ninth grade, buy her first car and begin saving money for college. This is not to say it will work for everyone, but for Megan her perseverance and ingenuity paid off.
Jenna Marbles had similar success. She is a go-go dancer, who is known for her quirky and humorous videos that she produces in the comfort of her bedroom. Marbles began producing videos in February 2010 and quickly became known for her spontaneous and creative use of titles for her videos, including “How to get ready for a date” which received 15,323,595 views. Again, YouTube’s partner programme has opened doors for Jenna to follow her passion and to earn a living as she has reached 500 million views on her channel, and currently has around 3 million subscribers worldwide.
Other websites such as WordPress are becoming very popular, soaring above its competitors Joomla and Drupal. WordPress was launched in 2003, and offers the opportunity to build a blog or a whole website. It is a completely free service with over 60 million sites running on it and 40 million new posts published each month. You can connect with social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and blogging service Tumblr, whilst posting from many different mobile devices such as Blackberries, Android phones, iPads and iPhones. You can also track your popularity, and see how many views your website is receiving.
As the viewers and subscribers of the stars of online media, it is important that we realise the amount of work and determination which is required to become a premier social media personality, and to understand the work, fresh ideas and dedication which the maintenance of such success needs.
In a world where it is all too easy for stars to become old news, the power of online media lies in the interaction and expansion of a fan base.