Oakland YouTube Zennie62 on YouTube.com

Message to YouTube's Renetto from Zennie62

Even though vlogging - video blogging - can be considered a self-indulgent practice, vloggers are fans of others who vlog. In my case, I'm a fan of several - Paul Robinett, or "Renetto" is one of them. Renetto's YouTube's first big vlog star just from the simple practice of posting videos consistently of him talking into a camcorder about something. But after developing a great following - 41,000 subscribers on YouTube - and a "name", Renetto's concerned that he's not serving his fan base, so my idea is that he shorten his video time.

What makes Renetto popular is he talks to you through the camera. It's not so much lifecasting as leaving a message for the World. But they tend to go on for seven or eight minutes, where I've found that people tend to drop out of a video after about 2.15 minutes. I don't always like making such short videos, but I've slowly adopted this rule: me talking should be up to four minutes or so, me interviewing a person can be as long as 20 minutes for my video and TV show, me filming an event can be up to an hour. (My TechCrunch video at the 2008 August Capital Party was over 40 minutes.)

But for me, I try to say it in two to four minutes. Lately, I've clocked in around just a hair over 3 minutes or so average. I can't say I've seen such a short video from Renetto, but I'll check back with him.

Some of Renetto's fans like the long conversational format he brings; I do too. But he started the whole thing by complaining so I thought I'd help out.

We do get paid for vlogging

Some people think we vlog for free - in other words we don't get paid for our vlogging. Every time I hear that or see it written I wonder why some people insist on being so stupid. I tell everyone I know about the YouTube Partner program and generally if I talk to 30 people, I'll get one person who's really interested and then it's a coin flp probability that they'll do anything. For example, at the recent blogger meetup at the Berkeley J School, I was the only one of two vloggers in the room.

And while there may be 175 bloggers in Oakland, I can think of one other vlogger than myself and that person's not consistently at it. Terrible. In San Francisco, I know of five - Irina Slutsky, Sarah Austin (back from New York), Tracy Swedlow, Josh Wolf (who just moved to Berkeley), Schlomo Rabinowitz, Justin Kan (who's not as visible of late). (If I've left someone out, sorry. But also I'm thinking of consistent vloggers, not one and done vloggers.)

You can make money creating videos and having an audience - living wage level revenue that doesn't take all of your day to earn. It's all eyeballs folks. I'm up to 7.7 million total viewers on my YouTube channel Zennie62 since 2006 and of that, drew 5 million viewers in the last year, and over 2 million of them in the last five months. That's not a lot compared to vloggers like Renetto or Phil DeFranco, but I'm headed in the right direction: up.

Vlogging is the future of marketing and communications and is at the heart of New Media, and is a powerful tool for social change, but let's face it: it's a test of your self-esteem. The more comfortable you are with who you are the easier it is to get a camcorder, make a video, and post it, and not give a care what people think about your looks. (Well, except the racism and cyberharassment part; that's sick, I have zero tolerance for it, and fortunately a number of people do too. People who do it get cut from my channels or in a few cases reported to the authorities. Period.)

There are only about 600 YouTube Partners out of the thousands of people who upload something daily worldwide. That means we're out there doing this as a business where I have no idea what anyone else is doing.

Hmm. Just 600 YouTube Partners? On second thought, maybe I should stop telling the rest of you about the program! More money for Renetto and me!
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