Grassroots Goes Global

Owen Spencer in Hashtag FC's 2016 free kick challenge

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Increasingly in the UK, we are seeing the rise of what can only be described as “Sunday League YouTube teams”. At the very lowest rung of the footballing world, Sunday League squads tend to be made up of average people working a nine-to-five, who rarely, if ever, have time to train, and see their weekend kickabout mainly as a social activity. But these new teams are sparking a Sunday League revolution – using social media to reach an audience of thousands.

This trend kicked off in 2016, with the birth of Hashtag FC – a now semi-professional team that was started by Essex-based YouTuber, Spencer Owen, 30. After growing a following through uploading videos of himself chatting about football and playing video games while at university, Spencer put together a squad consisting mainly of his mates and watched in surprise as his subscriber base grew to two million.

The Biggest YouTube Beauty Secret Has Nothing To Do With Makeup

selfie

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“Since it’s a ring of light, you have this beautiful neutral zone in the middle and a ring of light around the face, so it gives a soft glow along the edges,” explains Musick. “It’s not a single source hitting your face, so it really helps wash out any blemishes. You don’t need to worry about light placement. You just put it right in front of you and it illuminates you appropriately. It’s really easy.” You’ll need a light stand to attach it to and that’s about it. Most come with a mount in the center of the circle for a camera or phone.

But as you can see here in a few (horrible) selfies I took at Racked HQ both in natural light and with hideous overhead office fluorescent lighting, I no longer have undereye bags or weird facial blotches. It also makes a fetching ring in your pupil that really makes your eyes pop, though if you wear glasses this reflection poses problems.

How YouTube’s Year-in-Review ‘Rewind’ Video Set Off a Civil War

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YouTube tested that theory this week, releasing its annual “YouTube Rewind” year-end retrospective. The eight-minute video was a jam-packed montage of YouTube meta-humor, featuring a who’s-who of YouTube stars (Ninja! The Try Guys! Bongo Cat!) along with conventional celebrities (Will Smith! Trevor Noah! John Oliver!). The video was slickly produced and wholesome, with lots of references to the popular video game Fortnite, shout-outs to popular video formats, and earnest paeans to YouTube’s diversity and inclusiveness.

It was meant to be a feel-good celebration of a year’s worth of YouTube creativity, but the video started a firestorm, and led to a mass-downvoting campaign that became a meme of its own. Within 48 hours, the video had been “disliked” more than four million times. On Thursday, it became the most-disliked video in the history of the website, gathering more than 10 million dislikes and beating out the previous record-holder, the music video for Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”

The issue that upset so many YouTube fans, it turns out, was what the Rewind video did not show. Many of the most notable YouTube moments of the year — such as the August boxing match between KSI and Logan Paul, two YouTube stars who fought in a highly publicized spectacle watched by millions — went unmentioned.

I’m Not Here to Make Friends: The Rise and Fall of the Supercut Video

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The length and reach of these classic ‘cuts varied, as did their intent. Some were merely having fun, pointing out ridiculous, overused catch-phrases; others were serving as a sly bit of cultural commentary. A few of the best supercuts, like “I’m Not Here to Make Friends,” were both. “It was about exposing the tropes,” says Juzwiak. “One of my obsessions—and maybe my chip on my shoulder—are things that treat viewers like they’re dumb. And when you see the pattern, you hit back at it.”

But the ease of making supercuts also led to a glut of clips that were far less effective than the ones that had initially criss-crossed the web in 2008. Some of the new supercuts were at once more completist and less focused, collecting scenes that may have shared some connection, but didn’t make a real point: As much work as it takes to put together something like “50 Heartbreaking Movie Moments,” it feels more like an all-inclusive montage than a specific supercut. The very term had become a trope. “I’ve seen ‘supercut’ used to describe videos that are just things edited together,” says Robson.

How Am I Not Burned Out?

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I’m a solid 12 years into my YouTube career. During that time I have been the CEO of three different companies, hired dozens of people, fired a few, started two non-profits, a couple podcasts, wrote a book, lived through good times and bad times of my chronic illness, all while being in a stable, happy marriage and maintaining at least some friendships.

will now say the sentence that I say to creators most at creator-focused events: Diversify Your Identity.

Find ways to value yourself outside of the metrics of social media. That might be how you feel about your creations. It might be a small community of talented people that you respect and are part of. It might be classmates or colleagues. And, if at all possible, invest in your identity as part of your communities and families. Value your life as a sibling, a child, a parent, and/or a spouse. Value your life as a member of your town or city or neighborhood. Value yourself outside of your creations.

The Rise in Self-Proclaimed Time Travelers

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This spacetime cowboy’s story went viral for obvious reasons. But then, following Johnson’s story, there’s been an unexpected surge of time-travelers. In fact, every week, British tabloids and news aggregators like Drudge Report seemingly push weird news stories about some guy who claims to be from a decade or more in the future. YouTube is chock-full of interviews with these purported time travelers as well. In the typical confession vid, the time traveler speaks directly to the camera and nervously explains why he’s come back in time to save us from the future. The time traveler knows he won’t be believed. He also fears for his safety. But he has to come forward with the truth. Most of the time his face is blurred and his voice distorted. He’s always white.

Like other con men and bullshit artists, these time travelers recognize the public’s need for proof. Some admit they can never convince us… Conveniently, though, their proof of future events is never a prediction of what will happen next week, or later in the month. It’s always a matter of waiting a few years. And then, you’ll see.

You’ll all see!

The Lonely Life of a Professional YouTuber

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Above the desk in Will’s bedroom in London there is a whiteboard listing all of the ambitions he had for 2017, with a huge black tick pasted across it. He wanted to get verified on Twitter (he still isn’t), he wanted to begin an intensive daily gym workout routine (he didn’t). But right at the top of the list, written in red marker pen, is “1 million subscribers”.

He spent every waking hour trying to make it happen, working 16-hour days in a state of miserable obsession. He achieved it just after 1.30AM on the 22nd of December, 2017, and tweeted: “WE DID IT! From the bottom of my heart – thank you. Never wanted something as much as I wanted this. Love the lot of you to fkn bits,” followed by a heart emoji. But the feeling disappeared within minutes. Then he re-opened Adobe Premiere Pro and got back to work. He had another video to upload in 48 hours, and it was already making him anxious.

He’s never really stopped since. He was up until 4.30AM this morning working on a video, and then he got up at 8AM to work some more before I arrived. He has bags under his eyes. His sleeping patterns blur. He pulls all-nighters to finish videos, and doesn’t really know how much it has affected him until he’s lying awake at 5.30AM two days later. In the winter, there were days when he only saw two hours of daylight. His flatmate is away a lot, and the most face-to-face contact he has during the week is with the woman who works in the coffee shop downstairs.

“Is that a joke, though?” I laugh. I want to give him the opportunity to tell me that was an exaggeration.

“No, I’m deadly serious. I’d consider her one of my better mates,” says Will.