YouTube: Manufacturing Authenticity (For Fun and Profit!)


the photographic chamber of the eye
records bear painted walls while an electric light lays the chromium nerves
of plumbing raw such poverty assaults the ego caught naked in the merely
actual room the stranger in the lavatory mirror puts on a public grin repeats our
name but scrupulously reflects the usual terror sylvia plath tale of a tub
be sure to share this video and be sure to give us a like and subscribe and hit
the bell let me know what you think in the
comments maximum publish a new content to make light can subscribe to make sure
you subscribe cultural milestones come and go but
every now and then we are privileged enough to experience something so
profound and important it not only defines a generation it changes the
world and right now in the era of new media created for streaming online video
that is still beginning to define its own identity we can clearly pinpoint the
apotheosis of generation-defining web series which intersects altruism
accessibility technical skill and philosophy I’m talking of course about
the YouTube series how to kick it with Yolanda Gump welcome back to how to kick
it I’m Yolanda during the course of an episode of how to take it
Yolanda challenges herself with the creation of a novelty cake usually in
the shape of a real-life object often a tie-in with a relevant pop culture
artifact that she has obviously never seen and usually draped in fondant the
most disgusting foodstuff man has yet cruelly devised I’m going to carefully
lift up the remaining fondant hold it and drape it over the banana a typical
how to cake in episode goes as follows first Yolanda bakes her cake usually
double-digit pounds of it 21 pounds 18 pounds of cake then she soaks the cake
in simple syrup from her tool which her commenters have named sir squeeze a lot
sir squeeze her short you can buy your very own sir squeeze at her website then
she begins to ice the cake before promoting her paid service Camp cake I
hope I see you at Camp cake where you can bake and decorate a cake with
Yolanda in real time then she carves the cake into the right shape while asking a
question for you to leave a comment which will up engagement be more
favorable to YouTube’s algorithm then she crumb coats and chills the cake it
is time to crumb coat and chill it’s time to crumb coat and chilled through
before mentioning her t-shirt club asking for shares promoting her 2nd
channel and then removing the chilled cake to do the final icing then she
mentions her month sprinkle service which you can subscribe
to then she drapes her cake in the horrible horrible fondant before then
reminding you to subscribe to the channel if you have it then the
decoration begins after which she reminds you that you can buy more of her
merchandise at her website and during the hours of meticulous decorating she
also reminds the viewer to buy her book a tactic which only a sucker would fall
for as of August 2018 how to cake it has amassed 3.8 million subscribers in about
3 years and in that 3 years the show has grown from one or two calls to action
within a given episode toe on average 11 calls to action in an episode your
average episode of how to cake it is almost more call to action that it is
cake making at this point for those of you who are not help to the lingo or who
have never had a social media manager of some sort a call to action is wherein
the content of a video the host asks the viewer to do engagement with the content
in a more active way than just sitting on your ass for 11 to 17 minutes this
can be as small as asking me for you to smash that like button if you enjoyed
this video today please don’t forget to give it a big thumbs up down below it’s
matchmaking or to ask for shares or suggesting that you use my URL to go
build your own beautiful Squarespace website calls to action are somewhat
unique to online media if you’re hosting a cooking show on Food Network you can’t
exactly ask someone to leave a comment on their cable channel I mean I guess
you can but but calls to action are not completely unique to online media one
key to the popularity of RuPaul’s Drag Race is their prevalence on social media
which is not only encouraged by a RuPaul soliciting calls to action I want to
hear from you the fans who do you think deserves the crown are you Team aquaria
Team Asia but by the structure of its show lending itself to easy sharing not
today Satan the secret to Yolanda success is not of
course the calls to action those gradually rose as her subscriber
count’ did if you look at earlier episodes of how to take it you see that
there are very few calls to action and most of them are requests for likes and
subscribes with subscription services merchandise and camp cake being
gradually added through the years and months early episodes are actually very
conventional and more in the vein of your typical Food Network show but about
five months after the channel launched in the flower pot of Cake episode
published on may 5th 2015 a new element is introduced then I measure then I
measure this do I look tired no sir cumference the giggle you hear is
the voice of producer Jocelyn Mercer and her presence in the series interacting
with Yolanda from off-screen only increases from here to the point where
now it’s a feature of the show that’s a workout game this element proves
engaging and in the following months there is a correlation of increased
interaction between the production crew and the host in effect Yolanda breaks
down the facade that is production she jokes with her producers she jokes with
her cameraman our Americans gonna get mad at this sometimes she even jokes
with her editor who is not in the room the series went from the occasional
fourth wall breaks to fourth wall breaks being a part of the show’s identity Yolanda and her producers have
effectively figured out not only how to market a curated version of her
personality but with how she interacts with her crew and the interactions with
the crew make the show feel more authentic you feel like you’re just you
know in the room hanging out laughing about this elaborate cake that looks
like a giant turkey now pop your turkey cake in the fridge I’m don’t wait too
much of this this falls into line with the appeal of YouTube in general that it
strips away the polished facade of television to give you something more
real you should send every rapper a newsletter without this info just now
same word every sentence in the song ends with the same where mm-hmm
Yolanda can get away with her eleven thousand calls to action per episode not
in spite of this fourth wall breaking format but because of it owning the fact
that a a polish production like this is in fact a group effort this isn’t just a
show you know we’re just hanging out laughing about this cake we’re just
having fun you must chill this cake thy must chill to be clear this is not a call out how
to cake it has a clear and effective business model and Yolanda Gump is both
an engaging personality and a talented artist with fondant I do find the calls
to action distracting but I loyally watch every episode of how to cake it
and yes I own her goddamn book and no I have not attempted to make a single one
of these cakes but there is something special innovative dare I say lucrative
in the style and format Yolanda and her colleagues have devised and other
companies have begun to take notice the medium is the message YouTube was founded in 2005 by three
former PayPal employees Chad Hurley Steve Chen and jawed Karim the idea for
YouTube in part was inspired by Jawad Koreans difficulty in finding and
watching videos online of Janet Jackson having her tip exposed by Justin
Timberlake during the Superbowl halftime show based on a failed prior project a
video dating site called TuneIn hookup by February of 2005 the trio had agreed
to set work on the YouTube project with chin and Corrine taking technical duties
and Hurley taking on a managerial / administrative role in April of 2005 the
very first video was uploaded to YouTube a video of jawad hanging out at a zoo
both hang what these guys explain is that they have really really really long
and no-one ever wanted for videos of wardrobe malfunctions ever again and
that’s pretty much all today so what does YouTube offer as a medium
arguably YouTube offers anything you want but the platform specializes in
certain niches that flourish on this platform more than they do elsewhere
beauty blogs makeup tutorials video game screamer at ers and DIY channels make up
a huge percentage of successful channels but the forum that both originated and
flourished on the format and remains the most popular are the slice of life
vloggers to this day the biggest channels on the platform with the likes
of Logan Paul and PewDiePie even if they specialize in a subcategory like video
games are in effect slice-of-life vloggers fundamentally YouTube lifts the
barrier between the content creator and the viewer decades prior television had
come into people’s homes and given us the likes of news anchors
and late-night talk-show hosts to provide a friendly public figure a
personality that people find recognizable relatable and also a bridge
to the world of celebrity but with YouTube we strip away the artifice
indeed even in the name of the platform the person uploading the video controls
what goes on on their channel YouTube is the medium of authenticity one simply
records a video at so as they please and uploads it to
their millions of subscribers no middlemen YouTube is the response to the
demand of a younger audience hungry for what they consider authentic and because
of this perceived authenticity audiences give a great deal more latitude with the
sale of certain things for instance sprinkle services and t-shirt clubs this
observation was brought to you by Squarespace with Squarespace you can
design a beautiful website designed by professionals that know what they’re
doing not like me but even from the beginning there are blurred lines
between slice of life daily vlogs and authentic fiction one of the earliest
breakthrough channels was lonely girl 15 which launched in the summer of 2006 and
was for a time female subscribe channel on YouTube
anyway so Daniel is really mad right now and I know if he’ll be allowed to come
over anymore the series initially presented as an authentic YouTube video
diary but gained even more notoriety when it was outed as being completely
fictional in September of the same year it is noteworthy that the big
controversy around lonelygirl15 was the revelation that lonelygirl15 was in fact
an actress and that her daily vlogs were fictional and completely fabricated part
of the appeal of YouTube is it’s perceived authenticity but even if there
is no network or middleman everything that is uploaded to YouTube is
cultivated by the creator and is it fair therefore to say that what lonely girl
15 is trying to sell you is any less authentic and Logan Cole I guess what I
what I wanted to ask you was why you decided to be a youtuber I didn’t decide
to be a youtuber this is anyway I didn’t decide to be a youtuber just called to
you there well there wasn’t no there was there like there were no youtubers it
was 2007 there wasn’t a such thing as a youtuber so here here’s a question do
you okay so like the stuff you’re supposed to do like calls to action and
do you ever do you ever consciously like incorporate stuff like that like stuff
that’s supposed to improve metrics no I mean the things that I do to improve
metrics are like a good title and a good thumbnail and I don’t think beyond that
like that the algorithm changes to too much for my old man self to be trying to
keep up with it but no I mean what I do to action because I want when I want
somebody to take an action ID calls to action when PBS tells me what someone on
Twitter actually like called me out on that they were like it’s weird hearing
you do a call to action it’s very not on-brand and I’m like yeah yeah you’re
right you’re right yeah influencer culture yeah hey
everything about it both of those words are mean nothing I I think you can see a
flash dear Hank no I ya know this this video is gonna be sponsored by
Squarespace if they clear okay this video where I’m highly critical of
influencer culture I like if you’re gonna influence people
to do something like yeah you know if you’re gonna have a website you might as
well use Squarespace oh that’s their that’s their new motto don’t try to be
all fancy and shit you don’t know what you’re doing good we’re really good at
this the medium is the message see I forgot his first name Marshall the
medium is the message Marshall McLuhan 1961
what McLuhan yeah around one Yolanda Gump started using the joshing with
producers gimmick her sub started going way way up and by mid-2016 she’s well
past two million subscribers and around this time on July 26 2016 venture
capital funded startup craftsy begin publishing the first episode of their
own cake show sometimes you need more than just to know how to cake it
sometimes you need um about cake hey guys welcome to man about
cake craftsy was a startup service that specialized in hobby and lifestyle
tutorials and craft education that was launched in 2011 by a bunch of former
eBay executives one of the contributors who featured in content behind this
paywall was pastry chef and sugar artist Joshua John Russell pointer stencil
resting against her cake board to help make sure it doesn’t shift around we
begin starring in content for craft C in 2012 but in November of 2014 the company
raised another 50 million in BC financing and lo and behold they got
their own fancy cake show starring Joshua John Russell featuring
drastically improved production values and a whole new format one that seems
strangely familiar by the way the milkman came today and dropped this on
my door I don’t know why I find that incredibly sexy it is sexy sword baby is
about to be born okay
so if like me you’re integrating a new cake show into your cake tube diet one
that admittedly does have more polished production values than your old hat it
may feel seamless at first and this sort of thing is perfect for you to put on in
the background of whatever it is that you’re doing and not really paying
attention to but if you watch enough man about cake you start to notice something
what bird did that come out of it’s like a robin’s egg no Robin’s eggs are very
very pale our birthday it’s for the viewers
these guys are miked James who’s that guy that’s Mike say hi Mike hello that’s
a lavalier mic and named the dragon go ahead Brandon great okay like the sound
cop from the producers on how to cake it is either at the onboard mic or from
your lung does lavalier mic but I made about cake everyone on the set has a
lavalier mic like these this is a lavalier it’s not it is a Thor joke and
then you start to notice other things like their use of props probably
celebrate that was the best thing that ever
happened to me guys I didn’t notice there were balloons right above me
balloons or their use of sound effects I’m gonna kill these balloons that pop
was at it in post you all fired your fires there use of
relationships within the show trim gets cornered you better watch that night do
you see this shirt that does not say maybe I will cut you yeah you know just
some guys joshing around just you know being broke bros making some cake as you
do a weird and unnatural dynamic that Russell calls out in the very first
episode of man about cake joining me is my all-male crew which is
not weird at all that four guys would just be hanging out talking about cake
but that’s what we do and when you spend hours watching this show as I have you
start to realize that this wasn’t just a natural dynamic between the host and the
crew that eventually got incorporated into the show like in how to cake it
this was part of the pitch the banner for their YouTube show isn’t just the
hosts it’s the host and these three guys facing away from the camera you go into
their website and there are like BIOS for each of the camera guys you know
camera guys but they don’t have surnames or any defining attributes and their
eyes are blacked out like there ain’t goddamn witness protection so it’s like
this entire show was built around this scaffolding of bros joshan with each
other while making a cake let’s that was the best thing that ever
happened to me more like man about fake the plain breeze just like we’re done but a youtube show can’t be like the
obvious way more fake genre of reality shows it is that has to embrace this
manufactured authenticity already pioneered by shows like how to cake it
but here’s the thing how to cake it has a really clear business model obtrusive
at this point and honestly kind of distracting but I get it I get why the
show exists and what its business model is and I can respect that but mad about
cake has hardly any calls to action also on occasion they’ll do like q and A’s
they’ll do Instagram based contests they’ll ask for comments but that’s it
the vast vast majority of the man about cake calls to action are all about
building engagement and here’s the thing mad about cakes Channel doesn’t have
that many more subscribers than I do and I know what kind of money these numbers
pull ad revenue alone cannot pay for a show that looks this nice hmm
starburst and in 50 yards I still don’t really understand what their business
model is what are you trying to sell man about cake they’re just gonna get a lot of footage
of me looking sad I was hoping to get it from different angles but it’s genuine literary critic marie-laure Ryan states
that we are more likely to be affected by what happens to people we know than
by the fate of strangers and youtubers who have shared their lives with their
subscribers for several years and hundreds or in some case thousands of
videos can feel more familiar to some audiences than real-life acquaintances
as we see in reality shows there is a viewer fascination with what Ryan calls
higher cognitive emotions ie shame excitement sadness embarrassment in 2007
vlogger Chris Crocker became one of the first youtube stars with an emotional
appeal defending pop singer Britney Spears who was at the time going through
a variety of personal crises and being hounded by the paparazzi and press
you’re lucky she even performed for you bastard part of the viral appeal to this
video is in part that the emotions are so extreme and sincere that they push
the viewer to a place of discomfort and the best way to deal with that
discomfort is to make proper the target of ridicule of parody but more to the
point that the emotions over-the-top that they may be read is sincere and in
this new marketplace of YouTube sincerity and authenticity are the
valuable commodities reality TV was hugely popular when YouTube came onto
the scene and remains hugely popular even in the world with YouTube but with
reality TV there is more of an understanding that there is little real
in what the viewer is watching with the medium of YouTube the rules that is to
say the understanding between the creator and the viewer are a little
different the videos on your personal channel were like I guess a little more
stream-of-consciousness II yeah cuz I yeah just like my day of VidCon and
stuff like that whereas like I guess the scishow and stuff is obviously like the
most scripted and I think the interesting thing with the stuff you do
on the vlog where those channels you have much you have a different cadence
and the way that you speak and I’ve noticed this like even when I
was doing a QA I noticed myself slipping into this like cadence that I I have
developed I didn’t even realize that I had developed it over the course of how
many years yeah I am I have lots of friends who are youtubers and some of
them I’m like you sound nothing like your YouTube self and they’re like I
don’t I don’t hear I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about it was just
like you have a different voice when you’re narrating a video it’s just
different it’s completely – in some but some people sound exactly the same and
they they are they they make the same jokes they make the same facial
expressions like nothing is different I think usually when people meet me
they’re like surprised that I’m short and that I compulsively apologize what
you don’t do in your videos yeah no no I like kids because people kind of have
like even my friends are like wow you just seem like such a hard-ass yeah and
in real life you are not I don’t know I don’t think I am competitive in his
videos I think it’s just because I’m a woman and it just speaking speaking with
any kind of confidence feels aggressive that’s true yeah no you’re not wrong the
term emotional labor comes from Arlie Hochschild in her book the managed heart
and was her contribution to discussions of effective and immaterial labor
according to Hawks child emotional labor requires one to induce or suppress
feeling in order to sustain the outward countenance that produces the proper
state of mind and others her research found that in working with affect
managing one’s emotions can be physically tiring in the same way that
manual labor is and that the commodification of emotions estranges
workers from their own feelings more attention has been paid in recent years
to emotional labor in a context of intimate relationship ie the idea that
romantic relationships the onus falls more on women to manage the emotions
both of herself and us for partner but Haas child was more interested in
emotional labor as it pertains to a capitalist commodity in hostiles
analysis not only is seeming to love the job part of the job but actually trying
to love it and to enjoy the customers helps the
worker in this effort as they are not simply faking it but they come to
believe and internalize what they are doing for the job critical to her
analysis is when this is done for and guided by capital it’s it’s kind of
strategic you want someone to have a reason to come back and watch your video
I think a lot of content you actually end up with it being a one-off viral
video and I’m watching this because I like the video like because it’s a good
funny video yeah and if you don’t get connected to a personality then like the
chances that you’re going to come back for a second video is way way down so
trying to figure out how to connect with a personality without connecting your
whole life experience without sharing everything is a really tricky balance
how has your approach to selling a version of yourself changed since you
started I that super addict no it’s not it’s just like I’m trying to come to
terms with the version of myself that I am on the Internet
I think that ultimately I think that it’s it’s really hard to have that
version of myself not also in fact the real me and so there’s the in this weird
way like where I’ve been held accountable to being like a better
person on the Internet I also like just find that it is more comfortable for me
to be a better person in real life and to like be really thoughtful and careful
and like aware of the impacts I’m having on other people but there is no doubt
that like I am a different person on the internet than I am in real life and then
I am very careful and I don’t think that there’s anything inauthentic about that
I am the version of myself that I need to be for my own mental health but also
for like the impact that I’m going to have on the people who are watching every job to a certain extent requires
maintaining a certain effect but there are a number of jobs in which
maintaining a certain effect is a requirement of the position if you are a
cast member who works at Disneyland a requirement of the position is to
maintain a friendly effect it is in your job description to make the customer
feel special and to induce a feeling of happiness now anyone who interacts with
a waitress or a Disneyland cast member while they appreciate and expect to
receive this effect don’t actually believe that this effect is genuine all
of the time the bartender at the PF Changs doesn’t actually care about how
you never see your husband and how YouTube comments are scary and
overwhelming and how you’re pretty sure that the guy who sends you these
novel-length screeds about how feminist throughing society and he’s going to
kill himself and you and probably 10 dozen other people is probably actually
gonna kill you someday youtubers are selling more than a service like the
bartender or the cast member the product that youtubers twitch streamers and
other influencers sell is almost exclusively affect and this is a form of
emotional labor more and more discussion has turned to create a burnout but most
of that has focused on consistency maintaining a schedule little of that
discussion has focused on the emotional burden of maintaining the effect
associated with the creator’s brand overtime little tiny micro traumas can
build up as a result of a person behaving in a way that does not reflect
their emotional truth but more importantly that their livelihood
depends on and on some level a part of burnout is the desire to rebel against
this one-sided picture of yourself that you have painted in the interest of
consistency some extreme examples of this are high profile youtubers and
streamers letting racial slurs slip into their speech or going on to other
people’s streams to rant about how immigrants are bad or maybe they got
drunk in public and had a run-in with the police it happens I don’t mean to
condone random acts of racial slurs that occur during heated gaming moments but
rather suggest that a part of the burnout is a result not only of
YouTube’s algorithm placing priority on creators who upload regularly and
homogeneously but also on the emotional labor of only showing the side of
yourself that your audience wants to buy we acknowledge that people working in
the service industry don’t always do it for the love of the game a cast member a
Disneyland probably works there in part because they like being nice
people but we also accept that the effect is a part of their job not
necessarily their inner lived truths but there’s very little sympathy for a
high-profile creator who isn’t 100% grateful for their platform 100% of the
time when the same basic idea for youtubers comes up that they’re
sometimes they’re afraid of their fans that maintaining an on brand effect
becomes draining and exhausting that the expectation of constant availability can
begin to do real harm well that becomes a breach of trust that the Creator had
with this community a part of the platform of YouTube what some would call
influencer culture is that it’s important for creators that their
audience think they know you and that your job depends on maintaining that
sense of accessibility and authenticity without going crazy the premium of
authenticity is predicated on maintaining that the effect is
convincing the challenge for creators is to maintain the illusion for their
followers of feeling like they do know this creator when reality they only know
the effect the construct the site of the Creator that the Creator most likely
without they’re making a good conscious decision to do so has decided it is most
beneficial for you the audience to see it is impossible to have a personal
connection to a giant faceless mass of people who are in effect your customers
and when the deception becomes clear fans can get angry but lucky for me I
don’t have to worry about you guys you’re the good ones I remember this this very brief
conversation you and I had at VidCon where you you were talking about making
this video where you asked youtubers kind of random trivia questions and I
was like oh man that was so sorry I hate you know I hate that you had to
do that while you’re here and you’re like no I actually look forward to it
like that’s like my one creative outlet and that kind of surprised me because I
like I so see you too anything that I put on YouTube is just work like
sometimes it’s gratifying work but at the end of the day is work to me hmm
yeah no I mean like making a video is not I mean I don’t know what work is I
don’t know what work is anymore I don’t know what relaxing is I don’t know like
I don’t I don’t I really don’t know I don’t know how to do it really well
like I have a hard time I sometimes have a hard time like being like going to
just like a gathering of friends and not you know thinking about how could my
time be better spent so I like I do have that problem but I do really like making
YouTube videos like I love to edit video I love to I love to be on camera I love
to write I love the whole process coming together I love how fast it can happen i
I’m very glad that I have this than that I get to do every week yeah I know in a
perfect world what would your positive impact be I want people to smile and be
happy and and like think that that was a fun experience one I want people to like
get excited about the universe in the world and like how cool and weird and
like thinking critically and hard about stuff more and more like I want to
foster some kind of better communication and Milland am also more and more I feel
like that that that needs to happen a lot more off of the internet than is
happening now I think that we need to have more physical connection or else we
will continue to become more lonely and we need to occupy the same
physical space as other human beings so my hope is also that people find
community and connection that can grow outside of and be larger than just the
Internet and I don’t really know how I’m trying to get that done right now but
it’s something I think about a lot no Wendy am I going outside like Pokemon go
it’s like that except that I’m going to MFI friendship yeah no no no we got a
game of eyes friendship it’s like the Starbucks app that gamma Phi’s coffee
where it’s like hit a star every day you get coffee so maybe game if I get a star
every time you like see a person in the real save more than 10 words to them I
like it the only the only problem I have with this idea is but it’s a non-profit
we need to make money Lindsey we need to get filthy rich so obviously I’m coming at this
discussion both from the angle of a creator and as a viewer part of the
reason I focused on cake-decorating YouTube is not only because you know
that’s what I watch but because there’s something that happens in media where
the scenes that are supposed to be hidden once you see them it’s kind of
hard to unsee asking what Matt about cake is selling is the wrong question
Matt about cake isn’t trying to sell anything it is instead the product to be
bought which it was after that influx of VC financing in 2014 and the launch of
mad about cake two years later that was all made with an eye towards acquisition
which they were by NBCUniversal earlier the summer rebranding craftsy as
blueprint on July 17th 2018 big corporations see the value in
authenticity even manufactured authenticity like many about cake or
this old companies will pay a lot of money for brands that can successfully
sell authenticity and entire newer corporations have molded their marketing
strategy around the faith viewers have in the authenticity of their favorite
youtuber or their favorite podcaster companies like Casper
audible and of course Squarespace now I hope this doesn’t come across that I’m
trying to make a grand sweeping statement about how thing bad even
though that does tend to be the most effective way to get popular on YouTube
but rather thing exists and thing is a part of a system that you may not even
be conscious of but all content is cultivated no one can portray a fully
lived experience on this platform and to paraphrase the great Dolly Parton it
takes a lot of Labor to up here this authentic this video was brought to you
by Squarespace URL squarespace.com slash lindsay ellis
for a free trial and when you’re ready to launch use the offer code lindsay
ellis i guess to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain we
bought this URL because we were having problems with google adsense and my tax
ID number for my new corporation and so we were really angry about it so we just
made a website where you just complain about things we don’t like like this dog
my new neighbor he’s getting a blog entry free and
secure hosting nothing to upgrade ever you can promote your business announce
events powerful ecommerce functionality i should try that nothing about your
neighbor’s dog go easily create a website make it stand out it’s gonna be
beautiful the future is coming make it brighter
with Squarespace Squarespace is coming I’m coming for
this dog

About the author

Comments

  1. Audiences don't want authenticity. Record yourself for 24-hours straight, going through your daily routine, unedited, upload it, and see how it goes. Unless you're a super-celeb and live a lavish and/or thrilling lifestyle, you're probably not gonna get a ton of views or sponsors. Audiences only THINK they want authenticity because we're all more knowledgeable and savvy about how corporations advertise to us and are often turned off by it.

  2. "The idea for Youtube was inspired, in part, by Jawad Karem's difficulty in finding and watching videos online of Janet Jackson having her tit exposed by Justin Timberlake during the Superbowl halftime show."

    Pretty sure such a video would be against Youtube's terms of service today. Is that ironic?

  3. As comment on something Hank said, I‘d like to share.

    I‘ve known an airline Pilot. He was retiring right around that time. At one time during his career, he was chief instructor for the 747 on his airline. Most pilots don’t like their job, something like 70 % of them regret to have chosen this profession. He, let’s call him Sam, is not one of them, even in retirement he often responded to calls from his former employer when they needed someone spontaneously.

    Sam said that even before retirement when he flew with younger colleagues, they started complaining about the company and their jobs and on and on and on. He leaned back, listened and when they finished he always said: “Yaeh, you’re right. But do you really think I’m going to start working at my age?”

    Liked that video and hope you can find joy in your profession.

  4. If anything, you're self aware about it, which in effect makes you more authentic, because you say what everyone is thinking.

  5. OH MY GOD MY MOUTH DROPPED WHEN YOU POINTED OUT THE EXTRAS ON SET OF 'MAN ABOUT CAKE' ARE MIC'ED WHAT THE FUCKKKK. Thank you for the video!

  6. OMG I just realized who you look like…. A smaller version of Denise Richards!!!

    It was totally bothering me for a while who you looked like..

  7. this is the third time this month that i've heard of arlie hochschild and her stuff about emotional labor, what is going on

  8. "You're the good ones." You made me feel genuinely guilty for behavior that I have never engaged in. Kudos.

  9. Yes! Thank you! I also depise fondant as an amateur baker, and it seems to only be an American thing. Typical, considering us Americans don’t have any good novelty food items, and American deserts are much too sweet (No wonder many of us are obese)… Oh, and I liked your review. Yeah, that’s it.

  10. For what it's worth I never got a ballbuster vibe from your stuff, your ideas are assertive but that just means that you have something to say

  11. I love how the way you mentioned your sponsor. You seemed so disappointed that you had you to shamelessly point out that the sponsor you've been joking about this entire time was indeed the sponsor you ended the video with. It was…dare I say…aunthentic.

  12. It’s funny that you point out in the conversation how different the voices of you tubers are to their real voices. All the while using either of the speech crutches “like” or “umm” between almost every word. You know, like, HOW WE ALL DO nowadays. It was refreshing because your speech in your videos has always made me curious as to how you never stumble or speak “like a normal person” on the street. I may be the last person to realize you are reading your essays in your videos and probably do speak like my friends and I do IRL. It’s nice to come to this epiphany though because I realize you are only human after all and like thats nice to see about any youtuber! 😃😄

  13. It felt so authentic, which made me like it, but now I know that it was not authentic!? Or was it because she talked about it openly? Is God dead?

  14. I think it goes without saying that we all manufacture a persona for other people, especially when we're working a job in which we're required to interact with live humans.  In a world with no consequences, waitresses and doctors and school teachers could yell at you when you offend them instead of demonstrating endless patience and courtesy.  I work in the retail industry and it's positively exhausting, on an emotional level, to be friendly to customers on a daily basis, even when I'm in a terrible mood and hate them for existing.In some ways, people uploading YouTube videos, such as yourself, Lindsay, aren't that much different from actors playing a role and performing on screen for an audience.  I think perhaps one of the biggest differences is that an actor is assuming the role of a fictional character.  We don't think that we know who Tom Hanks is, on a deeply personal level, because of how Forrest Gump behaved.  But people are much more likely to think that they've come to know you as a person, because you're not playing fictional characters; you're playing Lindsay Ellis in every video in which you appear.If I'm reading the meta-message from this video correctly, and you find it exhausting to maintain this persona that you've created for your channel, then why not demonstrate more sincere authenticity?  I'm not saying you seem fake.  Your biting wit and sardonic humor are what make me want to watch more of your videos.  Obviously these are genuine facets of your personality, or you wouldn't have brought it to the table to begin with.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, please give yourself permission to be yourself.  I would hate for you to stop producing content just because the stress of maintaining a façade proved to be too much.  And your viewers will watch you and love you irregardless.  Which isn't a real word.  But, anyway.

  15. This is the first video I have seen by 8ths channel. My first impressions: I really like a lot of the different details in this video, and it is well put-together. I also feel like I learned some stuff I can apply to being a creator, and feel good about some of the stuff I already do. Now to watch more…

  16. I watch your analysis videos as writers prep so I can develop my characters and plots in my stories… if I can get a cover page i will publish and send you one, lol.

  17. 23:00 "I think it's because I'm a woman; speaking with any kind of confidence feels aggressive."

    I'm not quite sure what to make of this statement. I've heard people who actually knew nothing about a topic nevertheless speak with confidence. And, I've seen people drawn to that naive confidence like a moth to a flame. Your confidence doesn't bother me because it's based on research and experience. For example, when Roger Ebert reviewed Monsters Ball he liked it, but he seemed to miss a lot of important elements. I don't think his review was very good, but he had 34 years of experience under his belt so he wasn't lacking in knowledge or experience.

  18. is she saying “affect”, “effect”, or something else referring to the façade influencers put on?
    (i’m not a native speaker so I totally don’t get it every time she says that word)

  19. Holy crap I remember really liking How to Cake it, then a few weeks ago I decided to watch it again and I couldn't sit through even half of it because of the constant promotional interruptions

  20. Weird. I noticed the dynamic of having ppl that are part of the production crew participate in the show awhile ago, but I just attributed that to the fact that I like watching political stuff on YouTube. Majority Report, David Pakman, TYT, etc – they have crew members mic-ed and even have cameras on them that they'll switch to. I just figured it was part of doing news shows on YouTube. Naturally, everyone doing it has opinions and wants to chime in – why else would they be working on YouTube? Then again, I started watching news on YouTube back in 2010.

  21. I suspect it might have to do with the type of show the YouTuber is doing too. For example, you do video essays. I don't think anyone really watches any of your videos and thinks you just come up with all that on the fly or that your YouTube channel represents your real life in any substantial way (maybe your politics and views on various movies/shows). There's a couple others that do essentially video essays where they discuss a specific topic or news item. A bit of their personality shines through, but not enough to where I would ever say that I know them or anything like that.

  22. being unemployed is rlly dangerous coz I’ve been thinking about this all the time but im not as intelligent as u to put it into words. thank u for this video

  23. Yeah, I dig Youtube for cooking, diy, Adam Savage, documenteries, finding old school bands (that I dig), your movie reviews, DUST, Omeletto (film shorts)… ect. I don't really get into make up tutorials, my morning routine, check out my new top, clothes hauls… etc. A crazy story about fondant, though, Lindsay. I attended a horror/sci-fi convention, were George Ramero was a guest and I had VIP tickets to the after party. There was a cake of G. A. Romero's likeness, that he ceremoniously cut in front of all of his admirers. I did not help myself to a slice, but did steal away a piece of the black fondant glasses and ate it. I pooped Windex blue for two days! I do not endorse fondant. That is all.

  24. I'm not an old follower of your channel so I can only really comment from my narrow perspective, but I expect that you come across as aggressive not because of confidence, but because of critique, whether that be of fondant or pop culture. Now, critique alone isn't necessarily aggressive. However, rapid-fire, confident critique, resulting from a script, tends to come across that way.

    "Fondant, the most disgusting food stuff man has currently devised" is an aggressive phrase, especially when stated quickly and confidently, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. That type of aggressiveness (from man or woman) can create witty, engaging content, and is part of why I've been enjoying your videos. It just also paints you as an aggressive person.

  25. i know the chance of you seeing this comment is really slim, but i was wondering if your team could edit the subtitles so they aren't just yt's automatic subtitles? especially during the part where it sounds like a VHS tape; it's increasingly harder to understand someone when the sound is distorted like that.

    thank you!! and i liked this video a lot!

  26. I can't believe you didn't once mention the Harry Truman Show in regards to this subject. Then again, maybe that would have been too easy of a comparison.

  27. Hank Green describing his hopeful impact at 31:30 or so is wonderful

    It helps to hear other folks, successful "public" figures, describe their goals and struggles re: encouraging real-world communications

  28. LOL YouTube linked me here from a Youtuber who is a shameless self-promoter. I don't think less of her for it of course, but I do always skip the first five minutes of her videos..

  29. Awesome video, I feel super close to Danny and Arin from Game Grumps, although I've never spent a dime on those boys

  30. Re: 30:00 in when Lindsay says anything she puts on YouTube is work. I saw this clip from Jimmy Fallon once with Jennifer Lawrence, where she said she had to work that night (meaning, by doing the interview). And he gave her a minute of guff about calling it work but I’m happy she stuck to what she said. Interviewing/press tours are actually work for actors, musicians, anyone promoting something. I guess Jimmy Fallon wanted to portray his show as so fun, that celebs just drop by for fun? The comment just reminded me of that moment when Jennifer Lawrence let that veil slip.

  31. I stopped using most social media at least ones with my real name attached because I wanted to actually be authentic unfiltered until I saw that didn't receive any engagement. In response I would proofread and go out my way to make myself seem more intelligent than I actually am. Then I realized that I had been shadow banned on facebook. Nobody engaged because nobody saw it so any effort to correct my feed was already too late. I actually made a few post on someone else's accounts to see if it was really what I had to say that turned people off. And it wasn't the content I produced… and in fact it received lots engagement when I put my voice to someone else's mouth. They just didn't like me, or social media doesn't want authentic people. Probably the first one.

  32. IMHO there is nothing worse than fondant and if you eat it I hope you catch diabetes. Just use sculpting chocolate.

  33. I'm a new comer to Lindsay's channel. I have to say I'm impressed so far. She's intelligent, articulate and thoughtful. Also, she hates fondant.

  34. Very interesting. It's very hard to tell where the line between the manufactured authenticity and the true self of the person in front of the camera stands. You feel like you know a person because of what they cherry-pick to put online, but most often when you meet with them they're totally different people. I guess that's why you don't see many creators dating fans or at the very least someone who knew who they were beforehand, at least not anyone that I'm aware of….? They talk about it a lot in the Off The Pill Podcast, really interesting stuff. I think it will be super interesting if you go there, actually. Do it!

  35. This is basically a how to. I am treating it like a how to. All I need is the motivation and talent, and basic capital and technical support spare time and ideas.

    You-tube watch out!

    Oh and continued effort in the face of obscurity and mishap, and basically learning that the only way to get good at this is trying and failing again and again. Then learning that some people find it easier because this was only really a hobby to them and also they just seem to find an audience out of nowhere.

    I am just speculating from here. I never got beyond the "maybe that's something I could do" faze. (and I don't know if that is a misspelling or a totally new word)

    Can you fake dispair, and would it ever sell?

  36. is men about cake also from buzzfeed? they just steal all the themes. no wonder the fine bros wanted react to be trademarked, so buzzfeed can't steal it lol

  37. Great feature. As someone who has both been in showbiz (as well as other wage jobs), and who is currently a labor organizer, I have seen the phenomenon of "work" being a means of survival (literally, pinning your hopes and dreams on the income generated from paid work) as well as work as a way of life. (I work 16-18 hours a day, and do not get paid, so, if I don't love what I do, I will not stay healthy.). All labor — emotional, intellectual, or physical — is exactly that, labor. Anyone who thinks about it for a minute can see the work that goes into things — or not. We are entertained but we don't necessarily believe in the authenticity of YouTube content or personalities.

    William Dreiden, in his book "Who Will Tell the People" extrapolates the ad industry and the similar approach to political campaigns: no one really believed that drinking a Sprite would make it rain on you; nobody believes a politician is going to do what they say.

    Sad, but true.

    Thanks, again, Lindsay Ellis, I am "binge-watching" your content because you have amazing insight.

    But hearing this

  38. Cake Girl is selling products and ad space under the guise of an instructional video.
    Cake Boy is selling a non-sexual gay friendship experience under the guise of an instructional video.

  39. (an improvised) Contents!
    i – how to cake it : 1:35
    ii – a brief history of youtube : 8:32
    iii – a chat with Hank Green (1) : 12:09
    iv – man about cake : 14:02
    v – reality tv vs. youtube viewer understanding : 19:53
    vi – a chat w Hank Green (2) : 21:44
    vii – emotional labour part one : 23:16
    viii – a chat w Hank Green (3) : 24:29
    ix – emotional labour part two : 26:11
    x – a chat w Hank Green (4) : 29:52
    (xi – concluding thoughts : 32:58)

  40. I actually think it's really sad YouTube got taken over by capitalism… I love YT and think it's cool how people can more easily make money doing what they love but now the majority of channels are fake authenticity and tactics for profit and fame

  41. Weren't the celebrity chefs of the late 90s/early 00s already doing the 'chat with the producer' schtick way before Youtube became popular? I mean I totally see the connection between the first two cake shows but that 'relatable' we're-just-in-a-kitchen-shooting-the-shit style wasn't exactly new at the time.

    EDIT: Yeah I got this before you got to your point about man about cake actually 'manufacturing' this kind of authenticity. lol I'm dumb

  42. Be honest. Was the dog in the end added in post? And again honestly.. was it added to get exactly this user interaction that I'm giving you now? I need to know. Damn you're good.

  43. I wrote almost this exact video as an essay about documentaries in high school. The idea that what we perceive as real is actually fake pre-dates youtube.

  44. "…and usually draped in fondant, the most disgusting foodstuff mankind has yet cruelly devised"

    THANK YOU. It tastes like a mixture of play-doh and corn syrup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *