I could go on for days and weeks about the atmosphere at Vidcon, the YouTube conference that just concluded here in Los Angeles - but I was just considering the lasting impressions left from the experience.
After spending three days immersed in YouTube culture, I'm more convinced than ever that this is really the beginning of a widespread revolution in human interaction. As huge as YouTube has become, it's true power as a community still remains largely unknown beyond those of us who have chosen to be content creators. The YT world is empowering on so many different levels, it's almost overwhelming.
The difficulty that many people still have with social media, and social networking in general, is understanding how to use it effectively. I know many people that realize that they should be involved in social media, but don't quite understand yet what that means or entails. Complicating the matter is the fact that the rules are being invented daily. Social media and social networking are strategies, not destinations, so they require a customized approaching depending on who you are and your goals and ambitions.
Vidcon consisted of 1,400 people, each building their own personal brand - each brand as unique as each individual. Some are singers or musicians - others have tech shows, and still others are comedians. There are some developed strategies in building a following on YouTube, but professional strategies - how to make money on YT - are still being developed. The most successful YT partners are making a good living - but many other YouTubers are finding ways to put the platform to work to achieve their individual goals. It's the ultimate in niche marketing - figure out what your brand is, and how to get the word out to the YouTube population, and you will find your specific audience. If you're really lucky, you'll engage your audience and find ways of sustaining their interest. To some, that extends only to t-shirts and CD's, but also includes books, professional services, and consulting. As the old cliche goes, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Having said all that - this is a world at the dawn of its creation. To really be effective in this world, I think, content creators also need to help "spread the word" about the possibilities of social media. After seeing the sea of talent (of all types and ages) at Vidcon, I'm convinced that the YouTube/social media environment (YouTube won't always be the only game in town) could be the most exciting entrepreneurial opportunity in generations.
It's not there yet, but one way or another, it will be.
(and yes, I'm still on my Vidcon high. Is it that obvious?)