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As AndyMooseman on YouTube, Hastings, U.K. resident Andy Gunton has been vlogging since 2006. He’s seen the online community grow from what was essentially a small village into online metropolis it is today. Though YouTube is only about six years old, Andy things of his own videos as “old-fashioned vlogs.”
“I tend to do unedited videos. Sometimes it’s a stream of consciousness thing. It’s usually based around some sort of topic…. things I see in the news, or whatever, just something that springs out of something that might have happened to you, that type of thing, maybe trying to get people to thing about things a little bit.”
In the past, he’s also done scenic or historical videos, taking his viewers on guided walks, or sharing a local occasional festival or event.
Though the public generally doesn’t perceive YouTube as a social network, Andy recalls that in 2006, it was just about the only game in town, “In that time, Facebook was in it’s infancy. There was no such thing as Twitter, so it was the one place where you could more or less meet up and speak to each other and see each other as well.”
While the opportunity to make money has changed the way people do videos, Andy has no issue with those who pursue that avenue. “I have no problem whatsoever with anybody making money out of this – if anybody can make money out of them, fair play to them and best of luck to them, because it’s giving people like you and me or anybody out there the opportunity to maybe channel something that might not get shown otherwise and if you can make some money out of this, make a career out of it, best of luck to you.”
In fact, like so many others, has found a host of benefits to creating on YouTube that go beyond profit-sharing opportunities, “Once you get into this - and I had no experience in video making one I got into this as I expect the mass majority of people – you learn a lot, you learn about yourself, you learn a lot about public speaking, you learn how to edit videos, how to make videos generally and it makes you open up your mind a little bit. And obviously you’re being exposed to other people’s thoughts and opinions and its giving you ideas, and you’re bouncing off people.”
“I do a bit of radio, so it’s helped me with that. It’s given me other opportunities. I’m not the manager of a local rock band and one of the reasons I got asked to do that is because of my experience with social media, video and all the social technology that is around.”
This blogger met Andy at the very beginning of a 2010 road trip he took from Los Angeles to San Francisco with several of his vlogging friends – a journey which he describes as one of the best experiences of his life - a journey with good friends he wouldn’t have otherwise known if not for YouTube.
Finally, Andy believes his collection of vlogs has another, more personal value, “It’s a digital memory bank. I’ve got five years of videos to look back. I’ve changed in those five years, and that’s a legacy which is out there, like an old photo album, but a digital photo album, full of videos, and it’s there in the cloud, or YouTube or wherever you want it, for your kids to look at it for generations to come.”