A Thousand Words: Summer in the City 2017

At long last, I’ve finally attended a SitC (or Summer in the City) in full. 2015 saw me volunteer for a charity on the Creator Day, and I was only able to attend the Sunday last year. Now, I’ve been there for all three days and it’s been a blast from start to finish.

The first photo in this series which wasn’t taken by me. Thanks Teddy Ebbesen for the snap!

I should start by saying just how wonderful the YouTube community is when it’s squeezed into the ExCel in London, or indeed, when you spot a fellow viewer on a train. There’s no ice to break at this conference, and I’ve made so many friends because of that. Thank you to you all.

The other great thing is the amount of creators I was able to meet and panels I was able to attend. This was also my first year entering the Meet and Greet ballot, and because of that I was able to meet PetesJams, Emma Blackery and JaackMaate.

I met other creators outside of these M&Gs too, of course, who were just as nice. As for the panels, discussions on issues such  as disability and producing a sketch made me want to pick up the camera and film another video as soon as I got home.

I’m reluctant to talk about the convention too much, purely because I’ll be uploading a detailed, bumper vlog about the weekend to my YouTube channel soon. Look forward to that!

The Online Audience: Individuals or Communities? | The Wednesday Article

Naturally, British culture expands and grows every year. Within that, we create our own subcultures, groups and communities. Whilst we may not like being labelled, we can’t complain when we enjoy the benefits that come with belonging to a specific, restricted subculture. But when an audience is grouped together, do we value group privileges over our own individuality?

In terms of this debate, the answer lies in two of the most popular social media platforms. On YouTube, numerous ‘YouTubers’ or vloggers have often spoken out about the dangers of fandoms on the video-sharing site. In particular, some have talked about the risk of an aggressive fandom if an audience is grouped together. Another example is this video by Thomas ‘TomSka’ Ridgewell, entitled No Fandom.

However, micro-blogging site Tumblr presents the other side of the equation. For users of the site, the fandom aspect is one thing which makes Tumblr what it is. It is the site for sharing in-jokes, references and reactions to TV shows, films and books. But when everyone has the same thoughts on the show, is it possible for a member of the community to express an individual opinion and feel involved in the subculture at the same time?

So whilst users in YouTube comments may turn nasty if grouped into a community, fandoms on Tumblr thrive for an individual connection with the show, book etc. they love.

With that in mind, is there any way to satisfy an online audience?

What do you think? If you’re a blogger, do you refer to your audience as an individual, or a collective? Vote in the poll above and comment below!

Liam

Weekly Update: Results and Thoughts on SitC

This week was an eventful, but exciting one. First of all, on Thursday, I received my A-Level results. They were better than I expected and I’m thrilled to say that I will be studying Journalism at the University of Lincoln in September. Then, later that week, I went to this year’s Summer in the City.

 

For those who don’t know, Summer in the City is a UK convention for YouTubers or vloggers. Whilst, obviously, I am a blogger not a vlogger, that is not to say that I am not a fan of some of the creators that were there on Friday.

So on Friday, I was fortunate enough to volunteer for an organisation called Do Something. Throughout the day I was on their stall getting creators and visitors registered for a new campaign which Do Something are doing. The campaign is called ‘1 in 4 of us’, and is all about promoting positive and healthy relationships. You can find out more about the campaign here.

But as well as helping out Do Something, I also had some time to explore the convention itself. Even before I had entered the Excel, I bumped into my good friend Ollie. He is an amazingly talented photographer (take a look at his Twitter, Instagram and website) and was taking some photos at the event.

Additionally, TomSka (creator of asdfmovie) had his stall situated opposite ours, so after a quick lunch break I popped over to say hello. There was no queue at the time so I was able to have a nice, friendly chat about writing, comedy and the University of Lincoln (since he also studied there, which is where I’ll be going) as well as getting an autograph and a picture. Whilst looking around at the other stalls I was also fortunate to bump into Luke Cutforth/Lukeisnotsexy and Gary C – both were really friendly as well and Gary even stopped by our Do Something stall for a moment, which was really cool.

On a separate note, Do Something were kind enough to let me use their Twitter to live-tweet a panel! As a budding journalist/PR manager I was thrilled and live-tweeted a talk by Simeon Quarrie called ‘How to make your videos rock’. It was such a fun experience and Simeon even retweeted one of my tweets later on in the day, which was good to see!

Also, whilst on the Do Something stall, some of the visitors to Summer in the City who came up to me whilst I was on the stand were all so kind, chatty and friendly. In particular, I met Teddy (you can follow her on Twitter here) and Cathe (you can follow her on Twitter here and read her blog here), and it was really nice to meet them both!


Admittedly, I was so surprised by how nice everyone was at the event. It was my first Summer in the City and it was definitely a great experience. I really hope, if the opportunity arises once again, that I could volunteer at next year’s event. Thanks again to the brilliant team at Do Something for letting me come along for the day as I had an absolute blast!

Did you go to Summer in the City this year? Have you been in the past? Who are your favourite YouTubers? Comment below!

Liam

Review: All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher

The teenage years have always been known for their unpredictability. We are expected to know what we want to do for a career as well as pass the exams that ‘will determine the rest of your life’. Then you’ve got the rush of hormones, peer pressure and possible romance.

Thankfully, YouTuber and West-End performer Carrie Hope Fletcher is here to offer a helping hand through the bumpy ride of teenage life with her debut book, All I Know Now.

With anecdotes from Carrie along the way, as well as occasional moments of hindsight, All I Know Now’s semi-autobiographical tone gives the book a more personal feel – something many advice books today struggle to achieve.

Additionally, Carrie is quick to predict the trends of teenage life and organise it into simple categories or ‘acts’ such as: dreams, relationships and making friends. As well as this, other sections of the book keep to the theatrical theme. For instance, the ‘props’ section contains a list of useful contacts for young people, whilst the introductory prologue begins with the book’s personal tone. Let’s not forget, of course, the book’s vibrant yellow and purple colour scheme, which makes the book even more welcoming and vibrant.

Another great part of this book is that it has the ability to be a great book for future reference. Also, when reading it in full, I wanted to keep reading more! It wasn’t long before I had finished the book and felt like I had learned a lot of useful information and tips along the way.

Understandably, a few people out there will roll their eyes at the fact that a large amount of YouTubers are now publishing books of their own. However, with Carrie having such a strong desire to write a book of her own and to help other people, this book is definitely an exception.

Written in a style that is friendly with bursts of wit and humour, Carrie Hope Fletcher’s All I Know Now is the perfect companion to the roller-coaster of emotions that is teenage life.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Liam

Many thanks to the kind people at Little Brown for sending me a copy of this book! All I Know Now is available to buy now on Amazon, Waterstones and iBooks.