5 Ways The Vlogbrothers Have Pioneered YouTube As You Know It

30 April 2015, 16:32 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

John & Hank Green
Liam Dryden

By Liam Dryden

In the ten years since the site's conception, Hank and John Green may be responsible for everything you love about YouTube.

This week marked the 10th anniversary of YouTube's first ever uploaded video "Me At The Zoo". And as a part of their celebrations, some of the site's biggest and brightest stars were invited to a Creator Summit at New York's YouTube offices.

Loads of our faves were in attendance; Tyler Oakley, Dan & Phil, Hannah Hart, and New York Times bestselling author and video-blogger, John Green. While his brother and partner-in-crime Hank was busy recuperating from a recent tour, John was there to fly the banner for their shared channel "VlogBrothers", as well as every other major project the brothers have contributed to the site's history.

Because while John is renowned these days for his novels becoming movies (The Fault In Our Stars and soon Paper Towns), he and Hank have had a long, long relationship with YouTube. And they've probably been responsible for a lot of the stuff you love and appreciate about what the site has become today. 

Here's just five of the ways that the VlogBrothers have helped make YouTube what it is:

1) Vlogging

Taking their cues from Ze Frank's 2006 video podcast the show, John and Hank were just two of the first people to introduce the typical 2-4 minute jump-cut-addled "vlogging" format that we know and love today to the YouTube platform. Their year-long textless communication project "Brotherhood 2.0" in 2007 inspired more than just a few of the vloggers you know and love today.


2) YouTube Fandoms/Community

Plenty of YouTuber fandoms consist of thousands of young people bonding over their shared love of one particular person or channel; but the Nerdfighters might just have been the first. Coining the name from a mis-read title of an arcade game, the Greens turned their increasing fanbase into an impassioned fighting force that's anti-world suck, pro-awesome, and pro-nerd.


3) YouTubing As A Job

By the time Hank co-launched DFTBA Records in late 2008, the YouTube Partner Programme was already established and YouTubers were finally making a little bit money off of the adverts attached to their videos. But still, nobody at the time was really earning a living wage. 

DFTBA (Don't Forget To Be Awesome) was a project that provided YouTube musicians a platform to produce, sell and distribute their music and merchandise without going out of pocket or time looking for their own methods. Finally, people had an avenue to profit from their passion, and many YouTubers started to go full-time.

With the site's growth, so many big creators nowadays can live off their ad revenue alone; but as DFTBA grows, the Greens are still developing other projects that will allow creators to earn a living from doing what they love.


4) Digital Content That Rivals TV


Webseries existed before the Greens started their own projects; but none were on the same scale of production as educational series Crash Course and its sister SciShow, hosted by John and Hank respectively. 

With an investment from YouTube to kick them off, these two series have covered a wide range of educational topics over the 3 years they've been running, are often played in schools around the world, and rival any educational series produced by regular means. And that's not to mention the success of Hank's other webseries projects, including the Emmy Award-winning Pride & Prejudice adaptation, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.


5) Events/Industry


Before the first VidCon in 2010, most real-life YouTube meetups were run by individual creators, never lasted more than a day and were never more than around 200 people. John and Hank's co-founded annual YouTube convention in California has grown from a capacity of 2,000 in its first year, to over nine times that size. 

While fans flock to Anaheim to queue for hours for a picture with their faves, the event has most importantly become the go-to annual hub for people in the community and industry to meet, network and collaborate. Plenty of YouTuber business takes place during or around the event; not to mention it has also inspired similar events that occur worldwide, all year round.

Fancy becoming a Nerdfighter, or just want some more of YouTube's epic history in your Sub box? Subscribe to the Vlogbrothers here.

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