It’s called YOUtube for a reason. Don’t let others tell your story, so make sure you tell yours. Your story.
TL;DR version: Tell us YOUR YouTube Story! We’ve started working on our next documentary called My Story. We want you to tell us YOUR story about how you became a YouTube content creator.
1) We want you to tell us about YOUR experiences being a YouTube content creator.
2) We’re also looking for a producer to join me in putting this big ambitious project together!
If you want to contribute with your story on the platform, please reach out at mystory [at] watchmojo [dot] com. For more details, watch the video.
Background & Details:
As WatchMojo celebrates its 15th year anniversary on January 23 2021, I was thinking of ways to give back to the community that gave us so much, YouTube. My name is Ashkan Karbasfrooshan, founder and editor-at-large at WatchMojo. Some of you may know us for our top 10 lists on pop culture. But we do much more and in fact, I am now working on our third documentary to cover the pioneers who built YouTube into the cultural behemoth it’s grown into today.
Growing up, I used to read encyclopedias voraciously… and this is why underneath WatchMojo’s editorial is a desire to encapsulate the people, places, things that we are passionate about and feel nostalgic about. Throughout my life, I’ve published 3 books (which have all been biographical in nature) and produced two documentaries. We’re now working on the next one, tentatively called My Story and will serve as an oral history of YouTube.
An oral history is simply “the collection and study of historical information using sound recordings of interviews with people having personal knowledge of past events.”
An Oral History on YouTube
I was very proud when Vidcon asked me to give the keynote at the 2019 edition on the evolution of YouTube. This project is a greater source of pride for me, because it combines writing and researching as a biographer with the community that I’ve literally lived in and built upon for most of my life!
I enjoyed reading the oral histories on SNL, MTV, ESPN and have started to recreate the same on YouTube. Instead of limiting it to a book/article, naturally a video series makes a lot of sense, as well.
The generation of creators and storytellers have had a profound impact on society, but while much of your story has been told through your videos, it’s also mainly come from others’ writing/talking about it. As YouTube is now 15 years old, many of the younger users/viewers who watch videos on the platform may not necessarily be aware of your pioneering work. As someone who’s chronicled the builders of many industries, I wanted to do this documentary to tell your story. We would use our army of video editors and our platform – 30+ international channels on YouTube, Snap, Facebook, TikTok etc. and reaching 150 million viewers in 150 countries – to aggregate all the voices who’ve helped shape YouTube and tell the story of how YouTube was built.
It’s not called history for a reason, so make sure you tell yours. Your story in My Story.
Our Previous Documentaries
My first documentary was called Fox in the Henhouse explored the role of entrepreneurship in society to bridge the wealth and income gap at a time when an increasing number of younger voters are drawn to socialism while billionaires themselves are calling out capitalism’s shortcomings
The second one was How Geek Culture Became Pop Culture, which looks at the result of how many of the current generation of creators and decision-makers grew up reading comic books and watching movies/TV shows/playing video games and now run industries, including the marketing and entertainment fields, explaining how geek culture overtook the mainstream.
Having written the biographies and profiles of thousands of newsmakers, celebrities, this was a way I felt would best capture your story while discussing the profound impact you’ve had on Youtube, and YouTube’s had on you.
OK, seems interesting. What’s next?
What do I need to do, exactly?
We’d love it for you to submit a 5-15 minute video (it can be longer, as WatchMojo’s expertise is in editing massive amounts of content into tight narratives, that’s where my team would step in. This is a massive project when you consider how many creators had an impact on YouTube, and thus, culture as we know it today).
I know first hand how hard it is to say “the right thing” when pressing record, so to help you, we’d love to hear what you thought and felt:
- 1st time you came across YouTube
- 1st video you produced
- 1st breakthrough moment where you thought, “this could be huge!”
- When did Youtube go from hobby to a gig to a career
- When did you commit? Did you think of quitting? If you did take a break, discuss that.
- How certain pioneering collaborative efforts you were involved in came together?
It can also be insights into major changes on the platform, be it
- Content ID
- Introduction of ads on the platform
- The day there was a shooting at YouTube HQ.
You can also talk about the stresses and anxiety of building a community and maintaining your presence as traditional media and new creators flocked to the platform.
Our plans would be to produce an English-language documentary series and feature this on the WatchMojo channel, but my goal is to translate this so that the entire world knows your story.
Ideally, record it in horizontal! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, one more thing.
On a final note, I am also working with more and more creators who are interested in the following two career development paths:
- Helping them evolve into entrepreneurs (if they are finding a hard time finding an area to pursue)
- Helping them get into teaching and/or more public speaking.
If interested in either of these two, don’t hesitate to reach out.