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Jan. 25, 2018

Blazer Social Media Stars: Youtube Edition

by Eric Feigen, Staff Writer and Nene Narh-Mensah, Staff Writer
Diane Dao bobs her head as she listens to BTS. She ponders possible dance routines in her head over and over for her next video. Meanwhile, Ayse Erbas, junior, sits on her bed and considers different challenges she could do for her next video and who to collab with. Though Dao and Erbas have vastly different styles, they both love making Youtube videos. Over the years, some Blazers have started to make names for themselves on social media, particularly Youtube. Whether it's singing, dancing, storytelling or all of the above, these students have produced a variety of creative content.

Channel: Sushi Time
Senior Diane Dao, also known as Sushi Time on Youtube, is starting to gain a presence on the site. Dao features a variety of content on her channel including reaction videos and freestyle dance covers. She's amassed over 1.6 million views over the course of five years.
Courtesy of Diane Dao

Dao created Sushi Time on April 27, 2012. Her friends were the main influence for the channel's name. "I just like sushi," Dao laughs. "My friends started noticing I like it so much that they started calling me sushi. I still have friends that call me sushi." What started off as the occasional side hobby has grown into a community. It's very evident in the support her channel receives. Youtube user "Cre8ive Wing" left comment "OH-MY-GOSH!! I LOVE YOU!!! Would you like to be in a KPOP performance at school??"

To make a video Dao starts with reading the suggestions she gets from viewers for videos. "It usually takes one day to record, within a lunch period, then to edit" Dao said. The editing portion is a crucial part of the video making process for Sushi, as she intends to make sure the channel is welcome to anyone who watches. "I want to review the videos to make sure it's not explicit," she says referring to inappropriate language.

Should her channel make it big, Dao would have big plans for the money. "I [would] hope to use the money to create my own organization to help build schools in poor countries," she said. According to Socialblade, Sushi Time is projected to have almost three million views on by 2022.

Dao's recommendation for content creators just starting out is to be aware of your time constraints and your involvement in the channel. "Consider the time and passion you want to put into it, I've had friends who wanted to start channels and end up abandoning it," Dao says.
Channel: Ayse Erbas
Junior Ayse Erbas has maintained her Youtube account since December of 2013. She doesnít use any fancy video equipment, only her tripod and camera. Erbas started posting on Youtube primarily as a fun way to communicate between herself and close friends. She didn't expect that four years later she would have developed a fanbase.
Courtesy of Ayse Erba

Erbas created her channel when she was in 7th grade. "I started it because I watched all these other Youtubers, so I decided to it myself. The first few videos were so awful," Erbas jokes. Erbas has always enjoyed editing videos, and after encouragement from her friends to record her first film, she quickly became devoted to posting monthly depending on how busy her schedule was.

The majority of the content Erbas uploads are challenge videos. During these films, Erbas hosts with a special guest, usually one of her close friends. Together they try to complete different challenges based on current Youtube trends. After filming, Erbas usually spends time cutting down her video to around five to seven minutes.

For Erbas, the filmmaking process is rewarding. She has developed a large fan based over the past four years. "I thought my fan base would be mostly my friends, but I have videos with 7,000 views and I'm extremely surprised because there is no way I know 7,000 people," Erbas said. As Erbas' channel grew in popularity, the quality of the videos she uploaded also increased."As Iíve made more videos Iíve gotten better at editing and keeping in only the funny and relevant stuff. Iíve also gained a lot more confidence since 7th grade, so my personality in the videos is more engaging and entertaining," Erbas reflects.

Erbas strongly recommends that other people get out their and start their own channels. She stresses that filmmaking is is a valuable experience and a fun activity to do with friends. Erbas is also a strong proponent of homemade videos. "I don't have fancy lighting, microphones, or backgrounds," Erbas explained. However, Erbas would like a slight upgrade in her filming equipment in the future. "I will probably want better equipment," Erbas said With better equipment she feels that she could take her channel to the next level.

In a day and age where entertainment has transitioned into a more technological era, it is comforting to know that anyone can start their own Youtube channel and experience success. Blazers Erbas and Dao show that with commitment and hard work, being a Youtube personality is possible.



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  • Max (View Email) on January 29, 2018 at 2:39 PM
    I was wondering if you could add a KPop section. I know that not as many people will read it, but the people who do will appreciate it.
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