Saturday, April 30, 2011


Christina's Favorite Makeup Gurus

Watch Christina!

Our popular guest blogger, talented singer Christina is back with another interesting video review - this time on YouTube Makeup Gurus! Christina has 115 videos on YouTube and most showcase her charming singing ability. In her last two guest blogs, Christina reviewed some of her favorite YouTube musicians (see here and here). But she is also a big fan of YouTube Makeup Gurus and their videos, and you will learn about four of her favorites, below. Christina has been asked about her own makeup choices and she just made a video about what makeup products she uses - click the pic above to watch!

Below, we present Christina's review of these Videos:
Fit Me Foundation + Bloopers
Really Sexy Date Makeup
Victoria's Secret Makeup
Drugstore Makeup Tutorial - Hard Candy Cosmetics

But first, The News!

This week's Featured Video on our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts is a beautifully filmed music video for a Country Pop song about discovering Teen Love from a distance. The song is a duet by talented singers Celeste Kellog and Blake Michael, star of the new Disney Channel Original Movie "Lemonade Mouth."
Watch and hear a great love song! Check out our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts of the Most Subscribed YouTube Channels every week!

Now, here is Christina's review of YouTube Makeup Gurus!

I just recently discovered one of my new favorite YouTube beauty gurus, Sunkissalba. I love that Alba explains everything thoroughly, while still keeping her videos brief and straight-forward. Specializing in neutral makeup, product reviews, and pointers on caring for curly hair, Alba caters to a wide audience of girls. This truly gorgeous girl has a sweet personality to match, and deserves to have a lot more eager subscribers coming her way! The video I've included was such a convincing review, that I ran out and bought the products the next day! I see big things in store for Alba in the world of YouTube beauty gurus.

MissJessicaHarlow is one of my all time favorite YouTube personalities. Jessica recreates some of the hottest celebrity makeup looks and hairstyles, while also dedicating videos to the basics for beginners. Her videos are clear and concise, while still showcasing her uplifting and fun personality. Not only is Jessica an expert on all things beauty related, but she also uploads great motivational videos. Her second channel, jessicaharlow, is dedicated mainly to motivational and inspirational videos that are focused on building your self esteem and helping you reach your goals. Jessica is proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the YouTube community, and she's accomplishing it all with great makeup and a positive attitude!

Iwanted2c1video is probably one of the most diverse beauty channels on YouTube. With tutorials ranging from everyday makeup to avant garde creations, Bethany is one of the most impressive makeup artists on YouTube. Bethany uploads tutorials frequently, including almost every holiday and special occasion - making her my first stop for great makeup inspiration! Her quirky personality and silly jokes make her a real joy to watch, and her thorough explanation make her a great teacher. She's quickly gaining a following, and rightfully so! Rock on, Bethany!

Sccastaneda is so honest and fun with her videos, you almost feel like you know her personally. Sonia specializes in celebrity looks, product reviews, hair tutorials, vlogs, and more - She really does it all! Using a mixture of drugstore and high end products makes it easy for anyone to recreate her looks, giving her a wide following of all ages and styles. Her reviews are thorough, her tutorials are easy to follow, and her vlogs keep your attention. Sonia is beautiful, fun, talented, and silly - A surefire combination for YouTube beauty guru success.

Now, please read Christina's other video reviews!

Christina Loves These Videos

More Videos Christina Loves

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Friday, April 22, 2011


Two Vloggers who love Harry Potter

I like blogging. I enjoy recording my opinion on things related to YouTube at this website. I've been doing this for just shy of 5 years now, and its fun for me to go back and read some of my old posts. It gives me insight into what I liked at the time and I can think about whether I still like what I once raved about, or not. Generally I still enjoy the same videos and video makers!

I started blogging shortly after YouTube launched and this blog presents a history of YouTube. I've written about YouTube musicians, comedians and other genres, including vloggers. A video blog is similar to a written blog in that you can learn about a person's thoughts and feelings. A vlog's visual aspect gives you an immediate impression of the person, as well as body language cues you don't get in a blog, and often captures a certain spontinaety. A blog can provide more depth and detail, and is often a good adjunct to a vlogger's videos.

I've enjoyed several vloggers over the years. Some continue to vlog, although not always at the same frequency, while others are gone or have changed their channel's focus to other things. It can be interesting to follow a vlogger over a period of time. You can see how their personality changes and how they grow as a person. This is especially true of younger vloggers who are still discovering who they are and what they want to do with their lives.

I picked two interesting vloggers to write about in this post - Lucy (OMGitsLucy814) and Kathy (KathyKatInAHat). Both have pleasant personalities and seem to enjoy sharing their thoughts in their vlogs. They are very genuine and sincere; they are comfortable in front of the camera and you could imagine them telling a friend what you see them talking about in their vlogs.

Lucy and Kathy have something else in common; both are big fans of the Harry Potter book series. I have enjoyed learning about Harry Potter from these ladies as I have not read the books myself (I did see one movie and liked it). I would like to read Harry Potter and just discovered that my mom has the first book! It's just a matter of finding the time. I did read all the books in another popular series a few years ago, the Twilight Saga books. My neice was reading them and some family members were concerned about the subject matter, so I decided to see what the fuss was about. I enjoyed the Twilight books and the movies as well, and have even written a few articles on Twilight, most recently "Twilight Saga: Lessons Learned".

After hearing Lucy and Kathy talk about Harry Potter, I think I may have read the wrong book series! I do like Twilight but, in my opinion, its primarily about an unnatural obsession between two people and the adventures their relationship brings to them. I get the feeling from Lucy and Kathy that Harry Potter has more depth and character development, which is something I like and was a bit lacking in Twilight. The ladies talk about how Harry Potter is about love, family, friendship, triumph over evil and solving problems without using magic. When I see my mom this Easter Sunday, I think I'll borrow her Harry Potter book!

Below, we present some vlogs by Lucy and Kathy...

But first, The News!

This week's Featured Video on our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts is a 1960s inspired Garage / Punk / Pop / Indie Rock music video on the GarageRockRadio channel that I think is very cool! It's a cover of the old Vogues song, "Magic Town" upgraded with guitars, gritty vocals and played at a faster tempo, done by musician Lynette Price. The video is random and strange in parts (what IS THAT at 0:48???) and has been described as "a dream within a dream." Watch and enjoy a style of music you might not have heard before! Check out our Top 100 and Top 200 Charts of the Most Subscribed YouTube Channels every week!

Our friend Ali Brustofski is on TV in a Talent Show Contest! If you are in NY, NJ, or Connecticut, you can watch it on the MSG network. But even if you can't watch, you can Vote For Ali from 4-24 TO 4-27. Please check out her video about this, click the pic on the left, and VOTE!!!

Now, here are some interesting vlogs by Lucy and Kathy!

I found Lucy on YouTube when she was just starting out. Her first video was about Harry Potter and which characters her classmates liked the best from the series. Her second video was her first vlog, and I wrote about it, here. I have enjoyed Lucy's vlogs for almost 3 years now and have written about a few of her other videos. See a list of Lucy's videos that I wrote about, here.

Lucy, who states that "Youtube. It's not a hobby, It's a way of life."
is now a senior in High School and made a video last Winter titled, "Why I Love Harry Potter". She explains that she has reread the series and is more able to appreciate the depth of the characters. It's not just about a boy wizard, there is so much more there. Let's hear Lucy in her own words...

Kathy, who said she's "pretty much a huge nerd, and I am also very proud of that fact" is in her first year of college. She talked about her Harry Potter Obsession in one of her VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April) videos from last week. After relating what Harry Potter has meant to her at various times in her life, Kathy observes that "these people who had magical powers had problems that they could not solve with magic." We all have problems and we have to learn to deal with them. Listen to Kathy in her own words...

I wrote about Lucy's first vlog years ago when I first saw it. I did not discover Kathy's channel until about a month ago. She made her first vlog well over a year ago when she was a senior in High School. I think she did a great job; let's watch!

Kathy has indeed vlogged every day in April so far and I have enjoyed watching her videos. I recommend that you watch them as well, and its always good to start at the start, so here is VEDA #1. Kathy re-introduces herself, mentions she loves Harry Potter, Doctor Who (watch this and this at 3:22!), jump cut editing, and is going to VidCon! Watch this and then some or all of her other videos, I know you'll enjoy them!

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Rebecca Black, Friday: Defense and Covers

Hello, YouTube lovers! This time we have 4 videos defending Rebecca Black from all her many critics, and 4 fun fun fun fun covers of "Friday"!

Today is April 13th. It has been about a month since "Friday" began to go viral. Here's the stats right now:

Views: 99,324,828
Comments: 2,089,987
Like: 260,300
Dislike: 1,995,488
#2 - Most Discussed (All Time)
#2 - Most Discussed (All Time) - Music
#34 - Top Rated (All Time)
#23 - Top Rated (All Time) - Music

As "Friday" hits 100 MILLION views, lets recap the story. Last year, Patrice Wilson, a rapper and businessman, team up with Producer Clarence Jey to create Ark Music Factory, a record label and community where people would be safe to follow their music dreams. They advertise for musicians without original material, offering to provide them with a song, video, photoshoot and image consultation. They offer two plans, either pay to buy the song and associated services while Ark retains publishing rights, or pay nothing for the song and services with Ark retaining all rights.

Alana Lee Hamilton, 14 year old student at El Rancho Charter School in California, responds to the Ark ad and goes on to record and make a video for "Butterflies." Alana tells 13 year old 8th grade classmate Rebecca Black about her Ark project and Rebecca talks to her mom about also making a video. Rebecca's parents, both veterinarians, pay Ark $4000 for a song and video. Rebecca is presented with 2 pre-written songs. One was about being someone's lover/hero and the other was "Friday." She chooses "Friday" because she liked the song, felt it went well with her personality and was more appropriate for her level of life experience.

Rebecca records the song, then the video is made at her dad's house with family and friends as extras. Rebecca's mom comments on the cheesy lyrics but Rebecca seems happy enough to sing them and act them out in the video, telling her mom that she sang them as they were written. The video goes on Ark's YouTube channel, trizzy66, on February 10th, 2011. It gets a few thousand views and then people like Tosh.0 begin to talk about it. They brand it as the worst pop song/video in history and people start to ask, "Who is Rebecca Black?" on twitter, tumblr and other social media sites. "Rebecca Black" becomes a Trending Topic on Twitter for several days and the video passes 1 million, then 10 million, then 25 million views.

Many of the viewers feel compelled to comment on the video. The Like/Dislike ratio is about 1 to 8 and the comments reflect that. People seem to enjoy stating their opinion about this video. Although many more people dislike it then like it, it is still the #23 best "Like"d music video of all time (about 5 years since YouTube began their rating system).

Negative comments seem to be of two main types. There are those who think the song/video was a serious effort to produce a high quality pop tune and video, but delight in the epic fail that they decide the video has become. They list the nasal autotuned vocals, cheesy preteen lyrics, less than professional acting and other technical defects as reasons for their opinion. One might say that these commenters take pleasure in what they perceive as someone else's failure. Of course, success and failure are subjective and depend on the original goals. The song has succeeded in attracting popular attention, so in that sense, it is a successful pop song. The original intent of Rebecca Black was to enjoy making a video for her friends and add it to her portfolio of musical accomplishments, and she did seem to enjoy herself.

A second type of comment points out that a "rich" family decided to spend some of their own money so that their child could sing this prefabricated pop song and film the video. People seem to think that you can't and shouldn't try to buy your way to pop success and fame, you should spend years of time and effort honing your skills and improving your talent. Then, and only then, should you receive any recognition for your work. One might say that these commenters are reacting to a perceived injustice. Their internal "cheater detector" mind modules see someone getting a benefit without paying a cost. They get the same feeing as when someone cuts in front of them in a line, or uses some sort of influence to get something they don't deserve. Of course it was not Rebecca's intent to buy her way to fame and success. They paid a very reasonable price for a legitimate product. It may have been one of Ark's goals to get the song, video and singer noticed, and they did let Rebecca know this but without any guarantees - and it seems even they didn't expect such a massive response. There are many examples of people who spent as much or more on videos with no recognition, as well as people who spent nothing at all and have had success on YouTube. Parents are free to spend their earned income in any way they choose; they bought a fairly professional video package and were satisfied with the results. They did not buy any video views, that all came as a result of the final product.

Why is the song so popular? Just like any other easily remembered and transmitted story, it takes a very familiar and relate-able core and adds a counterintuitive twist. The chord structure of I IV V is seen in many pop songs which subconsciously reminds listeners of other hits. The twist is the minor chord in the C, Am7, F, G progression. The lyrics come rapid fire and add to the percussive beat. They repeat phrases and meanings that are understood by any age group. The twist is that the lyrics don't rhyme and the vocals are autotuned which adds an extra syllable to "Fri-e-day" along with crackles and other digital affectations. The video shows kids having fun and has the obligatory verse by a black rapper. The twist is the subtle body language that projects a bit of "what am I doing here?" and the fact that the rapper is not in the peer group of the rest of the actors. Intentionally or not, this song and video follow a known formula for creating a successful meme - something memorable because it is both familiar and alien at the same time.

Even though the ratio of negative to positive comments is skewed toward dislikers, the song has huge numbers of fans. Sales on iTunes have been strong. People are willing to pay a dollar to have this on their iPod. Here are 4 videos from people who generally say, "leave Rebecca Black alone!" They feel that many of the comments on the video are way over the top, much too harsh to be directed at a young teen who didn't write the lyrics and just made the video for fun, fun, fun, fun!

Here are 4 videos that cover Rebecca Black's song "Friday." By listening to the two more serious covers, you can come to appreciate the basic tune without the digital audio effects and video distractions. By watching the two more comedic covers, you can laugh along with the lighthearted humor and leave with a smile on your face!

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