VidCon 2011: Industry Day

Friday, 29 July 2011 11:03 Written by  Jami Philbrick
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VidCon 2011: Industry Day

The second annual VidCon got off with a bang Thursday morning at the Hyatt Regency Plaza Hotel in Century City. YouTube stars and industry professionals assembled to discuss online video and the future of the Internet on day one of the three day convention. 

The convention's organizers John and Hank Green kicked off the event, which is designed to celebrate the wonderful world of online video and the creative people behind it. The event had not one but three keynote speakers Thursday morning, which included Jim Louderback from Revision3, YouTube NextUp program winner Ethan Newberry, and YouTube sensation Olga Kay

Kay, who stars on IamROGUE's very own Tubetop series had these words of encouragement for the audience. "Stop worrying what people think, and do what you love." She went on to say, "Put it out, sit back, and hope people like it." The former Barnum Brothers Circus performer creates and edits her own content and has earned 434,877 subscribers since joining YouTube in 2006. 

Newberry, who was given $35,000 by YouTube to expand the quality of his content talked about the freedom the he has been given to create. "Do what you want to do. You are your own boss; there are no rules," said Newberry. "If you like making videos of your cat, keep making videos of your cat," he continued. "Just keep doing what you like doing."

Among the fascinating panel discussions that were offered at VidCon on industry day this year included: Making Brand Friendly Videos, Advice for Building an Audience on YouTube, Learning the Art of Corwdsourcing, and a Q&A with the Writers Guild of America. The event also featured IFC stars Rhett and Link (Rhett and Link: Commercial Kings) discussing their success, and Youtube guru Phil DeFranco talking about the online empire that he has created.

Ben Relles, Head of Creative Development at the YouTube Next Lab and creator of the channel Barely Political gave his advise on getting the most out of YouTube. "You want people to watch videos and feel a part of something bigger," Relles explained. He also stated that it is important to know your audience, follow what's trending, collaborate with others, and to use YouTube's algorithms to your advantage. 

Another subject discussed on Thursday was crowdsourcing, the art of of raising money to support your project. ElfQuest: A Fan Imagining creators Stephanie Thorpe, and Paula Rhodes discussed with the VidCon audience how they were able to successfully raise enough money to produce their dream project in just under a week. Through crowdsourcing, Thorpe, and Rhodes were able to take their passion for the classic Wendi and Richard Pini comic book about a community of elves and turn it into web series that has had over 150,000 hits. 

Finally, a panel was held on Earning Solid Revenue and Staying Independent. It was attended by Attack of the Show's Liz Miller, Dan Weinstein who is Head of Digital for The Collective, Mekanism's Social Media Strategist Ryan Lee, co-founder Dina Kaplan, and YouTube Strategic Partnerships Manager Margaret Healy. Winstein began by dropping this piece of wisdom, "There is a saying that content is King. But marketing is queen and she runs the household," Winstein laughed. 

Healy went onto say that its hard to rise above the clutter on the Internet and told the audience not to trade away their independence. "You need to know your audience and connect with them," said Healy. "If you have 10,000 loyal people, it's worth more than 100,000 viewers who only watch you for 15 seconds."

In closing, Weinstein mentioned that ultimately success is up to the user, but that there is nothing better than "being able to sustain yourself and make a business out of what you love to do."

VidCon is running now through Saturday July 30th at the Hyatt Regency Plaza Hotel in Century City. 

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