Nowadays, 'vloggers' are a dime a dozen. But once upon a time, it was the less popular lovechild of the diary and a blog.
A 'vlog' is a self-filmed video-style diary entry usually found on Youtube. As the second most visited site after Google, Youtube gets over 122 million visitors on a daily basis and users consume one billion hours of content daily. 500 hours of content is uploaded per minute.
The origins of 'vlogging' are pretty obvious to anyone who grew up while blogging was still a thing. But, what may be a little harder to understand is the magnitude of the trend. Why are people so obsessed with watching somebody else's day-to-day life unfold on a handheld cannon camera?
You can't spell 'vlog' with 'blog'
No, seriously. If it wasn't for blogging, we never would've had 'vlogging'. We'd have called it something ham-handed like 'viary' which, sure, would still make sense since it is a video diary. We digress.
Broken down, the term 'vlogging' is an amalgamation of the words 'video' and 'blogging'. The first blog you ask? That was published in 1994 by Justin Hall, who went on to write his public diary for 11 years.
So, who was the first vlogger?
Technically, the first vlog was back 1983. Shocked? So were we. A man called Nelson Sullivan, an American videographer, made a video archive of day to day life and the queer nightlife scene in New York, as well as South Carolina.
On Youtube, Kontras' clip is titled 'Entry #1 - Talk about moving in the 21st Century (World's first video blog)'. Does anyone else feel endeared by that title? He documents his cross-country move to L.A. for a career in showbiz.
The video accompanied a blog post, so it wasn't until 2018 that the video reached Youtube, the unofficial home of the vlog in 2022. And as far as Youtube attention goes, the clip has a pretty cosy audience of over 11 thousand people.
For comparison sake, 'Zoella' a teenage vlogging sensation from 2008, has over 5 million views on a random, nothing video from 2013 called 'My Valentine's Date'.
"Welcome back to my channel"
By 2005, vlogging was the, and we cannot stress this enough, coolest thing on the internet, with the first video on Youtube coming from the site's co-founder Jawed Karim titled 'Me at the zoo'. The 18-second long clip has over 231 million views.
Since then, vlogging has been an extremely popular and even became a source of revenue for "Youtubers" in 2008 when Youtube brought in video monetization. Popular themes within the trend include "day in the life", "what I eat in a week", travel diaries, and sit-down Q&A style videos.
A Floridian man called Charlie Trippy was even awarded a Guinness World Record in 2019 for "Most Consecutive Daily Personal Video Blogs Posted On YouTube" after uploading 3653 videos over a 10 year period.
Behind the rectangle
Apparently, there a few things all vloggers have in common. In a crowd-sourced study from 2013, researchers looked into what traits all vloggers possess. Apparently, those traits are: Extroversion, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Neuroticism, and Openness to Experience.
Over the years, vlogging has done more than just create Youtube communities and make the people behind the cameras some coin. Many "Youtubers" have used it as a stepping stone to other things.
'Zoella', or Zoey Sugg as she goes by nowadays, created an entire empire from make-up sit-downs, monthly chats about what nail polish or cereal loves, or "the boyfriend challenge". She's made 'Zoella' into a brand name as an entrepreneur and author.
The controversial Jake Paul is another person who used Youtube to move onto other ventures. He starred in a Disney show 'Bizaardvark' and went on to become a professional boxer who is speculated to have earned 40 million dollars from the sport last year and claims to be the highest paid athlete under 25.
Who to watch
With such a large pool of vloggers, it's imperative to get the best advice on who is worth subscribing to. Here are our recommendations for those who want to dip their, uhm, eyeballs, into the world of vlogging.
Formerly known as 'Zoella', Zoey Sugg has a second channel which she set up as her content began to mature when she bought a house and more recently, had her baby Ottie.
Professional baker and ex-model Grace Booth is down to earth, bringing us relaxing weekly vlogs that follow her life solo-travelling, experimenting with food, and partaking in and creating food challenges.
Dublin's own Jenny set up her vlog channel just a few months ago but is already on our weekly watching roster. She brings us fashion, ASMR, and honest chats about skincare, botox, and life struggles.
While Tyler Oakley hasn't made a video in months, he is the blueprint for what makes a lovable vlogger and he has a catalog of content that goes as far back as 2017. He's got extremely feel-good, lighthearted vlogs that we'll never not love.
Hop or flop?
This trend is an absolute hop. The best thing about this Youtube Rabbit Hole is that the content is never-ending, it can be a background watch/listen, and if you really get into it, vloggers upload days can be a little ray of sunshine during the week.
Get lost in this Youtube Rabbit Hole. It's one of our favourites.