Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Missoula resident behind "online video's Comic-Con"

Posted By on Tue, Aug 2, 2011 at 8:00 AM

We're talking, of course, about noted Internet entrepreneur Hank Green. Indy readers know all about Hank from our story about his early days as a "visionary," including his wildly popular video blog, his DFTBA record label, and his green technology website. More recently we wrote about his internationally acclaimed and embarrassingly simple invention, 2D glasses.

Green garnered more media attention with last weekend's sold-out Vidcon, a convention for proven and aspiring video bloggers. The event, which he founded with his brother and video blogging partner, John, drew more than 2,400 attendees this year to L.A.'s Hyatt Regency Century City, and YouTube was a primary sponsor. Next year, to meet increasing demand, it's being moved to the Anaheim Convention Center, which can hold 12,000.

The size of the event caused some news outlet to compare it to Comic-Con, the enormously influential pop arts convention.

ABC News: "While it's not quite another Comic-Con just yet, next year's VidCon is expanding from a modest hotel to a larger venue: the Anaheim Convention Center."

LA Weekly: "An army of teens sporting Justin Bieber haircuts, donning animal hoods and wielding Flip cameras invaded the Hyatt Century Plaza in Century City Thursday through Saturday for the second annual Vidcon, which is making a push to become the Comic-Con for the online video world."

Media members not marveling at the size of the event were left in awe of the content (and apparently overcome by Justin Bieber comparisons).

IndieWire: "At one point, when the stage was filled with YT celebs dancing to the rock stylings of TeraBrite, the audience’s shriek became a deafeningly high pitch rarely heard outside Justin Bieber concerts."

Variety: Though YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar might have hoped they were cheering him, the deafening peals were more likely directed at some of the site's biggest draws, from Buck Hollywood to Mystery Guitar Man, who joined him to tout YouTube's latest developments ... 'You guys don't just watch the news, you make the news,' Kamangar told the crowd, predicting they would give rise to the next CNN or MTV."

Reuters: "The defining image of VidCon 2011, for me, came from a video shown during YouTube’s keynote presentation on Friday morning. The video was a comedic retelling of how YouTube’s new Cosmic Panda layout was developed; the creators depicted one of the challenges of reinventing how things work on YouTube with a shot of product manager Brian Glick, curled in on himself like a battle-scarred soldier in the foxhole."

This thing is huge, and getting bigger, and it's all (or mostly) thanks to a local, self-proclaimed Nerdfighter.

If you're not sure what the hell this is about, and want to see Hank in all his glory, watch this video in which Hank tells 51 jokes in four minutes. It's been viewed more than 3.2 million times.

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