Tag Archives: social

London and SitC

A trip to London and SitC 2011.

Went down to London for a week recently. Got down there at the tail end of that period of rioting. However all I saw was Londoners (and tourists) all just getting on with life. The reason for heading down from Glasgow; to attend the three days of Summer in the City YouTube Gathering (SitC) and also have a few days in London of just being a tourist.

SitC was good. I don’t know how many attended over the week-end, perhaps six or seven hundred. A bit of Hyde Park, a bit of Regent’s Park and a bit of Jubilee Gardens; and in the evenings some music sessions. Nice to see some familiar faces and nice to make some new contacts. For a few people this is the only time throughout the year that they get the chance of face to face meetings with their internet social contacts, especially when these people are located in different countries.

One area that seem to have become a surrogate home for many YouTubers is Camden. An interesting area of shops and markets, lots of food places and the canal going through the middle. Walking around there the day after SitC had ended and I was bumping into many I knew, all just winding down. Although not really my style of clothing, heading off into The Stables market area and a wander around CyberDog is always fun. A few years ago if someone had asked me if I’d like to live in London I’d probably have said ‘no’, however I’ve going down there to Gatherings over the last three years my attitude to the city has changed, and if I could afford a property there, then I would happily move there now.

Back to SitC – an amazingly friendly get together. Yes, with that number there there will be personality clashes and the like, on the other hand it is so large it’s easy enough to avoid those you may not wish to see. No barrier to gender or age, many there in their early teens, others there retired. Spread across Friday – Saturday – Sunday some just turned up for one day, but what did surprise me was the numbers there at the start on Friday lunchtime. Walking into Hyde Park and seeing in the distance this huge crowd of people was just amazing. I’d expected (and we got) large Saturday numbers, but to see so many there so early at the start was great.

This was the third SitC and at least this time YouTube bothered to send some representatives which was nice. Provisional dates for 2012 are for the 17th – 19th of August. I hope to go.

DevMeets and Gatherings

DevMeets and Gatherings and nice social events.

It must have been late autumn 2007 that I became curious about the ‘YouTube’ thing, signed up with an account in early 2008, then started uploading videos in the middle of that year. This led on to things like attending YouTube Gatherings and generally getting to know people within that community.
It was then through a comment made by a YouTuber on their channel that got me aware of DeviantArt, and so signed up and uploaded a few pictures I had taken that I rather liked. DeviantArt was very much a ‘minority interest’ thing to me; video, YouTube, and the social community based around that was where my main interest lay.

However December 2009 found me down in London for an evening YouTube session – Tom Milsom’s Painfully Mainstream gig, but I had heard that there was going to be a DevMeet that day too, so thought I’d go and have a look. Something to keep me occupied till Tom’s gig in the early evening.
(There are videos of both the DevMeet (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NACMzrqv-U) and Tom’s gig (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQOSnXxpsCw) on my YouTube channel.)

Finding out about the DevMeet really was a chance thing, and I couldn’t stay long, but did enjoy myself there.
However this meeting did encourage me to look more to DeviantArt, so when I heard of various DevMeets happening in the summer of 2010 (DeviantArt’s 10th birthday), I thought I’d get to one. So on the 21st of August I found myself heading towards Marble Arch and *UncleWoodstock’s picnic meet. (http://www.youtube.com/user/StressedTechnician#p/u/0/g-q43SNZ_Ac)

In many ways the DevMeet crowd was a similar crowd to that of a YouTube Gathering; young dominated, above average intelligence, expressive group of people. However there was one interesting difference; this crowd uses DeviantArt to show and express themselves through their work, whether it be drawings, photographs or whatever. The YouTube crowd so often use their videos to show and express themselves, this is ‘me’ showing myself off for everyone else to see.
This difference in outlook, this is me through my work (but I shall remain hidden), and this is me, on video, most definitely not hidden, but both coming from a similar ‘expressive’ group of people I found quite interesting.

As for anyone reading this who has not yet been to any of these DevMeets and Gatherings – get to one. They’re great days out and a wonderful way of making friends and meeting some really nice, fun people.

A long overdue update.

Time for a long overdue update.

I have discovered and learnt all sorts of things since coming across the YouTube community. (Within this ‘YouTube community’, I include Twitter, BlogTV and all those other inter-related communication networks.) I’ve met amazing people through them and been to places that I’d never have gone to. I’ve made friends of all ages and now communicate with people from all over the world. In other blogs I’ve talked about this friendship side before.

Nevertheless there is an alternative side to it.

For the first time ever, I’ve learnt to really dislike people. Up till now I’ve had my few good friends, a larger circle of general friend, those others I’d class as acquaintances, and finally those who just had no meaning to me. Within this last group would be those who I did not like. There would be no real feeling of ‘dislike’ just a more negative indifference feeling. Of ignoring, or kind of allowing for their presence but not letting them get to me. A case of accepting that there will be good and bad in life, so best you just get on with life.

However since seeing and experiencing the hostility and bickering that has gone on over the last couple of years (some – but thankfully only a small amount – directed at myself); the antagonism, jealousies, bitterness; some so petty, but so much quite aggressive and destructive, I find myself now actually learning to truly dislike others. Not just indifference, but proper dislike, of feeling ofl distaste at their presence should they be near to me. This is something that has never happened before, and is starting to reflect through to my every day life. Where before I was happy enough to work with those who I previously had little time for, now, well, as this involves work (who pay my wages and as such allow me to live life) I shall refrain from putting my thoughts in writing.

It’s a shame that this has happened, and it’s certainly making me think as to how or what I want to do with YouTube. One thing I can’t do and that’s undo the past, so I guess I’ll have to live with it, the positives of YouTube still outweigh the negatives. A matter of reminding myself that there are still some amazingly good people out there.

(Perhaps having got this overdue update out of the way I’ll post more regularly.)

Response to comment, more on YouTube socialising.

This is partly a response to a comment made on the previous article, and partly that it was time to comment again on YouTube socialising.
Something that has been highlighted to me on quite a few occasions when I’ve been trying to tell others (mainly university students) about the active social side that goes on under the surface of YouTube is something along the lines of… ‘why should I bother with trying to socialise through something like YouTube when I already have a perfectly adequate circle of friends already around me.’ I personally see no need whatsoever, but what about those who don’t have an adequate circle of friends close at hand. We are an inherently social creature and desire friendship and company. (I’m writing this in a Starbucks – people around me, not at home – the only person there.) So for those of such a character that strangers and unknown crowds can be a bit stressful, then what better than developing contacts than in your own time and ‘from the safety of your own home’. Also these contacts can be from all corners of the world, bringing you access to people from different cultures and creeds that almost no amount of physical travel would allow you to achieve. What’s more, there are no time zone boundaries on the internet, it is a 24 hours a day medium.
So I do think many here have a lot in common with each other. A need to develop friendships by this relatively remote method. An acceptance of using technology, and a level of knowledge and intelligence that allows them to do it. Also an understanding of some of the problems of life (which had lead them to be developing friendships this way) which makes them more understanding and sympathetic to others who also have their own problems.
Looking at things from a slightly different angle, there was a while ago a period when people were putting up videos saying how YouTube has changed them. One common theme across almost all the responses was the boost in personal self-confidence that came through developing their communication skills. First perhaps by putting up a comment or two against other people’s videos, maybe joining in the chat onBlogTV , then making and uploading their own videos. This boost with their self-confidence then reflecting through to the rest of their lives, making them better people, more able to cope with and then enjoy life.
So there is a lot to be said for YouTube and the other social networking sites. However as well as pleasure they have in their own way cause me considerable heartache and pain, but more on that another time perhaps.

More on Gatherings and the social aspects of them.

I wonder if anyone actually reads these blogs?
A couple of week-ends ago and it was Glasgow down to Bury St. Edmunds for Tom’s musical Gathering. (Commented on that below.) This week-end just passed involved going down with a friend to London and the Thibils YouTube Gathering. A bit of a diversion occurred when on the train down (Friday afternoon) my phone rang and it was Tom Milsom wanting to know if I wanted to go to the MCM (movie comic media) Expo at the Excel centre. This was happening on Saturday morning, so go to this first then move on to the Gathering in the afternoon. Sounded good to me. If I’m going to spend the time and money travelling half way across the country, I might as well get my money’s worth of events.
So myself (and Brian) met up with Tom and Jacob on Saturday morning and headed off to the East End. Ummm…. Docklands Light Railway!!! Ummm….. Services not running, little information, unhelpful staff, a replacement bus service that involved waiting 45 minutes for a bus… what a load of crap! If London thinks it’s going to make a success of the Olympics an a few years time, it had better get it’s finger out of its arse and get things sorted.
The comic expo was great fun, so glad Tom alerted me to it. Then on to the Gathering. No apologies for saying what I have said before – Gatherings are great places for meeting people and forming friendships. No need to worry about never having been to one before, you very quickly muddle in with the rest of the crowd. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and met quite a few people who up till then I had only ever electronically talked to. It’s really nice to be able to put an actual 3-D face to these relatively remote contacts.
There’s also a slightly more serious side to it. I’m not your stereo-typical young, cute looking, probably musically talented, school / student type YouTuber, but middle-aged adult doing a 9 till 5 job who should have better things to do than to spend time on YouTube and watching BlogTV. But I don’t, so I do spend time watching videos, and occasionally uploading them myself, and I do spend time chatting to some of these ‘stereo-typical young, cute looking, probably musically talented, school / student type’ users. One thing that has amazed me is the way above average level of intelligence most of these people have. I have learnt more off them over the last year of being around YouTube than in any number of ‘real-life’ years being around (dull boring, though still intelligent) adults!
So it’s important to me that these people who I talk to or message can see and meet me, and see exactly who or what I am. They can talk to me, or talk to others who in turn know me, and can then make up their own minds.
Thinking of YouTube, or even Skype, this whole system of easy (not just across national border, but across continents) group social communication thing could have huge repercussions in about ten years time. This is when the current late teenage or those in their early 20s users, who are used to this sort of border-free and cross-cultural system, come into jobs and positions of influence and importance. Their ideas of both social and national boundaries will be very different to that of their parents. Will be interesting to see how things develop.
Anyway, roll on the next Gathering.
See you there 🙂