I went to my first-ever VidCon and the 3rd-ever VidCon this past week in Anaheim, CA.
If you didn't get to go, I'm really sorry! But really, I am - I hated having to watch the live stream last year, so if you were stuck in that boat this year I know exactly how that feels. A year's worth of saving paid off, though, and last Monday I found myself in sunny LA.
A few thoughts on LA:
1) The weather is beautiful. Just gorgeous. Weather in LA...just...well done. Well, well done.
2) Who the hell keeps approving LA drivers for their licenses? Stop it. STOP. STOP NOW.
3) Things are hella expensive. I assumed some things would be, but IHOP? I trusted you. $17 for 1 omelet and 1 pancake is too much.
I went into VidCon without any particular expectations. I've never been to any sort of conference or convention before. All I had to go on was the vague idea that a bunch of people would be there, some talks would happen, and some concerts would happen.
I was mainly right.
VidCon was, in a word, massive. There were so many people! Having such a high concentration of internet people meant that I was even recognized a few times. (All of you were lovely, by the way - thanks so much for coming up to say hello!) I have now signed posters, CD jackets, t-shirts, a back pack and even a melodica. Have I ever played the melodica? No. No, I have not. But I have now signed one. And that should definitely count for something. I was given cupcakes, and a chocolate, and a tiny pirate flag and a puzzle piece and beaucoup de business cards. I took pictures with adorable strangers. All of those things were surprises - lovely surprises, to be sure, but still more than I ever expected to experience.
Two things really stuck out to me at VidCon:
1) People really care about the things they make online. I mean, they really care. If you ever think your favorite vlogger/blogger/photographer/musician isn't into what they do, go to VidCon. It's written all over their faces, it's threaded into their voices when they talk - it's impossible to miss. It was arrestingly apparent.
2) VidCon was brilliant, don't get me wrong, but I wish there had been more for the middle-class vlogger to do. If you're well known, you essentially perform-whether it's signing, playing, making a speech or acting on a panel. If you make nothing, you come to meet people or to learn how to make things or whatever. Being in the middle (even the lower middle) I didn't feel compelled to meet and greet with the Greats (I'm also definitely not a Great), and didn't really want to learn how to edit a video or write a song. I already edit video. I already write songs. The costume contest was great - more participatory things like that would be wonderful. Think doing science experiments with the science bloggers, playing improv games with the people who make sketches, listening to educational lectures from the educational blogs, interactive make-up tutorials with beauty gurus. Maybe I'm just really, really into hands-on stuff, but if there was a way to do more things like that I would be one happy Nerdfighter.
I'll be compiling a vidyo about VidCon this week! Thanks for being patient and if you have any pictures/videos of VidCon that you want to share, please put a link in the comments : )
(I'm especially interested in seeing more of the Not-So-Secret Show.)
Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole: Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World
Elton John: Your Song
Jim Croce: Photographs and Memories
Don McLean: Empty Chairs