Long Live Helbig: Blog-a-thon Day 3
If you know me in real life you know that I am obsessed with Grace Helbig. Here’s the thing… if this were 2 weeks ago I would have phrased that “I am obsessed with Daily Grace”. However I recently found out in the biggest piece of news the Internet has seen since we all found out about that Jimmy Kimmel stunt double twerker. Daily Grace is no more. Now before you begin to create your picket signs… or more than likely just begin to leave strongly worded YouTube comments allow me to explain. (And when I say explain, don’t let that give you any sort of false sense of confidence in what I’m saying… all of this is because of Tyler Oakley’s Tumblr.) Daily Grace is a YouTube show created as a part of the website MyDamnChannel. Now MyDamnChannel is basically like a clearing house for giggle-filled YouTube videos with an assortment of topics and genres. On said Daily Grace show the host, Grace Helbig, made funny videos 5 days a week. (I feel like I’m writing a Spark Notes of most of my YouTube search history). Recently Helbig’s contract with MDC expired and she has chosen to go off and pursue other ventures independently. This however, means that Helbig loses her channel, her previously created content, and her over-2.5 million subscribers. This is where I will begin my discussion.
First and foremost I think Grace is awesome. I met here once when she was in New York City a long time ago. She probably doesn’t remember it… clearly it is the moment that sparked out inseparable friendship that she still doesn’t know about. But her content is clever, it’s timely, it’s a little bit idiotic, but most importantly it is authentic. You feel like you know Grace just from watching her content. So it does truly suck that now she doesn’t have her content anymore. And allow me to preface this next analysis by saying I think Grace is more than capable of taking this in stride and growing her brand from this situation… because she is awesome.
But this is the problem with a lot of social media. There is an increase in demand for these “social media collectives” or whatever you want to call them. These companies, like MyDamnChannel or Big Frame, help boost the careers of YouTubers by giving them a support system, advertising, and other collaboration and guest-starring opportunities that they wouldn’t have on their own. That’s awesome. However the problem is, they often control the content of the user and consequently they are joined in this quasi-parasitic bond. This same problem has occurred with bloggers who contribute to Buzzfeed without realizing that it now becomes their content.
As someone who is currently trying to develop my brand in a variety of different media, it is difficult to decide where to draw the line on independent work vs. collective work. This is in no way to say that content creators who make stuff as a part of a collective aren’t working hard… rather it is just to say “Is it worth taking the risk of giving up total control of your content in order to be a part of something bigger?” I don’t truly have a definitive answer to that question or a solution to this problem. Clearly both methods work and have their pros and cons. But regardless of that, everyone should go and subscribe to Grace’s new/old channel which you can find here. She is awesome-sauce. I truly hope that this next step in her online career will further develop her brand and she will act as a true role model for people who want to take their content creation into their own hands while still being outrageously successful. Hooray Grace. And so ends the portion of the discussion that sounds like a “he went to Jared” ad.
Also make sure to subscribe for more musings because normally I’m not as serious as this and can sometimes be witty and post pictures of funny things like this one below. Also post your comments on this issue. I always like to hear other people’s opinions on stuff.