I was just screwing around on wayback machine and I realised that in December ‘07 the vlogbrothers had <12,000 subscribers. That suddenly strikes me as not that many. How many did they have when I started watching? Can’t have been more than 10,000 tops… and how many of those people are still watching? Realistically it’s probably not a huge number.
For the first time I’m really realising just how long I’ve been watching their videos. I watched all the way through high-school (that’s 7th through 12th grade for you Americans) and 3 years of university. When I started watching I was 12 and now I have a degree and the beginnings of a career. I’ve watched on three continents (four if you count the time I watched youtube videos during a layover in Hong Kong airport).
I’m just riffing here but honestly those videos have had a pretty huge impact on my life. Who knows how I’d be the changed without them, since I watched (and was really invested in them) throughout such formative years. When I was 12 I stopped getting upset when people called me a nerd and started calling myself one. When I was 13 I stopped desperately trying to fit in with the cool kids and found my own friend group. When I was 14 my travels through the internet lead me to figure out (and accept) my sexuality. When I was 15 the girl who had been my biggest bully became my best friend. When I was 16 I decided I wanted to be an actor and that no disadvantages were going to stop me. I’m getting nostalgic now and I could go on, but the point is that whatever flaws some might fancy pointing out about the nerdfighter community (as is their right, keep us in check!), the vlogbrothers were damn good influences in my life. I learned tolerance and understanding, I believed that it’s cool to be smart and okay to feel different, I donated money to charity since before I could anywhere near afford it and I became engaged in and informed about politics and global issues when I was still just a kid.
(sidenote: I believe my watching the videos and later recommending them to my friends who then recommended them to their friends and so on might have made my home town (with less than 10,000 people) have one of the highest nerdfighter counts per capita, at least prior to tfios becoming so huge)