Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
How many people do you know that understand how their computer components work together to create the machines we use every day? Have you ever wondered how easy it truly is to create a custom one of a kind computer to handle all your specific needs? If you are interested in all things nerdy and tech related YouTube has an outstanding selection of YouTubers that provide this information. More specifically I found one that has forever altered my computer building and parts buying process. YouTube has become an intricate part of our society; I use it for educational purposes more so than the other content it contains.
I highly enjoy Paul’s Hardware because I believe he does an outstanding job of showing items step by step in an easy to understand manner. He does tests of parts to show how well they will perform in any given situation which is important to me since I build custom PC’s as a side job. With that being said I also enjoy the channel since I’ve been featured on his blog for a couple builds I’ve done based off of parts he has recommended. Not only did that provide me with a geek badge of honor it also helped me gain more business. I have a high level of respect for Paul since his channel is something he enjoys it just isn’t work for him.
I was always taught that if you do something you love you will never work a day in your life. Before starting his channel, Paul used to work for newegg.com where he was doing the same type of videos. Paul’s Hardware was born on October 4th, 2012 when he created his channel and shot his first video. (Heimlich, 2012) Before YouTube, the geek community didn’t have the ability to post videos in a common place for others to view. So this is why many YouTubers flooded the scene, and eventually, the ones that had solid content are now the ones at the top of the dog pile.
One of the most notorious YouTube stars of all time is named PewDiePie, and he became a millionaire from playing video games. You may find this interesting,” The star has earned an estimated $124 million since 2010.” (Dong, 2016) He isn’t the only YouTube star in this elite bracket however he is in the number one spot. He found a niche and through the wonders of YouTube is now a multimillionaire which none of that would have been possible without his millions of fans. He has also published a book that is on the best sellers list. More recently he has come under fire for some political comments he has made however with the full support of his legion fan base the media has decided to leave him alone.
YouTube now offers the ability for viewers to view content in 4K resolution, however, many people don’t have high-resolution monitors to take advantage of this. Paul’s Hardware is shot in a variety of resolutions. The reason being as the channel grows in popularity he has purchased better equipment to bring better content to his viewers. The technical perspective I’m most impressed with is his ingenuity when it comes to making his camera mounts to deliver the best angles possible when doing PC builds. Most people don’t realize the vast amount of money good YouTubers spend on their equipment to stay on top.
One of the beautiful things for YouTubers is the ability to do a shout out to a certain brand and if the star is big enough good chances are that company will reach out and offer them products to demo. This not only helps with creating good content it gives the YouTuber the ability to sell those products afterward or in Paul’s case, but he also holds giveaways from systems he builds. This is a genius marketing strategy because he does these giveaways in various situations. These situations could be a certain number of likes, subscribers, or he will link to another YouTubers channel to help them gain views. YouTube has become a full-time business for some people due to the massive amount of people available to stream content to.
One of the mind-blowing facts about YouTube,” Google Inc’s YouTube said 1 billion unique users were now visiting the video-sharing website every month, or nearly one out of every two people on the Internet.” (huffingtonpost, 2013) This means that having content on YouTube has the potential to reach everyone in the world in some form or another. Factor in the number of people that use their smart devices to stream YouTube and you can get content anywhere you have access to the internet. For example, while serving in the military, I used to watch YouTube videos from my tent in Afghanistan. Having the vast audience, YouTube does if you make a channel you are guaranteed to snag at least one person to your channel.
Paul’s Hardware is no different than other YouTube channel when it comes to using AdSense and sponsorships from various PC parts manufacturers to create his content. However, if he is doing a build, he will use different sponsor spots to alleviate some of the negative comments that arise accusing him of having sponsor bias. AdSense is a vital part of any successful YouTube channel. This what it does,” AdSense is a program that allows bloggers and website owners to make money by displaying Google ads.” (Whitmer, 2012) Another common place we see this is Facebook, and it is called targeted advertising because big brother (Google) is always watching.
Many people don’t realize that YouTube doesn’t pay a channel anything for views or subscribers its AdSense that makes them their money. Even with that the amount of money varies depending on the popularity of your channel. Along with that the amount of money you receive also depends on the demographic that you draw in. Any YouTube channel that is successful has cracked this formula, and that is why they generate more money. No two channels make the same amount because an algorithm is used and that determines what the channel will make based on their AdSense revenue.
Paul’s Hardware relies heavily on sponsored content otherwise every week he would be spending thousands out of his pocket to bring us content. He also makes trips to events such as E3 and any other product release by using sponsorships. He always gives credit to anyone that helps him make his way to these events. As I stated before I have had a couple builds featured on his blog which is tied to his YouTube channel, and since then he has always made it a point to check in on me to see how I’m progressing in my career. I thought this was cool because it’s something he does out of being a good person not because he is forced to do so.
When it comes to the geek culture, I believe Paul’s Hardware nailed it on the head by catering to a specific genre. The PC building culture is much larger than many people realize. Along with that, the culture is shifting to a younger audience all the time because technology has become an intertwined part of everyday life. A great example of this, “Many good programmers (myself included), began programming as young as 5 or 6.” (Farr, 2013) I couldn’t agree more with teaching children useful information about computers at a young age since the digital era is here and isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
My small business has done well since the trend of PC gaming has come into the spotlight again. Unlike a console, a PC can be upgraded and modified to stay current for years to come. On top of that, I also build servers which can be used to stream any content you want. I also took a lesson from Paul’s book and started to teach a once a week PC basics class. Primarily I have been dealing with older people, but I’m glad to see them putting in the effort.
I was given that idea since a majority of my family comes to me for tech related questions. As an inside joke, my mother-in-law made me the deal that I could only marry my wife if she got free tech support for the rest of her life. So the next natural progression for me was to create my YouTube channel. I haven’t created my content yet since I don’t have a decent enough camera to properly capture what I want. As I said earlier, it takes an investment to get started, and my dilemma has been invest money in the business or invest money into another marketing avenue.
Paul’s Hardware has had an impact on the YouTube community, and that is evident with his 483,269 subscribers with more than 46,538,429 views, and that number grows every day. (Heimlich, 2012) He also gives shout-outs to other channels, and that is important to the community to help gain popularity. With those stats, it’s easy to see why manufacturers jump at the opportunity to help sponsor his content. I have bought various products off of his recommendation since he has proven to know what he’s talking about. I also consider him a valuable resource as we are associates on LinkedIn and that has helped me branch out to other content creators.
Networking is a vital part of any successful business, and YouTube has proven this mentality. Creating a brand allows viewers to get a sense of what you are about and what you have to offer. YouTube allows us to embed videos into other social media platforms and websites. Paul’s Hardware has done this by linking his other social media accounts to reflect his YouTube channel, and he also has created merchandise. Anything that can help grow a brand and make it a household name is vital to growing your business.
Paul has had a major influence in the networking realm when it comes to other tech related channels. Most people end up subscribing to the channels that their favorites recommend. This is how the community continues to grow, and new “stars” are born. Also with clever marketing its easy to have your content be discovered by the casual Google user. Since Google owns YouTube, they use their keyword analytics to give the searcher every result with those keywords, and that more often than not lands people into the labyrinth that is YouTube.
YouTube allows for the embedding of content in other media sources. This is a great way for companies to post content on their website that then tie into their social media accounts. Many DIY repair websites have capitalized on this by embedding videos of them using parts they sell to fix the issue at hand. Then those videos will lead to their channel which in turn will lead to more content that they may offer. For any business to be successful they have to capitalize on social media since it has the potential to reach a wider variety of people than any other source of media out there.
In conclusion, I enjoy using YouTube for the educational value that it offers. I believe a lot of content on YouTube is valuable, but at the same time, I believe a lot of it is utter garbage that just exists to gain views from kids hoping to become millionaires overnight. Specifically, I enjoy all the computer geek content that exists because everyone brings a unique perspective to the community. I have been working on a channel that focuses on programming that I am getting help from Paul to get launched. Showcasing a skillset has become a huge draw for many YouTube viewers because if a video doesn’t exist for a specific topic, it gives somebody else the opportunity to fill that gap.