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Butterflies on JMAN.tv - The Best Documentaries... Instantly On Demand

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Strapped for cash, Cory - aka Mr Safety - started posting videos to advertise the second-hand furniture he was flogging on ebay. His popularity soon attracted sponsors. “Now, I make 15 –20k a month. I should make 60k next month.” For Cory, YouTube is the future of entertainment. And indeed, even world-famous stars like Katie Perry get carried away about their favourite online acts: “Fred and Daxflame, They’re the best!!”

Though it looks fun and easy, being a Youtube star is hard work: “When I’m not online, I edit the videos”, says Russian-born entertainer OlgaKay, “YouTube’s my life right now”. Cooped up in her small flat, she works twelve hours a day filming, editing and promoting her new videos. “Every single person who goes on Youtube does it for attention. People lie when they say they do it just for fun.”

Already a popular video blogger, or ‘vlogger’, Bohm3m3 discovered how powerful the platform could be when he used it to raise money for his move to LA. “Overnight I got $1400 worth of donations from my fans! Without it I’d still be a waiter in Alabama.” But he soon found out about the darker side of his newly found celebrity. “I had a stalker. When I blocked her, her friend said she’d killed herself. I freaked out.”

Instant feedback is part of what makes YouTube special, but this means a thick skin and a good dose of exhibitionism are must have qualities for vloggers. “You put yourself out there and it gets personal. They don’t beat about the bush”, says Mr Safety, who wasn’t afraid to propose to his girlfriend in one of his videos.

For some however, the exposure and pressure can prove too much. “I think being a waiter is probably going to be better for me, less responsibility”, says Bohm3m3 after his viewings plummeted. But Mr Safety is here to stay: “The money’s here, people just don’t know how to get it yet”. The traditional media may be notorious slaves to ratings, and online it’s no different, it’s all about viewer numbers and subscriptions. “It is a community and we’re all friends but it feels good when you pass someone on the list.” Witness the birth of a new Hollywood…

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