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We’re honored to talk with VidCon CEO Jim Louderback on this week’s Creator Economy Club.
Jim has been at the forefront of many of the forgotten gems in tech and internet history.
He’s been editor-in-chief for PC Magazine and did the reviews on the Personal Computing TV Show in the 90s.
He worked with Diggnation, one of the first video talk shows — massive at the time.
Jim was CEO of Revision3 as they raised a big round of money to grow the company. And he was right there when a little company called YouTube reached out to TV and multi-channel networks, hoping to make the platform more attractive to advertisers.
Currently CEO of VidCon, Jim was there in the early days when Hank and John Green first decided to launch an event where fans and creators could meet face to face.
Jim shares a wealth of history, yarns and knowledge in this episode.
- About the early days of tech shows on TV, video and the internet.
"Kevin and David started Digg (very Reddit-like) and Revision3... video shows for geeks but streaming them over the internet. Kevin and Alex did a show on Revision3 called Diggnation which was actually them sitting on a couch, drinking beer, and talking about the stories that had bubbled to the top of Digg each week.”
- How MCNs helped YouTube morph from being a no-no in advertising circles to the giant they are today.
"YT began to expand and creators gained fanbases. But it wasn’t the easiest platform to use. People needed a lot of help but there wasn’t much support available. So MCNs really began as a line of support for creators.”
- The early days of VidCon...
“It seems a little counter-intuitive when you’re doing it all virtually, why do you need to get together face-to-face? But the first event was amazing!”
- ...And the expansion to every continent and becoming one of the leading industry events of the creator world.
“Community-led creation of all types; podcasters, comic books, novels and authors, all of the creativity that can happen when you build an audience on your own without gatekeepers. Vidcon celebrates it, shapes it a little bit and is a place where people can connect with each other, build businesses.”
- How VidCon pivoted online during the Covid Pandemic
“Our audience is still there. The vidcon promise is still there. People still want to connect with their creators in real life. But our real life is sitting in front of our computers looking at Zoom.”
- Jim’s thoughts on creators building audiences in the post-permission world.
It’s clear that with community-led media, you don’t have to go to where the gatekeepers are and have somebody give you permission to create media. You can sit wherever you want and start creating content and put it out there, build an audience, a fandom, a community and in many cases, build a life.”
- The creator connections between the decentralized San Francisco vibe and the LA permission-based agent-led movie world.
“There’s been a dichotomy between Silicon Valley and LA. So many attempts to merge them but now it’s happening organically.”
- And the benefits of having an abundance mindset.
“Ditch The I win, You lose mindset - we need to work together and grow together and that’s the way of the future.”
Clubhouse audience members join the conversation with questions and comments on non-video creators at VidCon, creator growth, and the Creator Economic infrastructure.
What does Jim think about creators owning their audiences? And how does he see creator ownership affecting VidCom in the next few years?
It's all there and more in this week's show.