Many entertainers seek out YouTube as the best platform for gaining widespread recognition. Others simply stumble into YouTube stardom. Hannah Hart represents the latter category, which she explained to Rhett & Link on their interview podcast, “Ear Biscuits.”
One approach to YouTube involves choosing easily digestible content for a mass audience. Another approach is, well, not to have an approach and let the comments be your guide. In other words, YouTube entertainers can attempt to choose their fans, or they can let their fans choose them.
Hart’s fans chose her after she posted the first ever video, “My Drunk Kitchen,” intended for only one viewer, a friend living across the country who missed seeing her get drunk and cook. Hart described her use of the platform as representative of YouTube at the time. Back in 2011, when “My Drunk Kitchen” originated, Hart “used YouTube for what it was originally intended,” commented Rhett & Link. They described this use as, “Hey, I’ve got a video and I want [my friend] to see it.”
Many more than Hart’s friend saw her make a grilled cheese with a bottle of wine, and comments like, “Where is episode two?” started to pop up beneath the video. Supply followed demand in Hart’s case. The democratic nature of YouTube allowed viewers to pick their next, big star. So Hart created a second “My Drunk Kitchen,” and then a third. “Then I just didn’t stop,” she said. “It was fun, such an outlet, and then the money started coming in…”
YouTube made a Hart a partner with the success of her videos, so now she does her best to give back to her fans via content. On YouTube, there exists a much stronger connection between fan base and performer than almost anywhere else. Actual, constant dialogue occurs between the camps, and Hart went so far as to comment, “I’ve been describing my fans recently as kind of my boss. They’re your performance review.” And in the ‘Tube, your reviews mean everything.
Hart gives more details on her YouTube start on “Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link,” episode five.