For months, YouTube Cewebrity Paul Robinette (Renetto) has been posting video blogs (vlogs) about his discontent on YouTube. He has criticized the site for how it handles the small but vocal video community, and has stirred up drama with the grace of an Olympic gymnist.
In the past few weeks, Robinette quietly launched Vloggerheads.com with 250 plus fellow vloggers. I previously reported that he was launching RenettoTube (see site), but apparently he had some help from branding experts.
The site, which was created using ning, is by invite only (firstname.lastname@example.org), and has already banned at least one controversial YouTube poet. The site has rules of ettiquette and is working to keep out unsavory “haters,” “trolls” and “pedophiles.” Fortunately that crowd has its own site (utubedrama.com). And don’t pretend you don’t surf for your name there weekly.
Renetto, who shaved my head years ago when I desperately wanted to be him, once topped the charts of YouTube but has fallen down the top 100 even faster than Nalts (which is rather sad given that I “jumped the shark” more than a year ago).
Renetto is loved and hated, but often the subject of discussion (see outtake clip that spoofs Renetto from a video I shot this week with YouTube Whore MrSafety). He’s best-known for his Mentos parody (nearly 10 million views) and was quoted regularly in the early media coverage of YouTube. In late 2006, Robinette rallied in support of YouTube-challenger Live Video, then changed his mind and brought about McCarthy-like challenge to those who abandoned YouTube (and took great pride in helping unravel LiveVideo). See NY Post article for more.
Vloggerheads is being listed as a “placeholder” site with larger goals. However it’s already attracting some of the YouTubers who don’t have top rankings but are staples among the inner circle of a vibrant community. My “poster child” of the online-video community (Nutcheese) is already addicted and that’s slown down her visits to Stumble! by 26%.
With just 800 videos to date and no apparent revenue model, Vloggerheads won’t soon be a threat to YouTube. But it’s an alternative virtual city where “hard core” community members are gathering, debating, communing and creating drama…
A smaller pond for those feeling lost in an increasingly commercialized YouTube?
Here’s my social commentary on vlogging. I wasn’t too sarcastic was I?
P.S. A reporter from Wired.com contacted Paul and said she heard about him from Nalts’ blog. That’s the power I have in media. Like TechCrunch I can make or break a company. Arington eat my pie hole you viralvideovillain promoter.