Charlie" McDonnell is an English teenager and YouTube vlogger from Bath, Somerset. He is the third most subscribed YouTuber in the United Kingdom, he has 212,679 Subscribers:
He first came to prominence when a video entitled "How to Get Featured on YouTube" was featured on YouTube's homepage.
His YouTube fame attracted so far much press to Charlie:
Charlie was interviewed on BBC News. He also participated in the Euro 2008 Zeitgeist Google conference, a conference to honour online users of popular websites
He was one of three online guests on the BBC chat show Lily Allen and Friends in 2008.
He was also featured in a recent advertising campaign for Confused.com, speaking directly to his camcorder about the savings the site offered and its new layout and ease of use.
He featured as a guest on Robert Llewellyn's Web series Carpool in the episode broadcast on 15 May 2009.
In Early June 2009, Charlie visited Los Angeles to attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009.
He attended Microsoft's Xbox press conference, where 'Project Natal' was announced.
He was invited to a 'special area of E3' Two days later and was one of 30 exclusive people from around the world to try out Natal.
WHAT AN INTRO.....RIGHT!
Hi Charlie, how you doing?
Just great thanks! Sitting at home on a comfy chair, in an even comfier dressing gown that I got just today, with a cup of tea. And it's not even 6pm yet. I'm living the dream, or something.
Can you give us brief details about your background information?
I was born and raised in a city called Bath, lived here all my life doing the fairly normal, mundane things that normal, boring people do. Then, as a method for procrastinating from exam revision, I found YouTube and video blogging, and "since then my life has never been the same."
Can you tell us what you do?
I'm a video blogger, posting direct to camera videos on my YouTube channel whenever I feel like sharing my thoughts on something with the world, or sharing something a bit more creative, or a bit insane. My most recent video for example, involves me seeing how many marshmallows I can shove into my mouth, which was a challenge submitted to be by one of my viewers. I put the blame on them for all the slightly more insane challenge videos that I do, but at the same time, I didn't exactly have to put marshmallows in my mouth until I vomited, so I really only have myself to blame.
Describe/outline your typical day?
Some days I'll decide to be a bit creative and post a YouTube video, which usually takes me about three hours, all the way from having a video idea, to shooting, editing, and uploading it to the net. Other days I'll sit at home surfing the net for interesting things just like another nerdy lad my age. And then there are the days that I spend working on internet based TV shows, doing talks on Tech conferences, and doing interviews with people about my strange life. I haven't gotten used to that last kind of day just yet.
How did you get started vlogging?
As I mentioned before, I started vlogging because I found out that revising wasn't too much fun, so I started posting vlogs, which is something that I discovered after watching a video about vlogging that was on the front page of YouTube at the time … though I can't for the life of me remember what that video was! Must have been pretty good though.
What do you do except vlogging?
I've always been a big fan of computer games, writing music and drawing, which is what I do to fill up my spare time. Having said that though, those parts of me do tend to find their way into my videos every now and then, as all the vlogs really are is a reflection of me and my life - just in three minute chunks on the internet.
How did you get to be the third most subscribed YouTuber in the UK?
It was just a nice bit of luck if I'm honest. I'd been making videos for about a month, I'd built up an audience of around 150 people, when someone at YouTube was kind enough to feature one of videos on the front page of the UK homepage! I went up from 150 people to about 4000 in two days, and ever since then I've just been slowly building up my audience to get to the stage that I'm at now.
I mean one of your videos has been featured on the Oprah winfrey show, it doesn’t get any bigger than that? How did you feel about that?
I would adore it if that was actually true, but unfortunately, it's not. I got an email once saying that the US TV show "The View" wanted my permission to use a 5 second clip of one of my videos in a montage about YouTube videos, but it never went any further than that email. And then, somehow, that event Chinese Whispered into being "one of my videos was featured on the Oprah Winfrey show" - I should probably just accept the fact that the false information is always going to pop up in the future and pretend that it really did happen, but alas, I can't help but want to tell the truth … mainly because I find it quite funny in itself.
If you were to start a business, what will it be?
I guess that technically, I already have a small business, because I make a little bit of money from the google adsense adverts that YouTube puts next to my YouTube videos. If I was to start up something new though, I might set up a little T-Shirt company - doing quirky little designs that might go well on T-Shirts is a pretty fun pastime that I have.
What will you say to anyone looking to get subscribers or views on YouTube?
I'd always say to people that, If you're making YouTube videos because you want to find some kind of YouTube fame, then you're doing something wrong. What I always try to do is put as much effort into my videos as I can, because my responsibly isn't to the audience, it's to the videos. If you focus all of your efforts on making something great, rather than trying to make something that you think will get views, you'll have a lot more fun, and you'll get much more respect.
How do you pick topics to speak about on your YouTube channel?
All I ever do is pick out the most interesting parts of my life, which are never too hard to spot, you just have to wait for something funny to come up.
You decided to shave your hair off online and raised over £4,000, i mean that’s pretty awesome right?
It was pretty fun! I did it on the eve of my 18th birthday, and stayed up till midnight with a live audience counting down to the moment that I got a bit older. I thought it would be a nicer thing to do rather than go out and get plastered with some mates, which is something that I wouldn't enjoy in the slightest anyway. I'm a bit of a dork - tea and my bedroom are much more fun than booze and hangovers as far as I'm concerned.
You’ve been invited and attended so many events just of your fame on YouTube? How does it feel?
It's a little odd that my story seems to interest people so much, because the things that now seem pretty normal to me turn out to be really interesting to those that are uninitiated to the YouTubey world that I inhabit.
I heard you are a partner with YouTube and you actually get paid monthly? Getting paid to do what you like doing right?
I get a little bit from the adverts that YouTube put next to my videos, but not nearly enough to keep me sustained forever! It's a nice little bit to save me having to get a job waiting tables or something, so I'm very lucky to have it.
What would you do if there was no internet?
I have a feel that my existence would just be very normal and boring, working in a respectable job and becoming part of the machine. Thankfully, there is an internet, and it's pretty brilliant really.
Where do you see in yourself in the next 5 years?
Hopefully doing what I'm still doing right now, but working with whatever the new social media advances are. It's really had to be sure though because everything that I'm doing is so new, there's no set career path for a video blogger to take, it's possible that this could all fall through in a year or so, but I really, really hope that it won't.
What qualities have you developed as a result of running being online?
I'm getting a bit more of a head for business, and I've definitely become a lot more confident. I used to be the shyest kid in school - I've changed a lot since then, and it's all thanks to the exposure that YouTube's brought me.
What has been your most satisfying moment online?
There was this one time when Stephen Fry started talking about me in an online interview, and then I ended up meeting and becoming friends with him as a result. I still can't quite believe that happened.
What is the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?
I'm guessing that you mean something other than painting myself purple, drinking ketchup, shoving marshmallows in my mouth till I was sick, trying or rap, sending a letter to the Prime Minister asking to become a Knight, and posting it all on the internet? Nope, can't think of anything.
Are you currently working on any projects?
ChartJackers is the biggest project that I have on at the the moment, and probably the biggest project that I've ever done, period. I'm working with three other Youtube personalities (nerimon, JohnnyDurham19 and Jimmy0010) to try and crowd-source a pop song, get it into the UK charts, and we're doing it all for Children In Need. And the BBC are making a documentary about it too! If you want to find out more about that, go to youtube.com/chartjackersproject
Thanks Charlie, we appreciate you being able to give us some insight into your online world.