Monday, July 6, 2009

What the hell is #NWYTG and why did it fill your tweets and Status Updates??

So I went to the Northwest YouTube Gathering this past weekend (the 26-29 of June that is) and has one of those "Life Changing" weekends. you know the one, where you go off expecting a good time, but those expectations get BLOWN AWAY by the awesome that you encounter during your trip, then when it comes time to leave you simply can not believe that it's already time to go? Yeah, one of those weekends.

It's strange to think that meeting people I've only ever talked to online though YouTube would have such a profound impact on my life, before leaving people would often ask where I was going and why, upon hearing that I was going to a YouTube gathering the most common response was laughter. They simply could not bring themselves to a point where they would accept that going to a YouTube gathering was anything other than the nerdiest fucking thing they've ever heard. Admittedly I think they might be right, it is pretty god damned nerdy to travel hundreds of miles to meet people you've only interacted with online, and people outside the YouTube community simply don't understand that forming close intimate relationships with people who post videos online is possible.

I'm here to tell you that those relationships are VERY real, very close. I will fully admit that I let the skepticism of my "IRL" friends seep into my mindset before the trip a little bit. I began to doubt the ability to connect with these "URL" friends on as deep a level as those I've know in the "flesh and blood" sense, I began to even regret booking the expensive flights and hotel rooms. I mean really, there's no way that a relationship formed online could be anything but trite and shallow right?


I can not adequately describe here in text the experience this weekend gave me. Sure I could regal you with tales of our exploits, what we did, where we went, who was there, etc. I could even tell you some of the conversations that were shared, or describe in great detail the laughter and crying that occurred when it was finally time to bid our farewells, but as anyone who has had a profoundly life altering experience can tell you, those words will simply not do any of it justice. Lets be honest, you really only want to hear the 5 minute version of the story, whereas I want to share with you the 3 hour version, complete with pictures and video of the event.

I will spare you the 3 hour version, for both your sake, and the sake of my weary tired fingers. Just know that when I say "My best friends live on the internet" it is no longer a statement to take lightly from me, I may have been moderately joking before, but no longer. My best friends REALLY DO live on the internet, except that now I know that they are also REALLY flesh and blood people, and I have hugged them, laughed with them, shared my bed with them, sang silly songs with them, cried my eyes out when I had to say good bye to them, and CAN. NOT. WAIT. till the next time I get to see them.

Here are some of my favorite videos that came out of this gathering. They may not warm the cockles of your heart, or make you cry the way they do mine, but at least you can get a sense of the emotions shared this weekend.

The first is made by my friend Helen, who is from the UK:

The second is from my friend Mary Kate, who included the twitter update that were sent out throughout the weekend in her video, which made us all cry :)

The Third and final one is from me (because I know you guys wanna see more of me) and I think it captures more of the happy, silly side of the gathering, although it is filled to the brim with in-jokes and stuff people outside our little circle would know very little about, I share with you all none-the-less:

1 comment:

  1. Bobby, this looks like such a good time! So glad you got to experience it. Miss ya.