Hank and John at VidCon 2012
|Occupation||entrepreneurs, social activists, and YouTube vloggers|
|Total views||607.1 million|
|Subscriber and view counts updated as of March 3, 2016.|
Vlogbrothers (sometimes stylised as VlogBrothers) is a video blog, or "vlog," style channel on YouTube. The Internet-based show is created and hosted by the Green brothers: John Green and Hank Green. The first incarnation of the brothers' online broadcasting was the "Brotherhood 2.0" project, preceding the establishment of the pair's regular vlogging activity through the Vlogbrothers channel.
The Vlogbrothers channel was the first in what would become a larger portfolio of YouTube channels created and developed by the Greens, sparking a community of fans and supporters of Vlogbrothers, known individually as Nerdfighters, and collectively as Nerdfighteria. Subscribers of the brothers on YouTube are the base of the online community Nerdfighteria. The Green brothers encourage their viewers to become a community by creating websites and various projects, like the Project for Awesome, as a way to engage with their subscribers. Legally, Vlogbrothers is owned by EcoGeek LLC, originally solely owned by Hank, but now jointly owned by both brothers.
Format and schedule
The Greens state that their vlog has no consistent format: "Really, it's not about anything in particular. Whether we're talking about our lives, making each other laugh, or trying to get something more important across, people seem to enjoy it." The channel passed one million subscribers on March 5, 2013. As of 2016, the brothers post two videos per week onto their Vlogbrothers channel. John Green posts a video on Tuesday, and Hank Green on Friday.
Brotherhood 2.0 project
The Green brothers, strongly inspired by the show with zefrank, devised the Brotherhood 2.0 project late in 2006. The project was launched on January 1, 2007, based on the premise that the brothers would cease all text-based communication for one year and, instead, converse by video blogs every weekday. The project was made available to the public on YouTube, as well as through the brothers' own Brotherhood 2.0 website. On July 18, 2007, Hank Green uploaded a video of himself playing and singing his song "Accio Deathly Hallows" in honor of the seventh Harry Potter book. This video was the first Vlogbrothers video to make the front page of YouTube, and the starting point of the brothers' success as vloggers. Toward the end of 2007, the brothers launched the first Project For Awesome campaign, in which YouTubers created innovative videos promoting their favorite charity, with the aim that their promoted charity gains more awareness, and donations from viewers. The Brotherhood 2.0 Project ended on December 31, 2007. However, the brothers decided to continue uploading videos on YouTube due to their popularity and growing fan base.
In their December 31, 2007 video, the brothers revealed their decision to continue vlogging even though the project had ended. Following the conclusion of Brotherhood 2.0, a website was set up for their community, known as Nerdfighters. The website was originally maintained solely by Hank Green, but is now updated and moderated by a group of community volunteers known as the "Ningmasters". New projects, videos, discussions, groups and forums entirely made by the Vlogbrothers fan community are uploaded daily. The brothers' videos continue to be the basis of the online community known as "Nerdfighteria".
Continuing the trend of their previous charitable endeavors, the Greens rallied their viewers to make micro-donations on Kiva.org. The Nerdfighters lending team was launched in September 2008. As of March 2015, the Kiva Nerdfighters group ranks 7th on the site for total money loaned through total domestic and international microloans. It has roughly 48,000 members who have loaned a collective total of over $5.3 million.
On January 20, 2010, John Green went on paternity leave, and Maureen Johnson made videos in his place until his return the following month, when he introduced his son, Henry.
Hank Green was interviewed by Forbes in May 2011. During 2011 and 2012, the Green brothers had their Vlogbrothers videos consistently featured on media outlets such as CBS News and Huffington Post. On September 14, 2012, Hank Green made a video celebrating the 1000th video on the Vlogbrothers channel that commemorated the brothers' experiences over the previous 5 years.
One million subscribers and continued growth (2013–present)
On January 15, 2013, they featured in "An Evening of Awesome at Carnegie Hall" celebrating the anniversary of John's novel The Fault in Our Stars. The two-hour live streamed event also featured The Mountain Goats, Kimya Dawson, and Neil Gaiman. In February, John Green participated in a Google+ Hangout with Barack Obama during which John's wife, Sarah Urist Green, also appeared. Prior to this, she had not been seen on camera or in any of his blogs, preferring not to join her husband on camera. Her elusive attitude gained her the nickname "The Yeti". On March 5, the channel hit 1 million subscribers and both brothers live-tweeted the occasion.
Later, on June 25, John Green went on paternity leave for the birth of his second child, Alice, and six guest hosts made videos in his place, including Hannah Hart (MyHarto), Grace Helbig (itsgrace), Craig Benzine (wheezywaiter), Rosianna Rojas (missxrojas), and the winners of the "Nerd Factor" competition: YouTube users MagicTurtle643 and NerdyAndQuirky. In November, John created a video discussing bullying in general, as well as his personal experience with getting bullied.
On September 11, 2015, the Greens began listing all videos on the channel under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Hank Green later clarified on Reddit that "We didn't mention it, we just switched over. I'm not sure what people would do with a Vlogbrothers video, but I want them to be able to do it."
The Greens have continued to contribute greatly to the internet with education projects like Crash Course (YouTube) and Crash Course Kids.
On August 5, 2016, the project "How to Vote in Every State" was launched. It encourages viewers to register to vote with links to quick, comprehensive videos on how to do so in for each state.
DFTBA is an initialism that stands for "Don't Forget To Be Awesome," the Green brothers' catchphrase, often followed by a hand sign (or "gang sign," as it is jokingly referred to by Hank and John). The Nerdfighter "gang sign" is the Vulcan salute from Star Trek done on both hands instead of just one, with arms crossed and palms facing inwards. Since the Vlogbrothers have taken off, many T-shirts and posters have been made featuring the phrase. The brothers often use it to say goodbye at the end of their video blogs (or "vlogs"). Additionally, Nerdfighteria is an internet subculture, which has inspired student-organized clubs on college campuses. Actors Benedict Cumberbatch as well as Matt Smith have been noted demonstrating the subculture's "gang sign".
The Greens were able to find a dedicated audience, with Christian Today detailing "their message, celebrating nerdiness, education, science, and imagining others complexly, has resonated loudly across the globe." Margaret Talbot of The New Yorker has praised the topics of the video blogs, describing, "The tone of their monologues ranged from goofily informative... to wonkish." Talbot added, "Many posts dispensed adult wisdom, but in a reassuringly modern way." However, Craig Rubens of GigaOM, gave a more critical review of the video blog, comparing it negatively to the show with zefrank. While Rubens stated that, "none carry Ze’s torch with more earnestness than the brothers Green," he closed by saying the Greens' vlog "remains a nerdy knockoff of Ze’s seminal work."
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