I recently became aware of the “VlogBrothers,” John and Hank Green, and the amazing teen “nerdfighter” community that they’ve created by promoting education, raising awareness for various causes, and spreading general awesomeness. (I know I’m a little out-of-the loop here, but I’m very happy to finally have confirmation that mythic, guiding forces-for-good like the vlogbrothers and the nerdfighters exist in this vast and often terrifying cyber-sphere.) Click here to visit their very cool site and “don’t forget to be awesome” (#DFTBA) when doing so! Check out this recent, chatty — and highly entertaining — educational video:
In January, the VlogBrothers started posting regular videos every Thursday as a part of a series of educational episodes they call a “Crash Course for World History” (there’s also “A Crash Course in Biology” video posted every Monday). In the lessons they make learning cool. Each lesson has a topic, but the VlogBrothers also encourage their young audience to become well-rounded people. You can visit their cyber-classroom here:
The busy brothers also founded Project4Awesome (#P4A). Every year they ask their vast and supportive community to contribute YouTube videos about a favorite charity or cause. This is the video from last year that describes the project:
Oh yeah, and John Green also writes bestselling books (and they host a book club). Do these guys ever sleep?! Click here to check out this article by @wavemaven about young adult book trailers. The article includes a section about the Green VlogBrothers and their channel, their engagement with fans, and how they’ve managed to go viral because they’re so interactive and smart. This is the VlogBrothers video featured in the book trailers article about how to become a Nerdfighter:
The Greens describe their nerdfighters.ning.com site, as:
A place where nerds gather and play. We fight to increase awesome and decrease suck. What more is there?
Click here to get started. I’m just delving in and beginning to explore the VlogBrother’s world. I’ve downloaded John Green’s most recent book, The Fault in Our Stars, and for now I’ll consider myself a Nerdfighter-in-training. Unite… and #DFTBA!!
Click here to read more about the VlogBrother’s crash courses on Youtube in this GigaOm article entitled “Cool for School: Education is a Big Hit on YouTube.” From the article:
Crash Course is a co-production of Hank and John Green, of Vlogbrothers fame. The channel launched just days ago, and the duo have already managed to get around 275,000 views with little more than two lessons posted. John Green told me during a phone conversation this week that he has been very excited about this initial success: “It really stabs in the heart the lie that YouTube is about cat videos,” he said.
The Vlogbrothers are among dozens of content makers that have been receiving sizable advances from YouTube to professionally produce content. Reports put the total spent by Google for this kind of content north of $100 million. That money buys YouTube participation from stars like Rainn Wilson and Tony Hawk, but the initiative also includes around a dozen channels with news and educational content.
Many of these channels are part of YouTube for Schools, a program launched last month that offers educational institutions access to a controlled YouTube environment to ensure that students don’t goof off watching the latest music videos. Green told me that he has already received “dozens of emails” from students who were introduced to his new show by their teacher. “People are already watching Crash Course in classrooms,” he said.