"Agarrá la pala" is a very Argentine expression that is used to tell someone to stop wasting time and get to work. How many times have they told those who work on social networks that they were wasting their time, that they should dedicate themselves to something else, to get a job like the rest of the people?
So they decided to title their book Teodora Ciampagna and Agostina Gentili: Will grab the shovel. It was released on Labor Day, May 1, by Blok's B-stamp as an ebook. It has as subtitle "The real work of the youtuber". These are interviews with the most important YouTube influencers in Argentina: Lyna, The Insane, Vedito, Paulina Cocina, Kevsho, Papry, Jorge Pinarello, Twig and Angie Velasco.
What does it mean to be a youtuber? How did they start? What moment is this industry going through? What is your real job? How long does it take? Why do they do it? Are they all friends or are there rivalries? Those are some of the questions that these influencers answer to the authors of the book. Infobae Culture dialogued with them.
—How did the idea of making the book come about?
—Agostina Gentili: The idea for this book came to Ale Bacile of Hecatomb. Ale always had a dream to make a documentary and interview her colleagues to talk about this new job. As a youtuber, he many times found himself faced with disjointed faces who could not believe that what he was doing with his friends at school was a job. Partly because it is very new, partly because it seems that it's just people doing their thanks in front of a camera, the work of youtuber is not yet socially recognized as such. Anyway, we put together the idea as a documentary but on the way we told it to Erica Marino, from the publisher, and she liked it so much that we decided to start with a book. Will grab the shovel He wants to reverse that idea by showing that behind each video there is a sustained process and not for a less serious playful creation of audiovisual content for mass audiences. That the work of youtuber supposes a series of very valuable skills in the current times, such as knowing how to devise, record, edit and disseminate audiovisual content; but also to have learned it without school, testing, investigating on their own or with the help of friends who knew a little more and were close at hand. Will grab the shovel He wants to show that, that the value of all that experience is not only what they do and how they do it, but also how they learned to do it.
"Is there still the prejudice of the youtuber as a worker?"
—Teodora Ciampagna: Yes, the prejudice that being a youtuber is not a job still exists. People talk without knowing what it takes to run a channel. Every time that happens it is very unfair because your channel is your venture, it is what you are passionate about and it is hours of hard work. Angie Velasco says it clearly in the book: "It feels like your fire is being extinguished and too many adolescent spirits have devastated us." The devaluation of this work is not only in front of its audiences but also among brands. Sometimes they ask them to advertise “cool” and also to the brands they have to explain that what they do is a job. Luckily today we all have the feeling that something has been going on for years. YouTube came to compete for our free time with other platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime or even Spotify. This industry grows and thrives on those who generate content and more and more people are encouraged to carry out their personal project. Being a youtuber is a job that is here to stay, perhaps at first it is seen only as a job that is done from your own room, with a little camera, without noticing that on the other side of the screen there are millions consuming those contents. Those people exist, they are real, they entertain and materialize, for example, when youtubers fill theaters.
—How was the selection of the interviewees?
—Agostina Gentili: We were interested in the book being nourished by the testimony of youtubers of all ages, from different parts of the country, with different styles and different backgrounds. We did not want them to be just youtubers who were on the crest of the wave because in this work, as in life, there are no guarantees and the diversity of experiences helps to see that there are no recipes either. Vedo, for example, began uploading videos in 2006, in his teens and a few months after YouTube was born. He is the creator, along with Kion, of Cuadradito and Circulito, an animated series. Today he edits videos for the youtube community and is an institution in the environment. And just as in the book he is, who started this when he was a kid and youtubers did not exist, there is also Paulina Cocina, who started around the age of 30 and was making videos for a blog until she realized that the move was on YouTube. The diversity allowed us to show that the work of the youtuber can have as many forms as ideas and that nothing is entirely said. It also allowed us to show that, as in other settings and trades, desire and perseverance pull more than anything else.
—What were the answers that surprised you the most?
—Teodora Ciampagna: We as authors and anyone who reads the book will undoubtedly be impressed by the production capacity they have, a bit demanded by the same platform. This is how Vedo explains it to you in the book: “At the beginning the frequency did not matter. You uploaded a video a month, people subscribed, you could make another video after 5 months. Everything changed when Google bought the platform, because you have to keep a company of that size alive. Then he begins to play the great game of the monster, well, it is his duty as a monster because if not then there is no more. Thus, YouTube is a carnivorous monster that devours, through millions of users, the content they generate, and this pressures them to produce more and more. The good side is that it also fills them with possibilities for growth in an industry where each one finds his place and his way of getting ahead. Ramita also says it in the book: “The demand for content rose so much that… go for it! Do I have to upload eighty stories per week? And no, you don't need that much. How much information do you want to consume from what I do? ” In addition to their production capacity, the way they managed to do it is surprising. Because he was playing, testing, in the free time they had or they beat the dream. And they not only invented self-employment, they also developed a new way of producing audiovisual content. That is admirable.