What’s Buzzing in Vancouver: A Look at the Social Media Landscape in VanCity – Editorial

What happens when you give four guys a megaphone, a camera, a car, and let them loose in Vancouver?  Drive-by compliments, obviously.

IFHT, which stands for I Focking Hate That, is a YouTube channel created by adolescent guys with the main purpose of amusing themselves. Clearly others are finding their videos equally as gratifying, with almost 50,000 subscribers and close to 13 million views since they created the channel three years ago. After just one month, their video Drive-By Compliments: Vancouver, has over 122,000 views and chronicles four guys doing exactly what the title implies: giving drive-by compliments. While the video runs a couple minutes longer than necessary, it’s an easy, funny, and entertaining watch.

So what makes a good YouTube video? Well, that’s like asking what makes a good book, blog, or song; it depends on your preferences and what you find interesting. While there are some technical elements, like an HD camera and basic editing skills, it’s all about the content.  If you want to become a YouTube star, the best thing you can do is to stop worrying about what other people want to see. This is about your passion, your personality. Sincerity and authenticity are key components that will attract viewers. Think of it like dating; some people you mesh with, others you don’t, but the minute you spot someone fake or phony it’s destined for a break-up. So keep it real, simple, and genuine.

Drive-By Compliments isn’t the next Scorsese, but that’s the whole point of YouTube: it doesn’t have to be. While the story-line is simple, it’s blatant that these guys were having fun, which exudes through the video and becomes infectious. Is this actually about arrogant Gen Y’ers insincerely masking insults with compliments for their own viral gains? Perhaps, and if you read some of the comments below the video, there are some people who have interpreted it this way. However, approaching YouTube or any social media channel expecting anything less than immaturity means you will be immediately disappointed. If anything, it showcases how incredibly polite and friendly Vancouverites are and how far a compliment will get you by spinning a simple idea into a worthwhile watch. So just relax, take it for what it is, and share, tweet, like, or post it.