Online Community

Posts about YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Snapchat, and other digital media communities.

Vlogging And Driving: The Dangerous Youtuber Trend That’s Killing Teens

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Top Youtubers are following a dangerous trend that’s killing teens. Almost everyone does it — years ago, when I was a daily vlogger, I did it too. A lot of people wrongly believe this is safe. The only way your favorite vloggers will stop is if YOU keep telling them (and your friends) about the enormous risks. I joined Michaela on HLN to discuss how vloggers and influencers can help put an end to this deadly habit.

It only took me 10 minutes of browsing random daily vlogs – all posted this month with millions of views – to find four influencers doing the same thing that got these teens killed (sans the driver’s reported BAC). They probably have no idea that this is so dangerous because they’ve also seen many top vloggers doing it before them.

“We do it all the time – all the time. Trust me, it’s like a reflex. Like I haven’t crashed, you know?”

Sound familiar? Vloggers tend to make these same excuses when this topic is brought up. Those words are actually from Obdulia Sanchez on a phone call from jail, trying to explain why she live streamed the deaths of her two teenage passengers.

No Youtuber is at fault for what happened. People make their own choices. But teens see their favorite vloggers doing this every day without dying, so why should they worry? This way of thinking will keep leading to more deaths until top Youtubers step up and say it has to stop.

Your life is worth more than anything you’ll say into the camera while you’re on the road. Don’t take the risk. Vlog when you’re vlogging, drive when you’re driving.

How Chicken Nuggets Go Viral: The Rise Of The Micro-Influencer

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This week I was a translator between CNN and the interwebs, explaining how chicken nuggets can go viral. Welcome to 2017.

There’s a new type of celebrity in town and they’re famous for not being famous. We’ve been inundated with Photoshopped perfection and publicist-approved statements so much that we’ve stopped trusting everything we see. Does Kim Kardashian actually like the flavor of that coconut water or was she paid $500,000 to take a selfie with a plastic bottle and post some pre-approved text? Did that photo of the Labrador delivering pizza to the homeless go viral because it was wholesomely cute or because he’s holding a box with a prominent Dominos logo and a marketing department pushed it to the top of Imgur with bots? As they say on Reddit… /r/HailCorporate!

Sponsor? What sponsor? I see only a cute puppy.

The old way of celebrity promotion doesn’t work anymore. When brands first started to experiment with online influencer marketing, numbers ruled everything: the people with the most followers got the biggest deals. Brands are starting to figure out that the quality of a star’s fans means more than the quantity of their fans. If a company pays $100,000 to sponsor a post from a TV celebrity with 1,000,000 followers, it usually doesn’t bring as much return on investment as it would if they paid $10,000 to 10 Youtube channels with 100,000 fans each.

Micro Influencer

An online personality who reaches between 30,000 and 150,000 followers.

“We see micro-influencers get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers.”

– Chris Gonzalez, CEO of Gnack, on

A celebrity with a million fans is a professional business with lots of other sponsors, while a personality with 100,000 fans is the leader of a dedicated niche who is excited that a brand likes them enough to help pay their bills (something their fans will definitely recognize).

Brands will always need big channels and celebrities to grow awareness but they need micro-influencers to grow a following. Smart brands are realizing how important it is to find genuine, authentic personalities whose love can’t be bought.

Internet users have gotten smarter and can smell insincerity right away. Celebrities don’t drive as many clicks as before because their followers see a dozen #spon posts a month and have realized that many celebs will promote anything for money without actually verifying its reliability (see: #FyreFestival). This is why people such as the #NuggsForCarter guy and Alex From Target are a brand’s viral marketing dream. There’s nothing more authentic than a random, unpaid, non-famous person going viral because they declared their love for your products.

Taco Bell was really at the forefront of finding authentic voices to boost their online image. On the Internet, Taco Bell puts relationships first, business second. Years ago, I randomly started tweeting funny things to @TacoBell to see their snarky replies. They didn’t need to pay me anything: I love Taco Bell, their tweets are hilarious, and anytime they’d reply to me I’d get a bunch of new followers.

As time went on, our relationship deepened — just as naturally as an offline, IRL friendship – with an invite to Friendsgiving at Taco Bell headquarters, house parties, and even a trip to New York for the MTV VMAs. They sent a DM encouraging me to audition for their TV commercial (I got a small part and bought an engagement ring with the money). They flew me to Florida to speak at their franchisee convention and put me and my wife up in the same hotel where we first met. In June, they’re bringing us to Vegas to host a livestream of the first wedding in their new Taco Bell Chapel.

Happy Anniversary from Taco Bell

I think they like us.

It’s worth noting that Taco Bell doesn’t know I’m writing this or that I’d mention them on CNN. I think that’s the key. I’d promote Taco Bell even if they never paid me because we’re Internet friends. We do nice things for each other and it all evens out in the end.

Right now, the online influencer community is reeling from an #Adpocalypse as analysts predict nearly $750m in ad buys were pulled from YouTube after brands found their ads running against upsetting and offensive content. Setting aside questions about the validity of their concerns and Google’s response, it is obviously no longer viable to simply be a “YouTuber” and expect your bills to get paid.

I felt this coming back in 2010. Years ago, when I was a full time YouTuber filming 5 days a week, it became a struggle to keep my content clean when I was desperate for views to pay my rent and watched many others getting massive exposure for being provocative and offensive. I can understand the struggle of an emerging YouTuber stuck in the loop of needing money to make videos to get views to pay their rent so they can keep making videos and getting views. I posted my share of MyLikes links back when I needed surgery and didn’t have insurance. But anytime I considered reinventing my videos with a fabricated, edgier persona, I thought about my little group who followed me specifically because I was a break from the Internet’s norm. Apparently they wanted positivity and clean humor mixed with wackiness and gnomes. They just wanted me to be me.

Staying PG slowed the growth of my channel back then but it’s paid off over time. Because all 700+ of my 10 years of videos are family-friendly, none of my old videos lost their advertisers in the #Adpocalypse. Not one. In fact, even though I’ve been on a YouTube break for a while, I still landed my biggest brand deal a few months ago.

Every creator’s career can’t be gauged on my choices. It goes both ways. I haven’t succeeded because I create things that tend to be PG — it’s because everything I make is authentically mine, and my voice just happens to be PG. If Stephen King published a children’s Bible coloring book because Christians buy a ton of books, it’d feel phony since that’s not the King we know (though I admit this is a terrible example because I’d still preorder it).

Pray: A Biblical Coloring Book by Stephen King

Or should it be called “Prey”?

The Internet needs provocateurs and outspoken voices to start controversial discussions that big brands may not want to be a part of. But for every big brand that wants to play it safe for middle America, there are a hundred smaller brands who want to reach people outside of the mainstream demographic. If you want to vlog about the genetic history of North American pelicans, enjoy those inoffensive Adsense checks. But if McDonald’s doesn’t want to advertise on your channel about sex tips… don’t worry, you’ll still sell 300,000 copies of your sex-ed book to the dedicated fans you’ve made just by saying what you want the world to hear. Relationships first, business second.

That’s the real secret to being a successful influencer. Don’t chase the money. Be honest. Be genuine. Be yourself. Fans and brands will find you on their own.

Any major young-adult brand that isn’t following in the footsteps of Taco Bell and Wendy’s will fade into Internet obscurity. Anyone who still doubts the influence of social media marketing should take a look at what #NuggsForCarter did for Wendy’s stock.

Wendy's Stock after #NuggsForCarter

The last time Wendy’s stock was this high was in 2007. That’s the same year I started my YouTube channel. Back then, a lot of people told me I should “get a real job.”

Nobody tells me that anymore.

Kaleb Nation and bfftaylor on Good Morning America

Good Morning America!

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They bumped our mini-interview on Good Morning America a day earlier!

That's me and bfftaylor on Good Morning America! Thanks YouTube for helping me meet the love of my life 🙂

Posted by Kaleb Nation on Monday, June 22, 2015

Thanks to TheWayWeMet for thinking of us for the show. And thanks YouTube for helping me meet the love of my life.

Watch Us On Good Morning America!

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Kaleb And Taylor Good Morning America Interview

Long story short, Taylor and I will be on Good Morning America this Tuesday June 23! They interviewed us as part of a feature on an awesome new Instagram account called TheWayWeMet. To hear our story, make sure you watch GMA this week!

Pop Tart Heart RETURNS!

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Posted by Kaleb Nation on Friday, April 24, 2015

Who remembers NYAN CAT?

Back in 2011, the craze inspired me to write POP TART HEART, a love song for YouTube’s favorite pastry-riding cat explorer. A few years and 250,000 views later, YouTube took the music video down… but now it’s back in all of its outer space glory!

Share on Facebook if you’re still in love with Nyan Cat!

How To Survive A Long Distance Relationship

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Long distance relationships are tough but going back to an LDR is even tougher! When I left LA for a long business trip to the Bahamas, Taylor and I had to survive being long distance again… and realized exactly why we should NEVER do that.

Luckily, Taylor had a big surprise waiting when I got back. Watch our latest episode of NATION and tell us your long distance relationship tips in the video comments!

Did you see Episode 2? If you missed it, you can watch me propose to Taylor in front of 13,000 people at Enjoy the show!

Hosting The Daily Report With Cimorelli!

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Today I cohosted a fun video with some of the girls from Cimorelli! Watch it on AwesomnessTV’s Daily Report:

Cimorelli are my faves. Thanks for not pushing me into the glass wall!


Kaleb Nation with Cimorelli for AwesomenessTV



The DigiProposal On Ryan Seacrest!

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Ryan Seacrest’s team filmed the entire Digifest event… and captured the proposal!

This is a video I’ll keep for the REST OF MY LIFE.

Here’s the original article on Ryan’s website. And you can watch my proposal video from the stage at

Kaleb Nation proposes to Taylor on stage at Digifest NYC 2014

Surprise Digifest Proposal (In Front Of 12,000 People)

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I met Taylor at the YouTube convention Playlist Live. At Vidcon, she said “date me!” So at Digifest, on stage in front of 12,000 people, I said “marry me?”

I filmed everything. Watch the surprise proposal:

Both of us have been making YouTube videos for 7 years — Taylor at and me at When I started my channel, I had no idea that marrying a YouTuber was in my future.

Thanks for changing our lives, YouTube. Thanks Nationeers for watching my videos and convincing the people at Playlist Live to invite me all those years ago. Thanks Chris, Meridith, and the entire team for making my Digifest proposal possible.

And thanks to Ryan Seacrest for the awesome article about our engagement!

Be sure to subscribe to our new show — the wedding will be here soon!

I’m In Taco Bell’s “Morning Rave” TV Commercial!

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You might’ve seen Taco Bell’s new “Morning Rave” TV commercial and thought… hey… who is that dashingly handsome dude holding that Waffle Taco?

If you asked yourself that question, the answer is “ME.” Even if you didn’t ask yourself that question the answer is still “ME.”

Kaleb Nation Taco Bell TV Commercial 2014

YES I actually made a cameo appearance in Taco Bell’s latest national TV commercial. YES THIS IS REAL LIFE.

That’s all I can say for now. But don’t worry. I actually got permission to film a vlog behind-the-scenes on set. Watch for that to show up on YouTube soon.

If spotting me for 4 seconds in a TV commercial isn’t enough, you can also watch me on Dr. Drew On Call on HLN! I’ve become a regular commentator on the show and the entire experience has been thrilling. Follow me on Twitter so you know next time I’m on the show.

And don’t skip any commercials!