Back on the 24th of February, Miley Cyrus, queen of American children's television and pop music, opened a YouTube channel with her best friend Mandy. The videos at the moment are incredibly poor, but before you start hating me - I'm very impressed about it.
I used to be, perhaps not condescending, but at least ambivalent about her. She is the current flagship star of Disney, and so all her stuff is really, really polished. Overpolished even. When I heard that she opened a channel I could imagine an Oprah-like effort - no comments allowed, super-photoshopped banners, the works. And why not? Wouldn't Disney want her to look as good as possible? And who cares if she doesn't interact with other users on the site?
But no. What we have are videos of two girls running around just being silly - miming to songs, baking cakes, etc etc. The channel isn't even a partnered/sponsored channel. She's just like any other 15 year old on the site. Well perhaps not exactly like any 15 year old; she has 12,000 subscriptions in her first week-or-so of being on the site. But in terms of videos she is starting from the bottom where we all started and there isn't a set or studio to be seen. My first videos were terrible. You can still watch them if you want.
I could actually see this girl making video responses and even (gasp!) collaborations with other users. I guess we'll see if this is a flight of fancy on her part. If she doesn't get hooked on the site then she'll likely just forget about it. However, this is the first time I've actually seen an 'old media' celebrity actually interact with other users on the same level. In short, instant humanisation of what was once just a product to me.
Good on you Miley and Mandy. I've subscribed so keep practicing those videos!