Akeeme Black

ENG 1121

Prof. Penner

Feb. 22, 2020

Word Count: 1264

YouTube is a popular video streaming website owned by Google averaging 1.3 Billion users every single day. YouTube was created in 2005 and even until now people go on the website to find videos whether their purpose is to be entertained, informed or persuaded. So, a lot of people know about YouTube but not a lot of people are aware of the discourse community involved, more specifically the discourse community of a YouTuber. A discourse community is a group of people who share a common goal and share the same basic values, assumptions and ways of communicating. This essay will go in depth on the discourse communities YouTubers are associated with. Luckily for me I am associated with YouTubers everyday whereas I’m a freelance social media designer, I make things from YouTube thumbnails, banners, profile pictures, etc. Therefore, I get to work around YouTubers every day and understand the mindset of a YouTuber.

For this assignment I chose to interview different sets of YouTubers ranging from those who are high in subscriber count and relevance to those who are up and coming. The most famous YouTuber I interviewed goes by the name of “Grinding DF”. He currently stands at 423,000 subscribers as well as 38,364,937 million channel views on YouTube. His category of content is gaming/entertainment; he makes content on the NBA 2K game series. I was able to ask him questions and he could respond freely because we were so close whereas I occasionally make thumbnails for his videos whenever I am available. Basically the common goal between all YouTubers is to create entertaining content, make money and have fun doing it. Although some YouTubers also have different subcategories to that. For example, when I asked Grinding what his main goal on YouTube is he said he wants to make an impact and show that anyone willing to work hard on their craft can be successful. From this response I could already tell the answer was pretty generic but then he went deeper and said “There’s nothing special about me or the next guy other than our desire to do something we love & try to inspire others to do the same.” I found it intriguing that someone this known could be so humble. Especially with the image that comes with being in the “NBA 2K community”. Like most gaming communities the NBA 2K community is known to be toxic, mostly because a good percentage of the people in the community are kids or just are straight up immature. To respond to this Grinding said, “Right now I am trying to make our “community” a better place so I guess I’m making an impact in a small scale but one day I want to be big enough to make actual positive changes in the world.” When hearing this it made me proud because I too am a fan of Grinding’s content and I’ve been watching him from he was at around 10,000 subscribers and to see him grow this big and still able to keep his humbleness is very inspiring. Not only is he trying to help improve the gaming community he’s in, he also hosts charity streams where all the money he makes from that stream goes to a charity as donation, surely the world would be a better place if there were more people like grinding. After, I found out that Grinding communicates with other YouTubers with Twitter which is his primary and most YouTubers primary method of communication. He has a group chat with all of the other big YouTubers that he associates himself with as well as he has their phone numbers. There is some slang known to YouTubers like for example when a video does good YouTube shows how well it did compared to your previous 10 uploads so if one YouTuber tells the other “Hey, I got a 1 out of 10 on my video” then they would understand what they are talking about rather than if a YouTuber said that to a random person. Finally, to end Grinding’s interview I asked him how he communicates with the outside world. He responded by saying “I don’t go outside”. Which is a joke known to Grinding’s fan base whereas he says he doesn’t go outside he’s always on the game. All in all, I was impressed to see such a big influencer being so normal and easy going about things. It reminded me that there is positivity in this world and that there are people that genuinely wants to do good in this world.

The second person I chose to interview goes by the name of “Luwop”. He is an up and coming YouTuber in the same community as Grinding. Currently, Luwop is sitting at 16,800 subscribers on YouTube with 861,277 channel views. When I asked him what his goal was on YouTube he said he wants to have fun, be able to have free time, work on videos, get paid and eventually turn it into a career. He’s a YouTuber with a lower sub count so I most definitely expected humble, inspirational responses from him especially since he has so much of a grind to go still before he reaches where he wants to be. He enjoys doing YouTube and interacting with his supporters. He told me that YouTube has been his dream goal since he was a child and within a year he has went from 0 to 16,800 subscribers and he wants to continue to strive and attain 100k+ subscribers and continue doing YouTube for the rest of his life. As a smaller channel he thought it would be hard to communicate with other bigger YouTubers but surprisingly it’s easier than you think. According to Luwop as long as you have good content on your channel and a good personality no matter the sub count you’ll definitely be able to get in contact with other YouTubers. Similar to Grinding, he uses Twitter and various forms of social media to communicate with other YouTubers but primarily Twitter. Other forms of communication would also consist of video collaborations. However, unlike Grinding, he is very social whereas he is great at starting conversations with other people outside. As well as he likes to start conversations with unknown people on social media. Languages specifically known to 2K YouTubers includes words like “Green” and slangs like “Pull up”, etc. Other words that people in this community say include “Imagine”, “No Cap”, etc. Although the community is versatile whereas it’s a worldwide community the primarily language spoken by everyone is English. Things he described you need to know is basic basketball IQ and how to play video games, how to be entertaining and upload to YouTube. Ultimately, the 2K YouTuber community has a very straightforward and strict discourse community that essentially is welcome to all.

In conclusion, I found it fascinating how a community with such toxic player bases can have a completely different vibe when it comes to the discourse community of the YouTube side. Everyone has one goal and that’s to master their craft and grow on YouTube while getting to the dough. The only thing that would be better is if the whole community was able to feel this way and welcome and motivate one another while they are on their grind. Other than that it’s very nice how big YouTubers can be so humble and keep their final goal in mind. I’m also very happy for the fact that I have the opportunity to work around such great energy every day.


DF, Grinding. Personal interview. February 13, 2020.

Luwop. Personal interview. February 13, 2020.