Pop Rocks: Something Named Connor Franta (and His Association with O2L) Is Trending

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Connor Franta explains to his legion of YouTube fans he's "just a normal person."
"YouTube Celebrity." I read those words earlier today when checking out the trending topics on Twitter and trying to figure out why some kid named Connor Franta was dominating hashtags. I admit that I'm not up on every element of celeb gossip. In fact, it might be fair to say that my knowledge of it extends only as far as the trash magazines I buy my wife for trips to the beach and the weekend I spent as a stringer for US Weekly.

Still, when rumors about Beyonce and Jay-Z crop up or photos of Zac Ephron and Michelle Rodriguez getting hot and heavy appear in my Facebook trending stories feed, I'm aware of who these people are and may even know some of the back story. And when those things cross paths with sports or Internet nerdery, it triggers a part of my brain reserved for obscure statistics and trivia from sci-fi films. In short, I'm not completely clueless.

But, when #WeLoveYouConnor and other variations on this hashtag appeared on Twitter, I was stumped. First, to Google. No Wikipedia entry? That was surprising. I'm pretty sure one of my cats has a Wiki entry, so who is this guy who is so popular he can drive massive traffic on Twitter but not have some reference on the Encyclopedia Britannica of the web?

Then, I began to see references to Our Second Life or O2L. A little more digging and it turns out it is a YouTube "super group" but they don't sing. They just do videos about themselves and their daily lives for other tweens. Um, what?

This confused me even more. I mean I understand that there are places I don't know about. I've heard the "darknet" is a place where you can buy drugs or hire contract killers or something. I know you don't mess with Anonymous, the Internet "vigilante" organization, or they will close down your website and destroy your online life (whatever that may be). But, a bunch of kids who became celebrities and millionaires (yes, millionaires) on YouTube for making videos about their lives? You're kidding, right?

This story continues on the next page.


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2 comments
AnnaIwanski
AnnaIwanski

I disagree with your idea that "Youtube Celebrities" have no talent. They have figured out their audience of 14 year old girls and have played that audience extremely well. Their video ideas are not simply just about their daily lives. The boys in O2L set up a theme every week and the members must think of a funny, interactive, or inspirational video to go along with the theme. Almost always there aren't any repeated videos throughout the week as there are with many other collab channels on youtube. I myself have a youtube channel and you have no clue how long it takes to put out a good video. There is the writing process, set up, filming, importing, editing, uploading, and then the advertising. The O2L members do an amazing job at advertising. They put the videos on every social media site you could think of. If you still don't agree that they have talent, that's fine, but you have to admit these 15-21 year old boys are very smart. Whilst most of them getting educations, they continue run their youtube business with O2L and with all of their separate channels. They sell merchandise that fans always buy and go to tons of events where fans can pay to meet them. What turns tons of kids into followers of O2L is how approachable the boys are. Unlike many other celebrities, the boys of O2L just seem like regular people that actually want to meet fans. The members seem like friends to the fans instead of some god-like figure. As you can see on the #Weloveyouconnor page on twitter and in the youtube comments of Connor's final O2L video, many people said that Connor's videos helped them through something. Wether it was a bad day or a bad year, the short, charismatic videos cheered up the viewers. That is why there was so much support for Connor when he told the fandom he was depressed. So overall what I'm trying to say is this: O2L is talented. Just like any other form of entertainment, there will be people who like it and people who don't. Their audience is entertained by the five minute videos that come out daily. These boys are smart, young men who were able to turn something they love into their job. And isn't that what everybody wants in life?

jacob1229
jacob1229

@AnnaIwanski This is so true. These people dedicate their time to make videos for others' enjoyment. They inspire people all over the world. There's a reason they're famous. It's because they're good at what they do. They know how to connect with people and they know what they're doing. So, while it might not be the most common job on the market, the members of O2L, and frankly, all famous YouTubers have one thing going for them - they get paid to do what they love most. 

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