Freshman computer science major Eugene Yakovlev began his journey on YouTube last month when he made his very first vlog. His videos give his viewers a taste of college life and provide Yakovlev with a creative outlet. While talking to his camera, he often explores Philadelphia.
This interview has been edited and condensed for style.
The Triangle: So tell me about yourself, what do you like to do for fun?
Eugene Yakovlev: I’m very adventurous. In the summertime, I’ll go hiking. In the wintertime, I’ll go snowboarding. I like to hit up the gym a lot and at the end of the day, I love making movies about what I love to do.
TT: Is that where vlogging comes in?
EY: Yeah. Vlogging kind of lets me keep those daily memories alive. Making the vlogs is very fun too. It’s not just recording the memory — it’s doing the vlog. That’s what love to do.
TT: How old were you when you started vlogging?
EY: I started vlogging a month ago. I actually started on Aug. 29 I’d been thinking about vlogging for a very long time but I never got around to it because I had an iPhone and it’s kind of awkward holding a camera and talking to it. And the first time I did it, I felt really weird; I didn’t know where I was going to go. I didn’t even know if I was going to post it or even edit it. I thought, ‘okay I’ll try it but I don’t know what’s going to happen’ and it really took off.
I really started to enjoy it more and more. At first it was really awkward… I remember the first time I was recording, I went into this garage and there were a bunch of people. They all looked at me and just started laughing. So that was my first experience at vlogging. You’re kind of put down at first, but now the response I’ve been getting from people is actually completely different.
TT: Why did you want to start vlogging in the first place?
EY: It was summertime, like one of those last few days where you didn’t have much to do. Besides that, it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. So I figured, you know what, I’m just going to do it.
TT: What do you record with?
EY: I started off with my iPhone, but the audio was not good there, or the front facing camera. This is a Canon G7 X Mark II. It’s probably the best vlogging camera, like a point-and-shoot camera, that you can get on the market. And I got a bendy tripod to set it down anywhere. It’s very mobile.
TT: Do people ever just stare at you when you’re holding the camera?
EY: Yes, all the time! It’s actually great because at first I felt awkward, and now when I do it, I look at those people and think they’re weird for looking at me. Before, I felt weird because they’re looking at me but now I feel like they’re weird — it’s kind of reverse. Now when I vlog, it’s very natural, I have no hesitation at all when I’m talking to the camera; I’m fully engaged. In the beginning when I started, it was not like that at all.
TT: Do you have any long term goals in regards to vlogging or anything in general?
EY: Definitely. I want this channel to keep growing. For now, my goal is to hit 1,000 subscribers. I almost have 400 now. It’s starting slowly but shortly. I want to gain more views; I want people to come back and enjoy my vlogs. And at the end of the day, when they’re just busy, they can just watch it and call that entertainment and just enjoy.
TT: What else do you do around the campus at Drexel?
EY: I’m just like any other student. I go to class. I study a lot. I do homework a lot. I go to the gym. I eat.
TT: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Do you think you’ll still be vlogging?
EY: My goal is to release a mobile app in the Apple Store, like a top hit. And with YouTube, I’m just kind of going with it. Like some people view YouTube as this platform for business, and I don’t at all. I’m not in for this for just getting the subscriptions and getting the ad revenue. A lot of people tend to go up to me and start asking, “yo, you’re getting views you’re getting subscribers, are you going to make money off that?” And it’s such a wrong question to ask because I’m just here to enjoy it. The real answer is no, I don’t — that’s because you have to get a thousand subscribers but that’s a whole other story. But besides that point, I don’t even look at it like that—like trying to doing it for the money. I’m just trying to build a fanbase, like an audience, so that’s why you want subscribers to get recurring views. But no, with that, I don’t really have a set goal where I want to do this and be a full-time YouTuber.
Yakovlev’s Youtube channel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3dBnWLVjKhm113D9tN-9Vw.