Even though video-blogging is in its infancy, it has become a huge cultural force, launching careers, communities and creations of all sorts. Video existed on the web long before YouTube; however nowadays equipment is cheaper, post-production software more accessible and online distribution platforms significant as ever before. YouTube, the global video-sharing site is my go-to hub, coupled with the likes of Netflix and Facebook. I have subscribed to dozens of channels from gym-buff fitness videos and American talk shows to a myriad of everyday vloggers which happily expose almost every aspect of their lives to the online world. This is fascinating in itself as it shows that the digital domain is revolutionising the ways in which people transact and communicate.
Over the last year or so, I’ve been binging on travel vlogs. They are the reason I want to pack my suitcase, hop on a plane and explore the world – although my bank account advises me otherwise. So I watch ‘FunforLouis’ instead.
Louis Cole, known by his channel name ‘FunforLouis’, is one of the most hard-working British YouTubers. The 33-year-old thrill-seeker has metaphorically travelled to the moon and back, having ticked 70 countries off his list so far. He began his channel in 2012, and over the past three years has acquired over 1.5 million subscribers. Various things attract me to his videos including his long dreads, his impulsive attitude and his role as a social innovator.
How has he embraced technology?
If you haven’t already done so, scroll through your Facebook and witness the amount of 360 degree videos popping up. 360 video has become a technological phenomenon among many social media platforms including YouTube. It allows you to tilt your mobile device freely to obtain an all-seeing view of the moving shot which is mindboggling stuff really. It’s like Google Maps, but for videos – could this be an important development for virtual reality? In Louis’ case, he has made his own story-telling ‘360 Virtual Tour’ experiences of different countries he’s visited which have involved camel riding in the Sahara Desert, views from a hot air balloon in the Maasai Mara in Kenya, snowboarding in Canada and paragliding in the beautiful Canary Islands which can be seen below:
What projects is he working on?
Louis is never in the same place for more than 2 weeks at a time. He also doesn’t use his travels to kick back, down a few cocktails and work on his tan. He aims rather to broaden the horizons, stimulate proactive debate, and break down the barriers between rich and poor communities. The Solvey Project, a non-profit organisation started by Louis and his friend of 15 years, Dave Erasmus, in 2015 is his most admirable venture to date. For a month they have been travelling to Ethiopia, Dubai, Delhi, Shanghai, Seoul, Tokyo and Rio de Janiero in order to help address the country’s social issues:
It works by inviting people to send in videos about their sustainable and social solutions. Louis and Dave therefore aim to tackle the world’s biggest social problems head on, with YouTube being used as a platform to spread social change.
If you’re feeling curious to see what else he gets up to, subscribe to his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/FunForLouis