Social Media Sensations

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Social Media Sensations

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Lauren Thomason, Reporter

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It’s no secret that Presentation students truly go above and beyond in all walks of life. From academics to sports to community service, Pres girls can do it all and when we look around the hallways we know that these same people we share the occasional laugh with in English class are really going places. Three people in particular have already made themselves known through social media: Kayla Vaskelis, Dorothy Luu, and Chloe May.

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Kayla Vaskelis (@KaylaKane)

Kayla Vaskelis is fairly well-known across Instagram. With a couple thousand people interested in seeing her pictures, and companies wanting her to promote their products, this junior has a promising future ahead of her.

Vaskelis first started her Instagram for the same reasons as everyone else; she wanted to post the generic pictures people take every time they hang out with friends or family. It was only about nine months ago when she started changing her Instagram into a portfolio-like format, showcasing the work that she has done.

She has never done this for the purpose of gaining followers or attention. When asked what she thinks of the fact that thousands of people follow her she responded, “The cool thing is that people are actually interested in something that I’m interested in.”

Vaskelis’ Instagram centers very much on her love for photography and her wanderlust. She takes many artistic pictures of various places she’s been and things that she has done. She loves the outdoors and encourages everyone to experience it as she says, perhaps somewhat ironically, given her tech platform: “Nature is incredible. Go outside, it’s amazing.”

Out of all her adventure spots, Big Sur has been her favorite. “You don’t have to go to Hawaii to get clear water, it’s right here,” she says. Not only does her Instagram display her work, but it also has become a way for her to express her thoughts and feelings about the world and what it has to offer. Her motto is, “Be kind, be mindful, be curious, and be your amazing self.” While exploring and documenting the world with her camera, she has simultaneously been promoting this positive message to her followers.

She also has had many financial opportunities present themselves throughout her time using Instagram. Companies such as Triangl swimwear, Sandcloud, and Qtee have sponsored her, and in each of the situations she was given one of their products in return for her promoting the product. Her experience with Instagram and what she has been able to accomplish has even inspired her to consider a future side career in lifestyle blogging.

This Pres student says that although she would like to do things pertaining to her Instagram spontaneously, this is not realistic when also balancing a school workload and an intense dance schedule. She says that she mostly plans when she will be doing shoots and editing her photos, but she does make it a priority in her list of things to do. The best advice that she can give to people hoping to start a blog-like Instagram is, “You should post things that you think are worth posting. As for the blogging side of things, if you don’t want to read it, then no one else will.”

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Dorothy Luu (www.cloudhy.tumblr.com)

Junior Dorothy Luu only made her Tumblr account about a year ago, simply because her friends encouraged her to get one. Now with about 30,000 followers and over 100,000 visits to her page, Dorothy is no longer a stranger to this favorite blog site.

Luu refers to her Tumblr as a personal blog. She reblogs what she likes and when she writes, she writes about whatever interests her. The photos and posts that she reblogs mostly have to do with fashion, beauty, and lifestyle which are things that lots of Tumblr users are interested in.

Luu not only gets the attention of many Tumblr users, but also of some companies who have reached out to her for sponsorships. Luu works with a wide variety of companies that range anywhere from activewear to accessories. She gets many emails from companies and picks and chooses what she would like to support, based on time commitment as well as personal opinion of the product.

A couple of companies that have sponsored her are Onzie, an athletic wear company now sold in Urban Outfitters, and Daniel Wellington, a high-priced watch company. In each of these cases she received a product from the company and in some cases she makes money as well. She reports that recently a sponsor paid her $100 for helping promote them. In addition to sponsors, Luu also is supported by the advertisements displayed on her page.

Despite the benefits that she receives from sponsors, the page was never created for monetary purposes or to gain a huge following. Luu says, “It was something for fun, but then the followers started coming in.”

In response to the kindness and dedication that her followers show, she offers kindness back. She has what she calls “positivity hour” on a semi-regular basis where she replies to her followers and talks with them freely. Luu says, “I try to get my followers to have a positive outlook on life and to do whatever makes them, them.”

She says that her followers come from many different countries and they help her expand her knowledge of the world. Due to this, Luu’s list of future places to visit has quickly lengthened.

If someone were to start a Tumblr in hopes of becoming a success, Luu’s advice would be to pick a certain direction in which you want your tumblr to go and be consistent with what you pick. She advises, “You definitely have to blog what you like, but also make it cohesive.”

According to Luu, Tumblr can sometimes become hard to maintain when you have a full homework load, but you can set up queues for future posts to help keep a steady flow of posts on the blog. It may be a bit time consuming, but Luu says that it gives her something to do and she really loves it.

“It’s really interesting that there are different aspects of Tumblr,” she says. “Having a Tumblr is a good platform for getting things out there and being involved.”

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Chloe May (www.youtube.com/user/grlygrl112211)

Chloe May isn’t just the girl on the Panther Report at school; she’s also a YouTuber with almost 15,000 subscribers and over 60,000 views on one of her most popular videos. With a diverse selection of videos on her channel and interesting content, this senior is on the up and up.

May started her YouTube channel about six years ago, when the company was not what it is today. YouTube back then was meant for posting random and silly videos with your friends, but with the change in YouTube culture, May’s channel changed with it.

Now she does a plethora of videos ranging from funny stories of her life to informational videos to covers of popular songs. She tries to be consistent in her video posting and posts one at least once every other week. She aims for posting once a week, but it can be hard seeing the amount of time that goes into one video. May says, “The whole process of making videos takes a couple of hours to film, another couple of hours to import, and then you have to edit it which takes another couple of hours.”

Within YouTube there are many different partnership programs that someone can be signed to. May is signed to a program called Fullscreen. This is the same program that well-known Youtubers such as Megan Nicole, Alex Goot, Max Schneider, Michelle Glavan, Andrea Russett and Lohanthony are signed to.

Being affiliated with Fullscreen allows her to go to VidCon, a big convention for YouTubers across the globe, every year. However, with all of the perks of being signed to a company comes a newfound responsibility for making videos.

“Even though I do take YouTube more seriously now because it is kind of like my job, I still think it’s important to have fun with it,”she says. She adds that Fullscreen has really opened doors for her in meeting YouTube friends and getting sponsors.

May’s advice to anyone wanting to become a YouTuber is, in short, to be yourself. “A lot of people on YouTube can be a bit fake, but you should just be yourself and share that with other people,” she suggests. “You should show your personality because you don’t want to be like everyone else.”

She also makes it very clear that the most important thing is to make videos with content that you like. Quality is more important than quantity in YouTube videos, according to May.

May’s knowledge in scripting, shooting, and editing her videos was gained not only through experience with YouTube, but also through her work on the Panther Report and a summer camp at Cisco. She has worked very hard to be where she is and is a prime example of how working outside as well as inside the classroom is making for a more wholesome learning experience.

As for her future, May is quick to say that YouTube has definitely influenced what she wants to do with her life. She will be attending Chapman University’s film school and will be studying broadcast journalism while there.

“YouTube has completely, 100% inspired me for my future,” May says. “It also helped me make a portfolio to apply.” She also plans to continue making videos when she is in college and has even taken it one step further to say that this will be the year that she tries to post a lot of videos in hopes to see her channel skyrocket.

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