April 20, 2012
Day 32 by SD

Junior year, as an oh-so-fresh editor at NU Intel, I had the idea of interviewing Justin Kim, a fellow junior on campus who was a bit of a YouTube celebrity, for our “Talented People We Love” feature. It involved a broadcast-style interview that is now on YouTube. It was more than eight minutes and has 1,387 views. It also cemented my exit from standard TV news. (“Um, um. Yeah. Laugh. Sooo. Are you dating anybody? Haha.” I think my straight-laced philanthropist friend Hiro Kawashima generously watched it and informed me that it was “really awkward.”) I will not embed that here, though if you care enough to watch it, you’ll be able to find it. 

We also made a quirky YouTube-style video where Justin pretends to me. I forgot about it until just now, and I still find it kind of funny. It currently has 23,768 views, most of which are probably from JKim’s tween girl fans in Thailand. One of the views is from my boyfriend, whom I forced to watch it just now. (He didn’t get it.)

I partly find the video amusing because of the comments. Things with my name on it have gone online frequently since I’ve become a journalist. A couple times, those things have gotten hundreds of comments. For example, I wrote several national AP stories that were obediently displayed on Yahoo News, or where Internet commenters go to die. And in NU Intel’s first year our content was regularly criticized for not being newsy enough. Some of the comments were pretty nasty, and for us very new editors who had worked very hard on the site, it could feel harsh. Of course, many people soon embraced our niche-style, and those sort of comments greatly diminished, if not disappeared completely. Regardless, the comments have always focused on the work, or the news, or news value, or whatever.

But comments on entertainment YouTube videos are different. Your face becomes fair game. And JKim’s devoted followers let ‘er rip. The top comment, with 47 “likes”?

"Dude Jkim, don’t be offended but you make a much prettier girl than the real one in this Vid."

Watch, and decide yourself. 

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