This interview was conducted via email on February 27, 2017 by Aidan Dunphy
TheyCallMeConor is a YouTuber with over 11,000 subscribers as of March 16, 2017.
Q1: How and when did you discover YouTube?
- I am actually a very early adopter of YouTube, I was regularly watching it within it's first few years of release. Mostly for watching TV shows we couldn’t get in Ireland.
Q2: Can you remember what the first YouTube video that you ever watch was?
- Most likely a funny cat video or an episode of South Park.
Q3: Can you remember what the first video game that you ever played was?
- Yes actually, it was Contra on the Commodore 64, I think I was about 5 or 6 at the time. We were big time gamers in my house when I was growing up so my dad always sorted us out with consoles and PC's.
Q4: How many YouTube videos do you think you've watched in your lifetime?
- Conservative estimate would be at least 1 a day, maybe even more, YouTube is around 12yrs old now or so, so you are taking at least 8,000+ videos, wow.....
Q5: How many YouTube channels do you think you are subscribed to?
- It varies, I do a purge ever few months, I try to keep it to around 120 channels and I think I have at least 30 of them with notifications on.
Q6: Who was the first YouTuber that you were a fan of?
- WoodysGamertag, I was a big time COD player years ago and he was the man for the tips and tricks, plus he is a super nerd and is into technology like myself so had an interest in nearly all of his videos.
Q7: Who influenced you to make YouTube videos?
- I have a few, Rooster Teeth’s channel Achievement Hunter was my 1st inspiration for the channel and that’s what I launched it with. The intention was to cover achievements in games. Next would be GameOverGreggy from ign now in Kinda Funny and 3kliksphilip, both of those 2 guys were the main inspiration for my main series across the map. Also FRANKIEonPC and Jackfrags are big time influences.
Q8: What do you think about the new YouTube Advertiser-Friendly content guidelines?
- I have no issues with it and hardly give it any thought.
Q9: How did you come up with your former YouTube channel name TheGamingGuyChannel, and your current YouTube channel name TheyCallMeConor?
- The TheGamingGuyChannel was a placeholder name until I could come up with something better but it stuck for a while, I changed it to TheyCallMeConor to make it somewhat more personal and original.
Q10: Was TheGamingGuyChannel your YouTube channel name when you first created your YouTube channel?
- Yes but I grew to hate it as about 10 other people had similar names on YouTube.
Q11: Currently who is your favourite YouTuber or YouTubers?
- Too many, to name a few FRANKIEonPC, Jackfrags, SovietWomble, CGP Grey and Kurzgesagt are among my favorites.
Q12: Do you have a favourite and least favourite video that you have uploaded?
- Haha yes, I sometimes get nostalgic and go back and watch old videos and some are awful, nostalgia is overrated. I have made a few of them private or unlisted, there was a drunk review of Titanfall 1 put up and it was all sorts of wrong and was deleted, nobody needed to see that. My favorite video is my Walk across all the GTA games video, about 60hrs went into making it and I loved every minute of it.
Q13: What is your favourite video game?
- I don’t have a particular game but I do love the Total War series, I have never put up a video on the game and I don’t think I will ever, I want to keep that for me time and never want it to seem like work.
Q14: What is your favourite video game to record?
- GTA V, it’s a dream to record with, it just works.
Q15: What is your favourite part about having a YouTube channel and being a YouTuber?
- When I get featured on a website like Kotaku it makes my day, it makes the long hrs worth it to see people say nice things about you, even if they think you are a nutter for walking across Just Cause 3 for 9hrs.
Q16: Do you play video games in your free time that you don't record and upload if so what games?
- Yes I play a tonne of Total War series and some Space sim games like X3: Terran Conflict and Albion Prelude. They are my go to chill out games and I have put thousands of hrs into them.
Q17: How many video games do you own?
- I have a 6ft high stack of PC games starting from about 1995-present, I have a pile of floppy disk games from the early 90's from my pentium 2 PC, 100+ Steam games across 2 accounts, various other games on Uplay & Origin as well as a few console games still lying around. I'm sure if I looked I would find more hanging around, I am a computer/console/PC game hoarder.
Q18: How did you come up with the idea of doing a Across the Map series?
- So back way before I started YouTube I followed a guy called 3kliksphilip and he made a few time-lapse videos walking across ARMA & Elder Scrolls maps, the quality was low and he used a few cheats for super speed etc and I thought it was very unique. Fast forward to the release of GTA V a few years later and I was watching a video on IGN with Greg Miller and he asked his bosses for a 2hr slot to walk across the map of GTA V, he didn’t time-lapse the footage but put up a highlights video of the walk and at this stage 3kliksphilip had long stopped making these types of videos so I thought to myself why not start to make a series myself. I love making them, I work very long shifts in my job and I love nothing more than to come home and chill with some tunes, a nice bourbon and some Oreos, then walk across a map and slow down the pace of my day and unwind.
Q19: Do you watch your own videos after you upload them?
- Constantly, I am my own worst critic and I scrutinize them all the time, always trying to improve on mistakes.
Q20: Will you ever upload a Facecam or Face Reveal video?
- Nah probably not, I am very generic looking and it would just distract from the video to be honest. I am sure if you looked hard enough you would find plenty of embarrassing photos of me, I have no shame and don’t embarrass easily so I wouldn’t care if pictures got out but I have no plans to use a facecam.
Q21: What is your occupation in real life?
- I work in computer manufacturing industry for about the last 12yrs.
Q22: You currently have over 9,000 subscribers, did you ever think you would have that many subscribers?
- Yes and no, at the start it’s a real struggle and the voice in the back of your head is telling you to quit and give up after you post a video and it only gets 12 views and 10 of them is probably your family taking pity on you but I stayed determined and ramped up my efforts and started a Minecraft seed series and that did very well, some of those posts are still in the top 5 of the Minecraft forums to this day. Next came the Across the Map series were the majority of my views and subs come from and with them has come consistent views and subs. It's been a slow build but I am in no rush to gain subs and very happy with the pace I am going at.
Q23: You currently have uploaded 236 videos, did you ever think you would uploaded that many videos?
- Haha well if you only knew how many I have not uploaded, it’s probably closer to 600 videos made, as I said in a previous question I am my own worst critic and I don’t release a load of videos because I don’t think they are up to standard.
Q24: Currently your most viewed video has over 1 million views, did you ever think one of your videos would have that many views?
- Surprisingly that video A walk across all the GTA games only got 1,500 views in it's first 2 months, the video received great praise from my subs but not much else, I moved on and was pretty disappointed with it and I never expected much with it after that. It wasn’t until another YouTuber told me to submit it to Kotaku to see if they wanted to feature it, I did and then it exploded and the pace of the video has not slowed down too much since then, a number of news agencies have picked it up since and I couldn’t be happier.
Q25: What is your lifetime subscriber and video view goal?
- At the moment, I hope to hit 10k, after that who knows. I hope to bring more community involved content to the channel soon so I will revisit those goals in the future.
Q26: What was your lifetime subscriber goal when you first started uploading YouTube videos?
- I like to keep my expectations low as I always knew this is more of a hobby than a career so I was realistically only ever hoping to get 1,000.
Q27: How long do you think YouTube will last?
- This is a difficult one, I think it will last a very long time at the moment, there is just no other platform out there that even comes close to competing with them but the way things go these days that could change very quickly. To be honest even with all the YouTube drama these days it still is the king and won't go down without a fight.
Q28: How long do you think you will be uploading YouTube videos?
- In my current circumstances I have no plans to stop.
Q29: Are you planning on going to any YouTube/Gaming conventions?
- Probably not, I live in Ireland and we get practically zero conventions, maybe in the future or if I ever get an invite I will consider it.
Q30: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to make videos on YouTube?
- Don't sub for sub and practice makes perfect, keep making content and don't give up, you never know when you could go viral or when a certain audience catches on to your work. Also just be yourself.
Q31: What is the future for you and your channel?
- I want to get into a few more Machinimas, I have a few ideas in the pipeline but not sure about the time invested vs the payout just yet. Right now the Across the Map series is my main content as well as some more let's plays to fill in the gaps. I really want to dive into hardware and software review, as I am a big time nerd and I buy just about every new piece of equipment I can get my hands on so you should expect to see that coming soon.
Q32: Have you ever done an interview like this before?
- Nope this is a first for me, it was an interesting experience and would do it again, thanks.