An excerpt from

Confessions Of A YouTube Superstar

Mike Jeavons

45,652 views.

‘Forty-five thousand, six hundred and fifty-two,’ I said, just so I could hear the number out loud. Was that real? Was it a glitch on YouTube? It must have been. Forty-eight hours ago the view count was barely double digits, but now it was… I refreshed it… 45,793! I clicked into my YouTube dashboard to see if there were any signs of a bug in my channel. Nope. I clicked on the video to see if there was a problem there.

45,805.

782 likes.

3 dislikes.

537 comments.

3,295 new subscribers.

Woah. I mean… WOAH!

What happened? Had Jay and Simon found the video and spread it around the school? Had I made such an impression on Leah that she had felt the need to search for me and watch the video forty-five thousand times?

I read through some of the comments:

Nice video dude, can’t wait to see more!

omg I had these when I was a kid, i loved them soooo much!

awesome vid, thanks for the cool memories!

Subbed! thumbs up from me mate!

I never really liked the show, but these action figures are great - have you got any more you can share?

lol die fgt manchild.

After calling that last guy a twat for a couple of minutes I re-read every single comment, and even read the new ones which came through in the meantime. By the time I was finished, the view count had risen again: 46,912.

Thanks to some of the commenters it was clear where the views had come from. A forum known as Retro Room had posted about it, which then lead to Reddit and other pop culture sites and forums writing about it as well. In less than two days the video had gathered so much attention it was getting about two thousand views every hour. Even my subscriber count grew by the minute, and every time I clicked refresh it was slightly higher than it had been before. 3,346. 3,350. 3,354.

Incredible. By the time I found some good porn and released some excitement into a scraggly bit of tissue, it had gone up by another hundred. I watched it all day. I watched as the views and subscribers went up, and I watched as people argued with each other in the comments about what the best retro action figures were and what I should review next.

By the end of the day, the view count had reached 61,361 and I had 5,021 subscribers. Things had kicked off in a way which I had dreamed about, but didn’t think would actually be possible. When you sat back and thought about it, the video was pretty stupid; just a college kid sat on his bed gushing about old Ghostbusters action figures for seven minutes and eleven seconds, and yet tens of thousands of people had watched it, and more than five thousand people had subscribed because they wanted to watch me do it all over again. It was fucking brilliant.