Article Title: YouTube nation: (A bubbe for everyone)
By VIKKI ORTIZ
“….A bubbe for everyone
Other amateur filmmakers also have discovered the way family stories on the Internet appeal to broad audiences.
After graduating from college, Avrom wanted to make a demo reel that he could use when applying for jobs. Like many amateur filmmakers who post videos on the Web, Avrom, who chooses not to give his last name for security reasons, first tried hooking up a microphone to his computer and speaking to the camera himself. But after a few tries, he decided his camera presence wasn’t engaging enough.
Over strudel-like dessert at a family dinner, Avrom’s father suggested that he film his grandmother – or bubbe – instead. She could cook traditional Jewish foods, like the ones they were eating at that moment.
Today, the “Feed Me Bubbe” videos, which feature Avrom’s 70-something grandmother making latkes, mandel bread and other traditional Jewish foods, have been viewed by millions of people around the world. The videos, which offer “Yiddish Words of the Day,” were mentioned on the NBC late-night TV show “Last Call With Carson Daly” and have inspired hundreds of e-mails daily. Some fans beg, “Bubbe, please adopt me!”
“I didn’t know anything about podcasting then, or any of this computer business. And e-mails started coming up from all over the world,” said Bubbe, who, like her 23-year-old grandson, doesn’t disclose her name. “A lot of people were hungry for the memories, and the memories they had of their grandparents. . . . It gives me such a good feeling.”
On the West Coast, Baba Ali took up film editing as a hobby. When friends weren’t available to be the subjects of his videos, Ali, a 32-year-old Web designer, set up a camera in his living room and began talking about what he knew best: his Muslim-American experience.
In one video, he jokes about excessive Muslim weddings in America. Another skit makes light of the difficulty Muslim-American men have when traveling by plane. Yet another video offers Muslim-Americans tips on how to talk to their parents about dating.
For Ali’s third video posting on the Internet, he had 3,000 viewers. By the 10th, 100,000 people had tuned in. By the 14th, he had more than 1 million. The videos also caught the attention of hiring directors at DirecTV, who offered Ali a job presenting the news on Channel 101.
“I can’t explain how much everything has changed overnight because of the videos,” Ali said….”