In the late spring of 2006 a casual comment in a discussion thread on the old MSN Wetshavers forum suggested “someone needs to do a video on how to shave!” The general consensus was that the idea is appealing but probably too difficult to do. After all, you really need to see lather in three dimensions and be able to feel it to truly understand it, and a lot of the background techniques really need to be shown “in person.” Or so went the thinking. It was also felt that the video technology of the day wasn’t quite up to the quality that was necessary to properly demonstrate shaving.
But it stirred something in me. I have a degree in TV/radio broadcasting (engineering, not production) but I have been out of the industry for many years. Still, I know the basics of putting together a video and I had just won a Panasonic GS9 camcorder a few months before while a attending an industry conference, so I decided to experiment a little. I put together some test footage using Windows Movie Maker, posted it to the newly-popular YouTube, and asked the MSN guys to comment. I got some really good feedback and suddenly it didn’t seem so impossible. Starting on August 14, 2006 I put up the three part “introductory” series that you still see on the channel.
The videos just kind of languished there for a while, until someone submitted it to Digg. Digg was then what Reddit is now (Digg these days is a shadow of it’s former self). Shortly after, Lifehacker picked it up too (I get internet referrals from the Lifehacker article to this day). And suddenly I was getting massive (for those days) amounts of traffic and subscribers to the Youtube channel…it even ended up on Youtube’s main page for a while.
How things have changed since those days…!