YouTube has become a noticeboard for an eclectic parish of prospectors to share gratuities and nurture dreams of reputation, with one particular motherlode: actuality TV
In the original California gold rush, thousands of prospectors rubbed the San Gabriel mountains for nuggets, a scramble labelled by antagonism and privacy: recognize a gleaming, impede shtum.
Two centuries afterward, a handful of progenies use similar gear to wash in the same crystal coldnes river, surrounded by the same wilderness, enticed by an additional, different type of shimmer: celebrity.
Instead of masking pay-dirt blots, these prospectors broadcast them on YouTube, dedicating orientations and encouraging viewers to trek out and join them.
In return, if they attract enough online commerce, they gain a slice of glory and meagre payments from Google, which owns YouTube, for eyeballs on ads.
Since I started doing the videos, it went various kinds of addictive, said Robert Ferguson, 52, whose channel has more than 1,700 subscribers and 384,0000 positions. Theres a little of stardom. Beings recognise me. Its not much, but Google pays me.
Ferguson, wearing a singlet, muddy suddenlies and boots, expressed during a escape from sifting rocks and gravel by the San Gabriel river. Three other prospectors toiled alongside him. All, it turned out, had first encountered one another via YouTube.
The video-sharing website has become a noticeboard for the purposes of an eclectic parish of prospectors to share information, show off skill or luck, nurture online adherents, and nurture nightmares of renown, with one particular motherlode: starring in a reality Tv show.
Im terrible at video. My spouse says Im the worst in the world, said Larry Englehart, 67, ankle-deep in burbling sea. Instead of a piece, I establish a guys bellybutton. But people must be carried, because they look at them. The retired industrial painters channel has acquired 822 subscribers and 171,000 page views.
The biggest online success is Jeff Williams, an exuberant, buckskin-wearing reference who boasts 62,000 subscribers and close to 15 m views.
Few, if any, prospectors expect to get rich. Pieces seem long gone from these sections of the river. A daytimes arduous digging and panning for golden dust generally provides about half a gramme( worth $20 ), although with fluke you are able get perhaps 5 grammes( worth $200 ), or with no fluke , nothing.