Today is a big day for Hank Green. The man who brought you Vlogbrothers, Vidcon, and Lizzie Bennet just sold his first company and took a much deserved victory lap on Reddit. In light of these big events on the Green-o-sphere, we thought today would be a good time to take a look back at the evolution of the maestro of Missoula. Hank Green has been a major force in the evolution of online video. Both as a creator and as an industry pro, he’s helped to move YouTube into the media mainstream, turning some of your favorite YouTubers from video hobbyists into international superstars. Like all the best YouTube stories, it all started with an idea and a video.
Brotherhood 2.0 was a creative project conceived by Hank and his brother, novelist John Green. The idea was that the two would stop all text based communication and spend a year speaking to each only through daily video blogs.
That project would lead directly into Vlogbrothers, the ongoing dialogue between the two on a wide range of topics from life and love to metaphysics and hard science that continues to this day on the Vlogbrothers channel.
Along the way, the discourse gave rise to a fandom. Hank was among the first creators to actively mobilize his fanbase, known collectively as Nerdfighters, to accomplish something tangible in the real world. With Hank and John at the helm, Nerdfighters have been engaged in social justice campaigns, large scale charity work, and a host of projects aimed at bettering the world all inspired by the slogan “Don’t Forget To Be Awesome.”
Hank is also notable as the founder of VidCon, the first and largest successful gathering of online video creators and fans. What began as a small gathering of less than 1400 video creators small and large has grown into a massive fan festival the draws more than 18,000 fans to the Annaheim Convention center. Vidcon has spawned dozens of copycats and similar events, but it remains the most widely attended gathering of YouTube and online video creators of the year.