On Wednesday, March 22nd, our Journalism 2.0 class was fortunate enough to have guest speaker, Valentí Sanjuan, come in and talk to us. Prior to hearing Valentí share his story, I did some research on him so that I would be educated on what he was going to talk to us about. My lack of knowledge on the Spanish language limited me to what I could learn about him before class. My only assumptions about Valentí Sanjuan before entering class on Wednesday were that he appeared to be some form of journalist, as well as an athlete. Once I typed in his name into google, YouTube videos of him biking came up. After watching little clips of these videos is when I came up with the assumption he was an athlete. Also, I knew he was involved with a television network called, “Visto Lo Visto,” because this network kept appearing whenever I searched his name. However, I was unaware of what his involvement with “Visto Lo Visto” included.
After conducting my research, I was very anxious for Wednesday’s class to learn about Valentí, and see if my assumptions about him were correct. I quickly learned that I was right to assume he was some form of journalist. Sanjuan started his journalism career about fifteen years ago as a traditional journalist as well as a radio personality. This was all before online platforms for journalism were as common as they are today. Eventually, Valentí transitioned into online media platforms and posted his first video on the YouTube channel, “vistolovistoTV”. I was surprised to find out that “Visto Lo Visto” was not a television network, however it was a YouTube channel. I was under the impression that this was a television network similar to ABC or NBC, but once Valentí began to talk about it and show us videos, I learned that I was wrong. Visto Lo Visto is considered to be a comedy entertainment show, with guest speakers, comedians, and an array of recurring characters. This channel consitists of having a live audience while being filmed and is later uploaded to YouTube. The YouTube channel has roughly one thousand subscribers, in addition to having many people online streaming the program.
Once Valentí obtained a strong fan base, is when he begun to receive sponsorship opportunities from many different companies. He showed us a video of one of his shows where “Sony” was the brand that was sponsoring that particular episode. They had to showcase “Sony” in a short clip during the episode to show the products that Sony offers. Valentí also showed us one of his videos that his sister recorded of them participating in a triathlon in Hawaii. This video has almost 390,000 views on YouTube which is an extremely large amount considering the video is over an hour long. He has competed in many different triathlons around the world that he has also filmed and uploaded to YouTube. These triathlons are funded by t-shirt sales, books, and other products he sells.
I really enjoyed hearing what Valentí had to share with our class. My favorite part about his lecture was that I could really hear the passion in his voice when he was talking about what he does. You could tell he really loves his life and enjoys his business. It is not easy to become a self-branded YouTuber, but Valentí truly loves it and has fun while working. Now thats what I call living the dream. It gave me hope for my future career, knowing that it is possible to have fun while working, if you’re doing something you’re passionate about. It is inspiring to learn about how one person can create such a large platform for themselves through the internet and become such a huge success. One thing he said that really stuck with me was how he has many different bosses. His bosses include himself, his sponsors, the social media accounts he uses (mainly YouTube), and his viewers. He explained to us that without his viewers, he would be nothing. If he didn’t get support from all his fans, he would never have made it to where he is today. Valentí stated that when you lose your audience you are “completely out”. Ultimately, his viewers are what keeps his company alive and what has helped make him such a success.
At the end of his lecture, another student in class asked Valentí if he had any motivational quotes he said to himself when he was having a hard time with his work or in his life. Valentí responded and stated “one day the funeral make-up person is going to shave you”. I was very confused by this at first and didn’t really understand how this quote motivated him when he was having a hard time. Then he explained what it meant to him and told us it is his way of saying “make the most of your life while you still have the time”. You can tell that this is a quote Valentí Sanjuan truly lives by through everything he showed us and talked about during our class. I hope that one day I become as successful as Valentí, and have as much fun doing it as he does!